We’re excited to continue our monthly Member Moment, featuring the wonderful members of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. This month’s spotlight is Judy Allen-Leventhal, an avid environmental advocate in the community. Enjoy!
Judy, a Minnestota native, was living in Nanjemoy, MD when she stumbled upon Accokeek and the Moyaone Community in her 20s while driving along MD-210 one day in her 1970’s Volkswagen. Almost immediately, Judy found herself immersed in the community that would soon become her new home. As she became involved in folk dancing and civic activism, she started to feel that “everything came together” for her while living in the Moyaone Community.
Judy enjoyed a long time career in education and fundraising, including a stint at the Calvert Marine Museum, which drew her to join the Alice Ferguson Foundation Board of Directors from 2007-2009. Judy feels that the mission of the Alice Ferguson Foundation is a “magnet” that draws groups in, for it sheds light on the Piscataway National Park and the importance of environmental stewardship “that we all hold because we are not [on this earth] because we are lucky, but because we have a responsibility [to help protect the environment]”.
Taking the winding drive up the hill towards the farmhouse, immersed in nature as the trees swallow the surrounding commercial noises is among Judy’s favorite things when it comes to the landscape of AFF. Judy also has many fond memories from the annual AFF holiday parties. Judy has also enjoyed our barn cats wandering the property any time she came to the Farmhouse for Board Member meetings.
Even during the height of the pandemic, Judy made an effort to share the beauty of AFF by bringing her grandchildren on a tour of Hard Bargain Farm and recalls the farm animals running to the fence to greet them—happy to see children playing outdoors once again. Judy feels that one positive result of the pandemic is that many more people became aware of Accokeek, AFF, and The Piscataway National Park as a whole, in efforts to spend more time outside when indoor activities were not accessible.
Now retired, Judy enjoys preserving her historic home and visiting her two daughters in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. Judy enjoys spending time with family and friends by feasting on Maryland Blue Crabs with plenty of old bay, vinegar, and mallets in hand.
For Judy, becoming a member of AFF was “a natural thing, it was perfect. [Being a member] fits into everything we value.” For Alice Ferguson to recognize “the archeological importance of the area during a time where preserving land [for environmental conservation and education] was not a priority” is incredibly unique and special.
Judy hopes that more groups within the Mayone Community and surrounding Accokeek area will consider membership at AFF for bridging the connection between a sense of community and environmental education efforts.
Thank you Judy for your continued efforts in environmental advocacy in Southern Maryland!