It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Le Etta McLaughlin Townsend, on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Le Etta was a former staff member of 25+ years, long-time member, and friendly neighbor of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Her presence will be missed incredibly around Hard Bargain Farm and Moyaone community.
Le Etta’s connection to the Foundation began in 1980, when she began working part-time as an environmental educator and also lending a hand in the office. She enjoyed working with students visiting for the day, especially those who feared being outside and watching them become at ease as they explored the world around them.
Le Etta also spent time here as the Capital Improvements Project Manager. She oversaw the digging of deep wells, burying electric lines, and the Living Building project in its infancy. In fact, Le Etta wrote the proposals for architects to take on the project.
In a recent interview, Le Etta shared some of her favorite memories around the Farm, which included making friends with staff members, lending a hand at special events like Oktoberfest and Spring Farm Festival, taking an annual staff trip to new places around the region, gardening with Fergie’s Gardeners, and of course the admiring the view from the Ferguson Farmhouse.
Her countless contributions and unwavering support of our work in environmental education made a lasting impact on our Foundation today.
Le Etta is survived by her two children, Anne Rose (Robert) of Annapolis, MD and Bill Townsend of Accokeek, MD. Following in the footsteps of his mom, Bill is a part of the Foundation staff as Farm Manager, bird enthusiast, and educator.
A memorial service will be held at Foundry United Methodist Church, in Washington, DC, on Sunday, April 23 at 1:30 p.m. View Le Etta’s obituary here.
You can also read more from our interview with Le Etta here.