There's a special place in Maryland where students can dig in the dirt, take a hike, and catch an unbeatable glimpse of the Potomac. That place is Alice Ferguson Foundation's Hard Bargain Farm, which annually hosts thousands of K-8 students who interact with plants and animals about which many of them until now have only read. More than 8,000 students participate in Bridging the Watershed which takes students to national and state parks in the Potomac Watershed where they learn, hands-on, about how a watershed works and how to keep it clean. Another 10,000 volunteers participate in a day-long cleanup of the river as part of AFF's comprehensive Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. Each year, Alice Ferguson Foundation helps thousands of people connect with nature by milking a cow or cleaning a river bank. Won't you pitch in?

COVID-19 Update: AFF continues to engage students in environmental education and exploration through live online lessons. Teachers have 15 one-hour lessons to choose from including fish dissection, investigating water quality through the identification of pollution-sensitive macro invertebrates, understanding and identifying invasive plant species, learning about runoff and pollution, and more. Although virtual, students can still identify wiggly macro-invertebrates by counting the number of legs or tails they have, zoom into the tiny teeth of a fish during dissection, and discuss the details of a leaf or flower of an invasive plant.

Headquarters: MD-Prince George's County

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Statewide; VA-Statewide

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Students

Awards & Recognition

Department of the Interior Partners in Conservation Award 2010
Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce Green Business of the Year 2014
Listed on National Register of Historic Places 2014


  • 75 Tons of trash pulled from Potomac River wathershed
    Sat Apr 5 2008  
    Thousands of volunteers are pulling trash and recyclable items from the Potomac River watershed stretching from Virginia to Pennsylvania.

Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Alice Ferguson Foundation is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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