Pleasant View Work Days

Thursday, Oct. 19 4 - 6 pm

Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 - 11 am

Monday, Oct. 23, 10 - noon

Help us weed, plant for fall, and replenish the mulch.  Bring your own shovel.  Come alone or bring family/friends.  RSVP to

Photos from August 24.



Pleasant View 9/11 Day to Serve



Poplar Island Tour, Chesapeake Bay

July 21, Friday, 9 am to noon

Departing from Tilghman Island - optional camping at tuckahoe state park, july 20

(See our blog post for a report and photos from this excursion.)

As shown in the satellite photo, by 1996 Poplar Island had nearly disappeared.  Restoration efforts are underway to save the island -- recreating its 1,000 acres of habitat.  Join us on a free tour of this island.  You must RSVP in advance to Merikay as there are only 24 slots available on the tour.  Children are welcome.  In order to be at the island for the 9 am start it is recommended that you plan to arrive on Thursday evening -- we'll be reserving spots at a state campsite for those interested in camping.  This should be an educational and fun outing.  There's a small museum on Tilghman Island featuring creatures from the Bay -- one of many optional excursions.  

We have a reservation for a group tent site at Tuckahoe State Park for Thursday, July 20 if you want to arrive early and enjoy more of this area.  Adkins Arboretum is located within Tuckahoe State Park.  There are hiking trails (walking actually - no elevation changes) and areas to canoe/kayak.  The site is for tent camping with access to toilets and sinks.  ESE will pay the fee for the camp site but individuals will pay the additional $3 charge per person (cash).  Please let me know ASAP if you want to tent camp with us and/or plan to go on the Poplar Island tour.  Contact me at:

A few fun ideas if you have time to spend on the Eastern Shore.  If you're interested on sailing on the Bay, one option is the sailing yacht Lady Patty which sails from Tilghman Island. Other charter fishing and sail boats are available at various sites on the Eastern shore.

On your drive to the Eastern Shore you might stop before crossing the Bay Bridge to visit the Sandy Point State Park. There's a wide beach here with playground equipment, boats to rent, and a great view of the Bay Bridge. It's fun to wade in the water (watch for stinging jellyfish) and watch the sailboats, barges and ocean vessels passing under the bridge. Or better yet rent a boat and get out on the Bay. With nearly 800 acres to explore there are also walking trails -- a great place to see birds.

Just off route 404, (31 miles from Sandy Point) you could stop at the Adkins Arboretum and wander their trails. Enjoy the native plant landscaping and be inspired. They have a small native plant nursery on site if you want to buy plants for your home garden. There's a visitor's center and minimal fee to enter. The Arboretum is part of Tuckahoe State Park, the camp site suggested as a place to stay on Thursday night, for those who are interested.

Near where we'll be taking the boat to Poplar Island is the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, a small but very interesting collection of Bay creatures including an area where oysters are grown to repopulate the Bay with these water cleaning marvels. If you're interested in the history of Tilghman you could visit the Tilghman Watermen's Museum.

If you have time there's also the Pickering Creek Audubon Society ( where there are trails, canoes/kayaks to rent on weekdays, a small garden and birding areas.

St. Michael's Maritime Museum (and the town itself) is worth a visit. CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats, 12 exhibition buildings, and changing special exhibitions, all set in a park-like waterfront setting along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. Learn more at

If you're interested in history the Talbot Historic Society Museum and Garden in Easton is a gem. One of their current exhibits celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of Unionville (May 27-July 29, Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

If you have the time, there's also the option of visiting the beautiful beaches of Delaware though weekdays are best for this now that it's summer.


"Native Plants for Your Garden"

May 23, Tuesday, 7 pm

11800 Darnestown Road - Pleasant View Schoolhouse

Come learn about great native plants for the home garden.  Merikay Smith, Master Gardener and Project Leader for the conservation landscaping at Pleasant View, will share photos and tips on including native plants in home gardens.  Please invite neighbors and friends.  This talk is part of the educational component of the Chesapeake Bay Trust grant that Earth Stewardship East received for Pleasant View.  While you're at PV, stop by and see how the garden is beginning to grow one month in the ground.  RSVP on ESE's FB event post or to

Native yucca in the foreground, used to mark graves in historic African American cemeteries.  Pleasant View schoolhouse in back, site of May talk. 

Native yucca in the foreground, used to mark graves in historic African American cemeteries.  Pleasant View schoolhouse in back, site of May talk. 


Pleasant View Project 

April 29, Saturday, 9 AM  - 1 PM

11800 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg, MD

Join us for our final spring volunteer work day at Pleasant View.  We'll finish installing two huge beds of native plants -- each 30 feet by 70 feet.  Over time our plantings will provide habitat and better storm water management too.  For more details on this project, go to the heading "Pleasant View Project" on our main menu.  This project will include multiple work days between now and Fall, 2018.

Please bring a shovel (or multiple shovels) and work gloves.  We will have plants to install and mulch to suppress weeds.  Please bring newspapers or cardboard to put under the mulch.  We'll also have time for volunteers to visit inside the colored school and talk with former students.  Learn about how you can improve storm water management on your own property -- and tips on creating habitat with native plants.  It's fine if you can't stay the full time -- come for as long as you can.  This project is a major opportunity for Earth Stewardship East to make a significant difference.

If you work with Scouts or other youth groups, consider including them in this project.  We have several possible Eagle Scout projects that could be done on this property.  

Please email Merikay at or signup on our Facebook page.  We need to know who can help.  Thanks!

Full details on this website main menu under "Pleassant View Project."

