The Muddy Branch Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit group, made up of citizens wanting to make a difference in their local environment.
We get our name from one thing we have in common, a local stream in Maryland. The Muddy Branch is a tributary stream of the Potomac River in Montgomery County, located about 14 miles northwest of Washington, DC. The headwaters of the stream originate in Gaithersburg, and the stream flows southwest for about 7 miles, through Muddy Branch Park and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park, under the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal near Pennyfield Lock, to the Potomac River. Included in the watershed are portions of Gaithersburg, Rockville, North Potomac, Travilah, Darnestown and Washington Grove. Therefore communities such as the Kentlands, Lakelands, the Rio, Tobytown and Dufief all share a common link in that the runoff from their properties all drain to this common stream, the Muddy Branch.
While most of the area in the upper reaches of the watershed is houses and business, the Muddy Branch Park runs through the heart of the watershed as does the popular Muddy Branch Greenway Trail. The flowing waters, natural spaces, and wildlife make our neighborhoods beautiful. However, the choices we make everyday impact their health and the sustainability of the creeks, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Our Muddy Branch Alliance mission is based on a vision to conserve this valuable natural resource for future enjoyment. We provide activities that engage volunteers in monitoring and protecting stream water quality. We encourage folks to enjoy the plants and wildlife literally in their own backyards while working along our trail system or picking up trash at a cleanup. We encourage control of invasive plants in our stream valleys while planting natives in our yards or community gardens. We teach about conservation and watershed stewardship at our meetings. If you have a desire to be involved locally, we encourage you to join us in our mission along this wonderful resource called the Muddy Branch.
Engineers without Borders at Montgomery College conduct regular bacteria monitoring along Muddy Branch using ColiScan easy gels and will be posting data here using the multimedia report. Biological data is collected by other Muddy Branch Alliance volunteers using the Izaak Walton League's Save Our Streams methodology and will be posted here under biological reports.
We monitor streams throughout the watershed. For more information on Muddy Branch Alliance, please visit www.muddybranch.org.
Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA) is an organization with a mission to serve communities in developing countries by designing and implementing sustainable engineering projects. Membership consists of students and professionals from engineering, business and public health backgrounds.
Montgomery Community College has been a full chapter for two years and has been involved with EWB for three years. Montgomery College is the only two year institution with Engineers Without Borders in the United States of America.
Our chapter’s primary goal is to perform and teach a standardized water testing regiment that is sustainable in Flowers Bank, Belize. We will design a water testing regimen for the area, in order to test for inorganic and biological contaminants. Our second objective is to design and build an irrigation system for a garden of the local orphanage. The produce from this garden will be used as food for the community and/or sold to provide income for the orphanage. Another requirement for this garden will be protection from local wildlife, mainly howler monkeys and horses. We are developing a spiral pump in adjunction with our proposal to provide potable water and ultimately electricity in Flowers Bank, Belize. We have also become partners with local groups like the Muddy Branch Alliance. Working on appropriate projects like bacteria monitoring in the local Muddy Branch watershed that will be implemented in the Flowers Bank community.
For more information on Engineers Without Borders, please visit www.ewb-usa.org.