We’re excited to introduce our monthly Member Moment, featuring the wonderful members of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Kicking off this new spotlight is Mary Lee Phelps, a longtime resident of the Moyaone community. Enjoy!
Mary Lee and her husband, Harold, moved to the Moyaone community in 2000. Shortly after getting settled in, they became involved with the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Harold served as the Treasurer on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, while Mary Lee took part in Fergie’s Gardeners and the Historical and Preservation Committee. Some of her favorite memories of Hard Bargain Farm include the garden party fundraisers with other local garden clubs.
When asked why she became a member of the Alice Ferguson Foundation, Mary Lee responded, “Living here you feel you need to be a part of this wonderful program and what it teaches children.” During her time as an eighth grade teacher she recalls the fun she had taking students for their own outdoor education experiences and how rewarding it is for them to discover the natural world.
Along with understanding the importance of our educational work, Mary Lee also has a fascination and appreciation for the cultural heritage aspect of the Foundation. “What the Ferguson’s did for the people of Accokeek during the depression, like building the Moyaone and creating a community around them is captivating.” Mary Lee had a hand in putting together the art exhibit of Alice’s artwork and writing “Adventures in Southern Maryland – Alice L.L. Ferguson” in the book Alice L.L. and Henry G. Ferguson at Hard Bargain Farm.
Mary Lee taught eighth grade for eleven years, as well as holding roles with special education and administration in Montgomery County, Maryland. Today, she is enjoying retirement by gardening in the Moyaone garden, serving as a member of the fundraising committee for the Moyaone Association and volunteering with the Accokeek Artist Alliance at their art shows.
Thinking about the future of the Alice Ferguson Foundation, Mary Lee hopes to see it continue to grow to serve more students and create opportunities for people to enjoy the beautiful environment. “This place is too special to not be shared.”
Thank you Mary Lee and Harold for your continued support of the Alice Ferguson Foundation!