Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation

EIN: 81-1611867

Mission Statement

The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation promotes nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run through restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education.

Program Summary

COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP: we provide frequent opportunities for volunteers to improve the condition of lower Four Mile Run, such as land- and kayak-based litter clean-ups, native tree/shrub plantings, and invasive species removal.

YOUTH AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS: through our Nature Explorers And Restorers (NEAR) program, we offer outdoor learning opportunities for young people, mostly those from program partners that serve recently-immigrated families, families transitioning from homelessness, and underserved youth. NEAR programming is provided at no cost to them. We recruit high school age youth for paid and/or service-learning summer conservation internships that support our work, including NEAR, and field research. Throughout the year we offer public interpretive programs, such as pop-up nature centers and park walks highlighting nature and local history.

COMMUNITY SCIENCE: we conduct ongoing research with community volunteers and youth interns that includes wildlife camera surveys, water quality testing, and documentation of the ecosystem using the iNaturalist app and online mapping tools.

PARK IMPROVEMENT: we advocate for and seek out resources to support better park infrastructure. Projects have included signage, public drinking water sources, bird nesting boxes, and our current project to build an ADA-accessible kayak and canoe launch.

Impact Statement

We see lower Four Mile Run, its associated park lands, and its community as extraordinary in ecological and socioeconomic diversity, as well as in the range of activities that take place here, whether organized sports, outdoor recreation, informal play, fishing, picnicking, and more. The area’s demographic diversity is reflected in our volunteers, who come from the immediate neighborhood as well as from all across the DC metro region.

We continue to work to ensure the benefits of nearby nature are accessible to the community, both in terms of addressing physical barriers, as with our current project to build an ADA-accessible public kayak/canoe launch, and in terms of sociocultural barriers, as with our current Spanish-language program development and translation of interpretive materials.

In fiscal year 2023, our results included:

  • Coordinating 2,190 hours of volunteer service by 486 volunteers
  • Leading 19 kayak-based and 13 land-based litter clean-ups that in total removed 5,604 pounds of litter
  • Providing 18 Nature Explorers And Restorers (NEAR) outdoor learning programs for youth
  • Planting 85 wetland plants, 63 shrubs, 72 forbs, and 13 trees at two planting events
  • Hosting 7 pop-up nature center events as well as nature/history walks and presentations reaching more than 250 people

What ways can the public get involed?

Volunteering for land-based and kayak-based stream/park clean-ups, planting, and invasive plant removal events, participating in our local nature/history walks, visiting our pop-up nature centers and tables at local events.

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

Donations support the many projects and programs we offer to support a thriving neighborhood and thriving urban ecology. We do not receive County or City funding, and depend on donations and grants to support our work.

A photo of Four Mile Run nearing sunset.

Information provided April 2024