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  • Writer's pictureAccokeek Foundation

Celebrate Summer with a Festival for Water Enthusiasts on June 22

What a better way to introduce a new dock and kayak launch at Piscataway Park than to throw a party?! The Accokeek Foundation is very proud to present its newly rebuilt boat dock and renovated fishing pier to the community on Saturday, June 22. This site-wide celebration will be packed with music, games, tours, water activities, food and more. Celebrating the Potomac will be the perfect start to what is sure to be the best summer yet!

I, for one, am extremely excited to be able to drop my kayak in the river at the new launch. Having grown up on the shore of Southern New Jersey, water sports are somewhat of a summer staple. Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and stand-up paddle boarding are my must have summer activities. There is nothing like a peaceful paddle down the river, watching for birds, and taking in some beautiful scenery – plus, there is usually a breeze on the water to give you a break from the harsh summer humidity. With a packed lunch and plenty of water and sunscreen, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer day.

Let’s face it: the news of the past nine months in our country and all over the world have been particularly hard to stomach. Devastating weather, global conflicts, acts of terrorism – the list is huge. We all need a little break from the harsh realities of the state of our world sometimes. For me, this break often takes shape in a quick jaunt in the woods or a paddle around the river. The healing power of nature and the outdoors is something I often forget about when I become stressed or worried about the state of the world. I believe that it is about time we all took advantage of the outdoor space available in our communities. When you do, don’t forget to give a smile and a “howdy!” to the fellow hikers and boaters. A friendly smile and wave can go a long way these days.

The new kayak/canoe launches at Piscataway Park is one of the few free public water access points on this side of the Potomac River, and that offers facilities like indoor restrooms, picnic grounds, and plenty of parking. Everyone deserves the opportunity to view this unique landscape from the water while relaxing as they take in a little outdoors.

And since June is National Great Outdoors Month there is no better time than now to enjoy the great outdoors to kick off the summer. There is a plethora of affordable outdoor activities that you can do with your family and friends that will help you make the most of this summer. The dock, pier, and kayak launches at Piscataway Park are one of many (free!) ways to make the most of this summer and all that nature has to offer!

Spending most of my days in the office around here, I’m thinking that a kayak on the Potomac is the perfect way to spend my lunch hour. See you on the river.

Celebrating the Potomac: A Detailed Event Description

Pre-event Fishing Contest | 9 am to 11 am | Saylor Grove Fishing Pier | No Cost

Come to the park early and enjoy a friendly fishing and casting contest on the Saylor Grove Fishing Pier. Bait will be provided and prizes awarded to participating fisher folk between 10 and 11 am . Please Note: Fishing on the Saylor Grove Pier will not be permitting between 11 am and 4 pm on Saturday, June 22. 

Program and Ribbon Cutting | 11:30 am | Main Stage

A short program to thank the generous support the Foundation has received from the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office, the State of Maryland, and many individual donors. Among the guests attending the ribbon cutting will be Maryland State Senate President, Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Prince George’s County Councilman Obie Patterson, and the Director of National Park Service-National Capital Region, Steve Whitesell.

Public Boat Cruise | 1:45 pm and 3 pm | Saylor Grove Fishing Pier | $35

Capital Yacht Charter’s Finished Business will be taking out two groups of guests to cruise on the scenic Potomac River. Soak up the beautiful views of Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, and the various wildlife on this 85 – foot, classic motor yacht. Each cruise can accommodate 45 guests and space is filling up fast so reserve your space today!

Kayak Tours | 12:30 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm | Boat Dock | $30

Atlantic Kayak Company will be leading three guided kayak tours along the Maryland shores of the Potomac.  Paddlers will learn about the river’s rich history and culture, while enjoying that natural beauty of the protected shoreline. These tours are the best way to see wildlife. Known to be seen in this area are Bald Eagles and Osprey, beavers, turtles, and the Great Blue Heron. Space is limited (max. capacity per tour is 6 people) so reserve your space now!

Music Performances | All Day | Main Stage | FREE

Enjoy the musical stylings of DC Metro Area’s best musicians! Starting at 12:30 pm Southern Maryland’s own Little Paul and Company will be playing some original tunes as well as some old favorites. Then at 1:45 pm the Foundation welcomes Angie Head, a soulful singer/songwriter from Takoma Park. Angie will grace us with her guitar and strong, sweet voice. Closing out the day is Alexandria’s own Kingstreet Bluegrass starting at 3 pm. The band boasts that their main interests are “charity, the environment, and bluegrass fun!”

Guided walks | 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm | Meet at Visitor Center | FREE

At 1 pm join MaryAlice, Education Manager as she leads a walk down the Pumpkin Ash Trail and talk about the environment, agriculture, and the rich human culture and history of the Chesapeake Bay region. Then at 2 pm explore the complex world of environmentally conscious livestock pasture management (and see some adorable animals!) with Livestock Manager, Polly. Lastly, at 3 pm follow Fort Washington Park Ranger Trey as he leads you down the scenic Potomac Riverview Trail and explains the unique roll the viewshed played during the War of 1812.

Piscataway Connections to the Land | 2 pm | Education Building | FREE

A lively panel discussion will take place among some local members of the Piscataway community. The panel will address the questions: How do tribal people understand the land, water, animals, and plants at Piscataway Park?  Why is this place still sacred and so critical to Piscataway identity? In what ways can all people come in closer communion to the land through living, shared knowledge? Join us for an exciting and informative discussion!

Additional Activities:

Foodways demonstrations | Event Kitchen

Colonial Interpretors | National Colonial Farm

Games | National Colonial Farm

Catered Lunch by Bailey’s Catering | Food Tent

River Expo | Cedar Lane

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