Our History

Chartered in 1949 as a women’s chapter, the membership of the Sligo Chapter, as it was originally known as, was primarily made up of the wives of members of the Wildlife Achievement Chapter, which was then located in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The ladies of the Chapter quickly adopted fighting litter and the education and involvement of children in conservation matters as their top priorities.  They were also actively involved in a wide array of concerns and activities, such as joining in the successful fight to prevent road construction along the C&O Canal and hosting fishing trips for disabled veterans.

In July of 1973, the Chapter was given a generous donation of 63.5 acres of beautiful rolling countryside in rural Gaithersburg, Maryland by Mrs. Lois Green, a conservationist in her own right.  In appreciation of this wonderful gift, the Chapter members voted to change its name to the Lois Green – Sligo Chapter.  Shortly after that, the Chapter voted to welcome men, into their ranks.

In 1980, the property grounds were dedicated as the Malcolm E. King Conservation Park, in recognition of “Mac” King, who’s untiring efforts were responsible for securing the donation of the Lois Green property.  Mac’s continued dedication as a conservationist led to many improvements of the property, which transformed the land into a laboratory of methods of land conservation.  Soil stabilization, water controls, tree planting and the construction of a one acre pond, all contributed to the health and vitality of the land and resident wildlife, while acting as a showcase of conservation methods to other organizations, agencies, and private landowners.

Chapter members have always been involved in a variety of conservation efforts.  In the early 1970’s, the Chapter assisted Mac King, then the Executive Secretary of the Maryland State Division of the Izaak Walton League, in establishing and implementing the “Save Our Streams, Adopt One” program.  This endeavor has since grown into a nation-wide effort to reclaim our streams, and to keep our waterways ecologically healthy.

In the past, the Chapter has focused on a variety of local conservation efforts, including participation in the Adopt-A-Road” program along Airpark Road in Gaithersburg, and metal recycling drive, which proceeds go toward purchasing nesting boxes for owls, bats, bluebirds, and other wildlife.  Currently, Chapter members are engaging the public to conserve rain water by harvesting it, and collecting seeds for the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources.  Today, much of the Chapter’s efforts, go to maintaining the wildlife oasis and conservation park that our property has become, ensuring that the original landscape and habitat of our corner of Montgomery County will never completely disappear, and supporting and participating in the League’s mission, as articulated in its pledge.

The annual National Convention is always attended by Chapter members, as was the 1964 convention in Davenport, Iowa.

Similar ideals led to endeavors with the Boy Scouts, as exhibited by this 1960 badge.

Some of the entries in a 1953 bird house building competition.
Early members plant vegetation to shore up a bank after new construction at the Chevy Chase School.