Did you know that the Muddy Branch stream runs for more than 12 miles, from Gaithersburg High School all the way to the Potomac – and that almost 11 of those miles have a natural surface trail for walking, hiking, or riding alongside?
The Muddy Branch Alliance, or MBA for short, is a local non-profit that protects and improves the water quality and natural habitat of the Muddy Branch stream for the benefit of the community. To achieve this goal, they bring neighbors and community groups together to maintain and improve the trail, and keep the stream clean. Most weekends you can find MBA members along the trail with local Scout groups, churches and other volunteers removing invasive plants, planting trees, doing trail work, or cleaning up trash.
The MBA knows that people care about what they know, and regularly hosts events along the stream and trail. On October 13th, the MBA will be partnering with local organizations to host a volksmarch on the Muddy Branch Trail. A volksmarch is an organized hike intended for everyone to enjoy at their own pace while also appreciating the scenic views around them. All are welcome and encouraged to come out and enjoy this family-friendly event. The event is free and open to all with donations accepted at the start and finish.
To help improve water quality in the stream the MBA recently launched the Lands Green Waters Clean program which helps homeowners reduce runoff from their yards, driveways, and houses. Homeowners can take simple steps reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, and pet waste that enter our waterways. Conservation landscaping removes small areas of turf grass, which does not effectively absorb water during heavy rains, and replaces it with more permeable soil and native plants, shrubs, and trees. This protects water quality, improves habitat for birds and fish, and makes streams safer for families.
These projects make yards and common spaces beautiful, encourage native birds and butterflies, and can qualify homeowners for a rebate on their property taxes. For homeowners interested in being a part of the initiative, a trained professional is sent to their homes to survey their yards to help design an eco-friendly oasis. The MBA will also help connect the property owner with resources and grants to help cover the costs.
Small actions within the community can have a significant impact on the Muddy Branch Watershed. By making small changes, our community can work together to keep our watershed healthy.
For more information on the Muddy Branch Alliance visit their website or visit their Facebook page. Interested in becoming a part of the Lands Green Waters Clean initiative to create your own backyard oasis? Click here for more info. Want to RSVP for the Volksmarch and secure a t-shirt? Click here.