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Our Team. ​

Our Team of dedicated professional and community members ...................................

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Joanne Flynn

Joanne is a 32-year resident of the Black Swamp Creek Watershed and a founding member of the Black Swamp Creek Land Trust. Joanne and husband Nick have traveled locally and internationally performing The Nicolo Whimsey Show for children and families.


Joanne is a graduate of Cornell University. She serves on the board of Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association. As an avid equestrian she enjoys trail riding and hopes to get her donkeys to work. Joanne is a proponent of safe trails and byways for walkers, bikers, and equestrians.  


She has become active in implementing County plans for rural preservation, opposing toxic and polluting industries and sprawl development in the community.

She helped create the Land Trust to be proactive in protecting historic and working landscapes along with a healthy and economically viable rural community.


Joanne and Nick have placed their farm under conservation easement with the County’s Historic Agricultural Resource Program (HARP).


Joanne restored the Black Swamp School working with PGCo historic property grant program and local craftspeople. She envisions a rural arts district in the neighborhood.

Ross Williams 

Growing up in Temple Hills, Md. in the 70's and 80's, Ross was lucky to have a patch of woods nearby to explore and several creeks to wander where he discovered fish, crayfish, and frogs. Looking back, these experiences helped shape his path in life. He chose to study Natural Resources Management at University of Maryland and received a B.S. degree.

Currently Ross works for Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services. Working in this field for 30 years, it is clear that trees and wild landscapes are key to clean, healthy water that fish and all aquatic animals need to survive--and all of us as well. 

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Claire Gerhard

Claire is a relatively new member of the Baden/Brandywine community who has been a city dweller most of her life (New York, Seattle, Washington). Learning about Southern Maryland’s waterways and history has connected her to preservation initiatives in the area and to working towards making this green skirt of Prince George’s county a balanced green space where trees, animals and people can each have the clean space and quietude needed to thrive together. She lives in the Black Swamp Creek area and was asked to join the Board in 2021 after being involved with the successful campaign to stop the power plant scheduled to be built in Brandywine proper. She runs an art conservation and appraisal business from her home in Baden. Her daughter is the CEO of the Save the Boundary Waters Campaign, an organization based in northern Minnesota fighting against copper sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters watershed. Watershed issues connect us all!

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Rich Dolesh

Rich Dolesh has had a personal and professional dedication to conservation and parks during his nearly five-decade career beginning in 1972 at the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission as a park naturalist through progressively responsible positions ending as Chief of the Natural and Historical Resources Division in 1999. In 1999, he was appointed as Director of the Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in 1999, serving till 2002, when he began work for the National Recreation and Park Association where he served in positions including the Chief of Public Policy and Vice President for Conservation and Parks, retiring in 2020 as the Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives for NRPA.


Rich is a current member and former chair of the Conservation Committee of the Maryland Ornithological Society and serves on the boards of the Patuxent Riverkeeper, the Black Swamp Creek Land Trust, and the Park and Resources Conservation Foundation. He has been a long-time member of the board of directors of the Friends of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, MD, and is currently chair of the board of the directors.


Rich writes extensively about conservation, parks and recreation, and nature and has written articles appearing in National Geographic Magazine, The Washington Post, and NRPA’s national publication, Parks and Recreation Magazine. He was awarded the Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medal by the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration in national recognition of his service to parks and conservation in 2019.

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Peggy Keller, MPH, CPM  

Background in Environmental Public Health and Public Health Emergency Preparedness.  Previously served as Director of Environmental Public Health and Director of Emergency Preparedness and Resilience in DC Department of Health.  Special expertise in Climate Change science and Health, Environmental Justice, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, Racial Equity and animal welfare and animal rights.  Climate change professional who vigorously supports protecting public health and the environment and reducing risks due to climate change. 


Currently CEO of HealthBest Services, Inc, a minority and disability owned management and consulting entity that provides emergency preparedness planning and training support to agencies and the community in order to protect public health and safety, mitigate risks and increase resilience. 


Serves as American Public Health Association (APHA) lead for the Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Topic Group and a founding member of the Lake County Democratic Environment Caucus of Florida. 


Appointed by DC Mayor to serve as a Commissioner on the DC Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency as the Public Health Subject Matter Expert.

New Board Members Welcome 
Please Join Us 

Looking for new board members who want to serve in order to protect the ecology & environment and decrease negative health impacts.    

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Join Our Team
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