A Visit to the Ferguson Foundation Farm

Our Farmers Restaurant Group marketing team didn’t let the blustery, chilly weather last Wednesday stop us from our much-anticipated field trip to visit Our Last Straw partners, the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Located on shores of the Potomac River, directly across from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, the foundation is headquartered in the Ferguson’s historic 1920’s farmhouse, surrounded by the working fields of their Hard Bargain Farm, land woven into neighboring Piscataway National Park.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation joined Our Last Straw during the summer. We have been developing varied plans to eliminate plastic straws from DC’s waterways, beginning with our participation in their Trash Summit in November when Co-Owner Dan Simons talked about how we effectively manage our trash, including plastics, across our seven restaurants.

During our field trip, Farmers Restaurant Group marketing team members, including Our Last Straw Program Director Julie Sharkey, Daisy Whittemore, and Salina Liller, spent the afternoon with Ferguson Foundation President & CEO, Lori Arguelles, and Program Manager for their Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, Laura Cattell Noll.

The group toured the farm, explored their Living Building Education Center, walked along the Potomac taking in the beautiful wildlife (and the trash), and talked future educational efforts and clean ups over a delicious lunch and hot chocolates all around. It was a lovely, productive afternoon. Our Last Straw is raising funds for our participation in the foundation’s 2019 spring clean up initiative.

Part of the Ferguson Foundation mission is to connect people to their local watershed through education and stewardship. Their Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative seeks to prevent litter and the negative impacts of trash in our waterways. Every spring, they support citywide watershed cleanups. Thousands of volunteers participated in this year’s 30th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, which collected and removed more than 300,000 pounds of trash, including 9,726 plastic straws. Over the past 30 years, the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has mobilized more than 150,000 volunteers to remove more than 7 million pounds of trash.