There are countless local, state and national organizations that deserve your time and attention — so we list some of our absolute favorites here. They all offer limitless opportunities to get outside, learn, enjoy and protect the natural world. Our advice? Start by getting involved with our friends at Friends of Sligo Creek, then expand from there!
Friends of Sligo Creek: A nonprofit community organization dedicated to protecting, improving, and appreciating the ecological health of Sligo Creek Park and its surrounding watershed. Volunteer for creek cleanup and protection projects and tap into all kinds of other ways to get involved and have fun – from group birdwatching walks to other great programs.
Anacostia Watershed Society: AWS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and restore the Anacostia River by bringing partners and communities together to achieve a clean and safe Anacostia River for the benefit of all living in its watershed and for future generations. The vision is to make the Anacostia River and its tributaries swimmable and fishable, in keeping with the Clean Water Act, for the health and enjoyment of everyone in the community.
Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership: Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership (AWRP) was created with a continued commitment to carry out the Anacostia Six-Point Action Plan. The Partnership is the collaboration between governments, communities and the private sector for shared restoration efforts to recreate the watershed as an asset.
Anacostia Riverkeeper: The mission of Anacostia Riverkeeper is to protect and restore the Anacostia River for all who live, work, and play in its watershed, and to advocate for a clean river for all its communities. With our fellow Waterkeepers in the Chesapeake Bay Region, we protect families by stopping pollution.
Audubon Naturalist Society: The Audubon Naturalist Society inspires residents of the greater Washington, DC, region to appreciate, understand, and protect their natural environment through outdoor experiences, education, and advocacy.
Montgomery County Parks: Protect and interpret our valuable natural and cultural resources; balance demand for recreation with the need for conservation; offer various enjoyable recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles; and provide clean, safe, and accessible places.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay. Serving as a watchdog, we fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources: The Department of Natural Resources leads Maryland in securing a sustainable future for our environment, society, and economy by preserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing the State’s natural resources.
Maryland Native Plant Society: Our mission is to promote awareness, appreciation, and conservation of Maryland’s native plants and their habitats. We pursue our mission through education, research, advocacy, and service activities.
Natural History Society of Maryland: Whether it is a neighborhood nature hike, a workshop on butterflies, a plant identification course, or anything in between we strive to bring educational and engaging nature-based opportunities to communities, schools, families, and more.
Sierra Club — Maryland Chapter: The Sierra Club is a national environmental advocacy organization with more than 60 chapters, including at least one for every state in the US. The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club focuses on protecting the state’s natural and wildlife resources, monitoring legislation, sponsoring outings, and educating the public about pressing environmental issues. The Chapter is also responsible for the Groups that operate on the local level throughout the state.
The Trust for Public Land: At the Trust for Public Land, we don’t just save land — we save land for people to enjoy, from neighborhood parks to national parks. Our mission is to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Every park, playground, and public space we create is an open invitation to explore, wonder, discover, and play.
The Wilderness Society: Our mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We collaborate closely with local communities to safeguard wild places for future generations. We fight for legal protections for our wildest places and we champion and defend national policies that give protections for public lands, especially for our national forests, parks, refuges and Bureau of Land Management lands.