Large slope of turf/weeds that we will be replacing with native plants.  What an exciting thing -- to be able to watch the conversion process over time as the plants take root and begin to grow.  By next year they should look great for the 150th celebration of Pleasant View.  

Large slope of turf/weeds that we will be replacing with native plants.  What an exciting thing -- to be able to watch the conversion process over time as the plants take root and begin to grow.  By next year they should look great for the 150th celebration of Pleasant View.


The same slope after our Earth Day volunteer event.  A few gaps that still need plants and the entire center needs newspaper/cardboard and mulch.  We'll also add some trees and a planted bed under the entrance sign.

The same slope after our Earth Day volunteer event.  A few gaps that still need plants and the entire center needs newspaper/cardboard and mulch.  We'll also add some trees and a planted bed under the entrance sign.


Earth Stewardship East 2017 Launch

January 29, Sunday, 7 pm

10923 Breewood Rd, Silver Spring, MD

Please join us to discuss a talk by Elder Marcus Nash, LDS General Authority, on "Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Please read or watch before coming. The talk can be found at:

We'll also talk about our Chesapeake Bay Trust grant to landscape the Pleasant View Historic Site and other upcoming plans.  Photos and basic info on this project are posted on our website under "Pleasant View Project."  Please read up about what we are doing and bring your questions to the January 29 meeting.

Please RSVP to or click "going" so we know how many to expect. Most of our activities will be family friendly but this particular event is for adults only. Thanks to Chandler and Amy Griggs for hosting.

LDS Earth Stewardship groups are meeting in Utah for similar discussions.

Interfaith Environmental Conference

February 12, Sunday, 3 PM

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg

Earth Stewardship East is co-hosting "Interfaith Light," the fifth annual interfaith environmental conference for our local area.  Merikay Smith will be the keynote speaker joined by representatives of the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faiths to share inspiration on care for the earth and care for the poor.  These values are core to all major faiths.  We will look at Pope Francis' encyclical and what impacts this statement has had on local, regional and worldwide actions.  Groups active in our area will have display tables and their leaders will be available to talk about local environmental projects.  We plan to have information on current issues being addressed in Annapolis by the current session of our state legislature.  In the past this has been a great event for inspiration, learning and networking -- all to make a positive impact locally.  If you're available to help with setup/cleanup or refreshments, please contact Merikay.  Please invite your friends and neighbors, particularly if they are a "green team" leader in their faith.


Climate Prayer Vigil

January 22, Sunday, 1 pm

Brookside Gardens, Japanese Tea Room

Join us for an interfaith vigil for prayer and meditation on care for Creation this Sunday, January 22, at 1 p.m. at the Brookside Garden Japanese tea room. This vigil is one of 100 vigils being held across the country within the first 100 hours of Mr. Trump's inauguration. People of all political backgrounds care about the earth -- let's join together in prayer.

We will be less than one hour. You're welcome to wander the gardens and nearby woodland trails after. Please invite your friends. Children are welcome too since we're outside and will not be long. 


If you cannot be with us, consider setting aside time to pray and reflect on caring for the air, water, lands, and creatures of our earth. You might like to ponder some of the teachings from Pope Francis which we have posted on this website under the heading, "Inspiration".

Boat Tour of Anacostia River

October 29, 2016 at 10 a m  

Click above (Merikay's photos) and below (Ken Mortensen's photos) to see full slideshowS.  


Don't miss the free Anacostia boat tour on Saturday, October 29.  We will have two tours, one at 10 am and the other at 11 am, both leaving from the National Arboretum dock.  October 29 was the next open Saturday for the Riverkeepers that also had tides which would allow for their boat to pass under a particular bridge at low tide.  

If you RSVP'd for the Oct. 8 rained-out event, please email me so I will know if Oct. 29 will work for you.   Fall colors will be at their peak!  Please share with friends who might like to join Earth Stewardship East.  The more the better.  

Bring your own picnic and join us at the tables near the Anacostia dock area at noon.

This Free event will be led by people who care about the Anacostia -- they'll share its history, wildlife, and environmental concerns.   The boat carries 13 passengers so please RSVP to  The Riverkeepers are willing to take one group at 10 am and a second group if we have that many interested.  We have arranged for this tour to depart from the docks at the National Arboretum which is a wonderful place to visit.  They ask that everyone on the river be ages 5 and up.

The younger crowd and anyone that wants to stay on land can join a 1 mile nature walk through the National Arboretum. We will enjoy the fall beauty of woodlands and meadow, identify common plants and animals of our area, tour the large organic Washington Youth Garden, and finish up with a friendly picnic together. 


If you have questions, call Merikay at 301-926-9774.  

We learned about these tours through the Chesapeake Interfaith Power and Light.

JUNE 25, 2016


We'll meet at Riley's Lock for a free event -- all welcome.  Pick up trash stream-side or from a kayak.   Kayaks and life-jackets provided.    Afterwards BYOP (bring your own picnic).  There's a covered area with tables.

We can offer SSI (student service hours) to MCPS students. 

May 21, 2016

First meeting of Earth Stewardship East

Potluck and Program

Twenty-five adults and four children attended the kick-off event for Earth Stewardship East at Merikay Smith's garden.  We ate Chicago pizza and lots of delicious vegetable dishes.  Despite rain we had a great time together -- kids left with tadpoles from the pond and it cleared enough for many to enjoy the garden.  Kate Cummings shared our goals and elicited comments.

Merikay  spoke on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si, "Care for the Earth: Care for the Poor."  Our first meeting topic of Pope Francis' encyclical parallels the spring social for the LDS Earth Stewardship group  held in Salt Lake City.  

Check our website's "Inspiration" section for posts on the Pope's encyclical.