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About Conservation Montgomery

Conservation Montgomery is a coalition of civic and environmental organizations as well as individual residents who work to address a broad spectrum of environmental and quality of life challenges facing Montgomery County, Maryland. 

Our History

Conservation Montgomery was founded in 2010 by Caren Madsen, Diane Cameron and Ginny Barnes. We realized that no other nonprofit at that time focused on trees and forests as the key to conservation on a broad scale. We decided that, rather than competing with other local environmental groups, we can accomplish more by working together.  A goal is to help county residents see the connection between quality of life and environmental protection.

Our Vision

A connection between the health of our natural landscape and our collective quality of life. Conservation Montgomery envisions an environmentally literate citizenry and elected officials who act to protect natural resources in our communities. 

Our Mission

To sustain Montgomery County's quality of life and natural resources for current and future generations though community awareness and sound decision-making. 

The first of its kind in the county to focus on trees as providers of environmental services, Conservation Montgomery is a 501(c) 3 non-profit serving as a forum and educational tool for county residents who want: 
  • Effective watershed protection and stormwater management

  • Tree-lined streets  -- and a tree and forest canopy that will provide environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits

  • Workable solutions dealing with the impacts of climate change

  • Energy-efficient homes, offices and businesses  

  • Sustainable transportation

  • Pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhoods

  • Green public space and lush parks

  • Responsive governance with land use decisions based on input all community stakeholders 

Our Work and Accomplishments

A few of our projects we are most proud of.
Saving Ten Mile Creek
Honoring Leaders

Conservation Montgomery played a key role in the Coalition to Save Ten Mile Creek, significantly decreasing development in the Clarksburg Master Plan. We continue to advocate for sensitive watersheds that feed Little Seneca Reservoir. We advocated for Watts Branch, and other streams and watersheds, including working with the Coalition to Stop Sewer Sprawl, that achieved an updated countywide Water and Sewer Plan. The plan keeps sewer pipes - major drivers of sprawl - out of rural watersheds in and near the Agricultural Reserve.

We heightened awareness of champion trees by leading annual Big Tree Tours led by Montgomery County Big Tree Registry founder Joe Howard. We created an award named for Joe – the Joe Howard Environmental Award -- to honor other outstanding environmental leaders.


Some of the top environmental champions in the county have been recipients of the Joe Howard Environmental Award. 

Home Tree Care 101

Landscape architect Jim Urban estimates that about 80% of tree cover or canopy in Montgomery County is on private property.

Our answer: Home Tree Care 101 was developed as a way to show homeowners how they can take action to preserve their own trees.

We created the Home Tree Care 101 program to teach homeowners in Montgomery County how to care for trees on their private property and keep mature trees living longer, healthier lives. 


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