Partner Spotlight: Friends of Sligo Creek

Friends of Sligo Creek (FoSC) is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to protecting, improving, and appreciating the ecological health of Sligo Creek Park and its surrounding watershed.

“It’s really great to get local communities involved and engaged and raising awareness and what they can do to help protect (the creek).” Corinne Stephens, current FoSC President

After speaking with the former and current President of Friends of Sligo Creek, one thing is clear: Sligo weaves our community together. Kit Gage, the former President turned to “putting my hands in the dirt” after 9/11 and switched careers from Civil Liberties work to horticulture in 2005.  Always an advocate for more plantings and less paving, she enjoyed the Creek as part of her neighborhood and community.  She was asked to join and lead the board in 2014.  She welcomed it, particularly as a distraction from her recent breast cancer diagnosis.  After three years serving she passed the torch to Corinne Stephens, who has led the organization most recently.   

It really is striking – we have this thin waterway that winds its way up and down through our major roads and neighborhoods – a skinny little creek not protected by massive parkland or tree cover, vulnerable to erosion, yet it is a part of so many people’s lives.  Maybe it’s a place where you go and picnic. Maybe it’s where you ride your bike or go for a jog. Maybe it’s a place where you throw rocks with your kids and wade on the rocky beaches.  Maybe it’s where you practice balance by crossing on a fallen tree.  Maybe it’s where you see herons and deer.  Maybe it’s where you find quiet and solace. It doesn’t matter how Sligo matters to you – it can be your own place, creating its own magic.  Gage acknowledged, “The people that live next to it and live near it just get calm and solace and pleasure from it. There’s so much observing and learning in being around it.”

“For a lot of people, it’s part of their home. It’s their neighborhood and their solace.  It’s their fun. I think to some extent people think of it as their responsibility.” – Kit Gage, former FoSC President

Sligo’s tiny but mighty claim to fame also applies to community outreach.  There are free classes advertise on the kiosks located along the trails.   “There is some amazing group work being done – particularly for a completely volunteer-run organization,” Stephens mentions.  

FoSC has many different committees if you are interested in becoming a bigger part of helping Sligo.  There is water quality, stormwater, outreach and natural history.  Donations are always accepted. It helps FoSC do their good work and offset costs like their new and more easily navigable website they hope to launch soon.  Donations are also essential to fund conservation, clean-up, and education.  Gage put it succinctly when she said, “we always need money and sweat”.  Finally,  JOIN Friends of Sligo Creek – participate in the creek clean up or sign up for the newsletter so you can see when other events are taking place! Let’s help keep Sligo Creek clean and beautiful so all of our community can continue to enjoy its place in our lives.