Bethesda, MD — February 12, 2014 — Rock Creek Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the lands and waters of Rock Creek Park, today announced the appointment of Matthew C. Fleischer as the Conservancy’s new executive director.
Fleischer is tasked with growing the organization’s resource development efforts and expanding the group’s donor base to increase its impact and support new conservation initiatives. In addition, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Rock Creek Conservancy protects the lands and waters of Rock Creek and revitalizes this national park for people to treasure and enjoy. The creek meanders 33 miles through the Washington, DC metropolitan area, crossing federal lands as well as district, city, county and state boundaries. Although parkland borders much of the creek, the surrounding development and invasive species threaten the health and beauty of these natural areas.
“Rock Creek Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education and protection efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek and the watershed,” said Fleischer. “I’m eager to extend our strategy of partnering with government agencies, other non-profit organizations, businesses, institutions, community groups, and residents to work together to preserve Rock Creek Park for present and future generations.”
Fleischer’s public debut with the organization took place last weekend when he oversaw a successful event in which Rock Creek Conservancy volunteers and supporters turned out to help beautify Melvin C. Hazen Park, a section of Rock Creek Park, by clearing invasive English ivy. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was among the volunteers on hand for the event.
“We’re excited to have Matt join the Conservancy to help us expand the organization and organize to celebrate the 125th birthday of Rock Creek Park in 2015,” said Barbara Elkus, president of the board of directors for Rock Creek Conservancy. “We were struck by Matt’s background, energy and enthusiasm for our mission.”
Interested in learning more about Rock Creek Park? Take a look at Access Rock Creek, an online map showing parks, recreational opportunities, trail access points, picnic areas, points of interest, and nearby attractions.
Many of us know the parts of the creek near where we live or work, or where we cross sections of park along roadways. We may have only seen Rock Creek from afar, and some of us only catch glimpses from our cars.
And there is a lot more to explore!
Join Rock Creek Conservancy and hike leader Kathy Stevens to discover and experience Rock Creek and all it has to offer in different seasons over the course of the year. It is Kathy's personal goal to hike the length of the creek this year, and she welcomes you to join her for all or part of the distance!
Thank you to the wonderful cleanup leaders and volunteers who participated in the 5th Annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup! We worked at over 70 locations along Rock Creek and collected more than 2,700 bags of litter, 85 tons of junk, 127 tires, and 7,400 plastic bags.
Many thanks to Montgomery County Parks, the National Park Service, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation for their partnerships and the Chesapeake Bay Trust and REI for generous financial support for the cleanup. We are also grateful to cleanup sponsors KattenMuchinRosenman LLP, Giant, and The JGB Companies.
Over the past year, we took a hard look at how we could best move forward. We surveyed our members, conducted interviews, held focus groups, reviewed information, and debated possible courses of action. The result is a strategic plan that will guide our work for the next three years. We invite you to read the plan and join us in our work to protect the lands and waters of Rock Creek and revitalize Rock Creek Park for people to treasure and enjoy!