Several bills relevant to our work are in the 2018 General Assembly. By a vote of the board, we are testifying for two: A ban on use and sale of expanded polystyrene (foam) food service products, and ban on use of state funds for synthetic playground and athletic field surfaces.
Ross Feldner, VP, Rachel Carson Landmark Alliance and expert birder, puts the bird with the song.
On September 24, 2016, the aquatic and terrestrial wildlife of our area lost an extremely valuable and knowledgeable friend. Charlie Dorian, just 69, passed away quietly surrounded by his family.
Charlie was a leader on the NNWB Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Team and other water monitoring teams through the Audubon Naturalist Society water quality program. He documented—with excellent photos—life in and around the water for that program and for the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas. His amazing photographs live on to educate the next generation of stream protectors. Charlie also volunteered with the Montgomery County Parks’ Weed Warrior and Forest Restoration programs. In the reforestation area between new and old Randolph roads, many young trees owe their survival to Charlie and his wife, Gretchen Schwartz, who participated with members of NNWB to cage vulnerable trees, saving them from deer predation.
Charlie held a B.S. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the George Washington University. He retired after more than 20 years as a consulting engineer for Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., a mentor valued for his skills in chemistry, math, computer programming, and electronics.
Charlie was happiest outdoors, whether climbing mountains, hiking, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, bird watching, photographing nature, or wading in the Northwest Branch to collect and identify the bugs at the base of the stream food chain. And he was always willing to share his vast knowledge with others.
Charlie’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities were too comprehensive to adequately present in this short Memoriam. Suffice it to say that his passing leaves a big hole in our environmental protection efforts. We will miss him.
Jim Fary, NNWB founding member and former President and Vice President, passed away at age 73.
Jim was born in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. At the University of Illinois he worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to register African-Americans to vote. He earned a law degree from Catholic University in Washington DC. Jim started his professional life teaching political science and American studies, first at Dumbarton College, then at Saint Mary’s College of Maryland. He later worked at the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining and finally at the EPA Superfund department that addressed the cleanup of toxic waste sites.
In retirement Jim was a passionate environmental activist whose contributions, in addition to his long tenure with the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch, included serving as the Conservation Chair of the Montgomery County Group of the Sierra Club, Montgomery County delegate to the Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee, and certified “Mud Buster” (trained by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to evaluate and report sediment runoff from construction sites).
Jim will be remembered for his intelligence, sense of humor, generosity, commitment, and passion for environmental causes. He enjoyed gardening, hiking, and recycling old appliances for scrap metal with his grandsons. He is survived by his wife, Nicole, two daughters, and several grandchildren.
In Summer 2016, Jennifer Chambers started documenting the graffiti that grew like cancer on the boulders in Northwest Branch Pack (at the fall line below the parking lot next to the Trader Joe's plaza) to Montgomery Parks and the Park Police. Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Mid-Atlantic Climbers are partnering with Parks to begin the long process of removing the graffiti. Work was started at 7am, Sun, Aug 28
(7 hours, 5 volunteers).
In addition, Park Police are supposed to step up their surveillance of this part of NWB park.
Read Jennifer's blog post to see the video and photos and get the story.