About Us

Our Vision
The Muddy Branch Alliance’s vision is for the surrounding streams, lakes, forests and parks to be teeming with life, safe for families, pets and wildlife to enjoy and to have a community connected to preserving the area’s intrinsic beauty.

Our Mission
Our goal is to protect the vulnerable natural environment that surrounds this stream, the Muddy Branch. From Gaithersburg, through North Potomac and eventually to the Potomac River, we want to ensure that the natural spaces in our area flourish into the future. As stewards of the Muddy Branch Watershed, we are committed to maintaining its’ water quality, natural habitat and ecological well-being. We do this by bringing neighbors together to build awareness, improve its natural habitat, and enhance the community’s enjoyment of the many creeks and streams within the watershed.

Our Neighbors  
The Muddy Branch watershed is bordered on the north by Seneca Creek, and on the south By Watts Branch.    We work closely with our sister organizations in both watersheds, Seneca Creek Watershed Partners and Watts Branch Watershed Alliance.

The Board
The Muddy Branch Alliance started in 2011 as an all volunteer group of concerned citizens. The Muddy Branch Alliance counts on the participation of citizens who share our vision. Please support us by volunteering at an activity, by attending a meeting or through financial donation. We don’t have a budget for any staffing and count on our volunteer members and board to achieve results.

Tracy Rouleau
Ms. Rouleau focuses on getting the community out to enjoy the stream and improving water quality through local stream monitoring and policy efforts in Montgomery County. She is the lead for our annual summer paddle on the Potomac, and encourages local students to participate in stewardship events. She is the Co-Chair of the Montgomery County Water Quality Advisory Group, and works with a local policy advocacy group, Stormwater Partners, to advance the adoption of natural infrastructure (Green Streets and raingardens) across the County. She enjoys walks along the trail with her two sons and her dog. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Katie Lucas
Vice President
Ms. Lucas enjoys walking the Muddy Branch with her son and husband, and organizing activities to raise awareness of the local watershed with her neighbors. Born and raised in Chesterfield, Virginia, Katie grew up exploring the woods and park lands behind her house as a child and was thrilled to find the same experience for her son upon moving to the Lakelands in 2016. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Katie is a Federal consultant specializing in data analytics and project management since 2006. [Term expires 5/1/2019]
Sandy Doveikis
Ms. Doveikis has been very involved with the Frog Watch program and has adopted the Lakelands site at Lake Shiela. She is also very active in the C&O Canal trail program. She has been active in funding requests and work on the Epworth project in Gaithersburg. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Frank Webert
Frank has been involved in maintaining the trails, picking up trash, working with the weed warriors and enjoying the beauty of the local streams and parks. Performing the role of Treasurer allows him to use his financial skills and provide valuable support to the Alliance. [Term expires 5/1/2019]
Meredith Strider
Meredith provides good advice based on her experience working for the City of Gaithersburg as Environmental Project Coordinator. Gaithersburg supports a healthy, productive environment with clean air and clean water. The role of Gaithersburg's environmental program is to understand environmental concerns, develop strategies, and make decisions consistent with the City's Mission and Strategic Plan that protect and enhance our environmental resources. She currently is leading out various Trash Pickup Initiatives. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Merikay Smith
Merikay is our tree project leader and chair of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Speaker Bureau and serves on the MCMG Board. She gardens in Darnestown on two acres with her family. Merikay has planted 80+ trees and many hundreds of native shrubs and perennials on her own property in an effort to replace extensive lawn with a more sustainable, creature friendly habitat. Her experience is the basis of her "Less Lawn, More Life with Native Plants" presentation given through the Speaker Bureau. Merikay sees the planting of native trees in watersheds as essential to improving water and habitat quality. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Lorie Coston
Lorie is an active birder and maintains bluebird houses in the watershed, and has been involved in our work with placing wood duck nesting boxes along the Muddy Branch. [Term expires 5/1/2019]
Jennie Howland
Ms. Howland has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland. She has volunteered for the Sierra Club on legislative initiatives in addition to her work with forming our organization. She currently works at Starbucks. She brings a lot of energy to the group and has led our trash pickup initiatives, a leadership role in education outreach and in demonstration projects. In recognition of her work, she was honored with Green Gaithersburg's "Environmentalist of the Month" in 2012. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Paul Hlavinka
Paul has a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland and works in the environmental field. As an avid sailer, he has a personal interest in the health of the Chesapeake Bay. He has been active in many environmental organizations including Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Chesapeake Water Environment Association. He has also served in leadership with several churches and is very excited to work with several faith based groups within the watershed. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Pete Darmody
Peter grew up along the banks of the Northwest Branch (Stream Valley Park/Rachel Carson Park) in Silver Spring MD—hiked and played there extensively. He loves water in all forms! He has worked as summer and temporary intern at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton MD (MNCPPC park). Currently (since 1978) Project management (specifically CPM scheduling) for a construction program. He has lived in the Muddy Branch watershed/ Seneca Creek divide (Kentlands) since 1993. He majored in Ornamental Horticulture, minored in Geography with coursework: Meteorology, Soil Science, Landscape Architecture and received his BS from UMD College Park. His interests include Gardening, Running, Railroad Transportation, Bicycling, Moderate kayaking, History and Hiking especially streams and the Potomac. [Term expires 5/1/2018]
Laurie-Anne Sayles
Born and raised in Maryland, Laurie-Anne Sayles lives in Gaithersburg, MD with her husband Julian Haffner, Esquire and their 15-year-old daughter Mikaylah a rising junior at Gaithersburg High School. Laurie-Anne earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland School of Public Health and went on to earn a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore School of Public Affairs. She previously worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the National Institutes of Health. Before she came to the NIH, she spent three years as a Public Policy Fellow with the Schaefer Center for Public Policy working on a wide range of state and local policy issues ranging from preventing health disparities to tax policy reform. Sayles has sought opportunities to work with residents and stakeholders to improve community input and to ensure residents play an integral role in decision-making that affects the community. Laurie-Anne works with the Muddy Branch Alliance to raise awareness among residents about environmental issues. [Term expires 5/1/2019]
Toni Bailey
Landscape Designer
We are fortunate to work with Toni as a consultant for most of our Demonstration Projects. She is a graduate of the Landscape Design program at George Washington University and in 2008 completed a Master’s degree in Landscape Design at GW, with a concentration on sustainable landscape design.
Bragi Valgeirsson
Mr. Valgeirsson has a passion for land use issues in the watershed. He currently works for a services provider for printer and other IT services to the federal government. In addition to holding the fiscal controls, he brings experience in web development to the organization.

Wall of Honor
Becky Curtis, Larry Speicher, Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin, Mike Honig, Rhoda Shulman, Cynthia Pansing, Julie Gilson, Michelle Cooper, Eileen Conley, Leah Miller – Past Directors and Founding Member.
Quintint Nguyen (2016-2018) – Mapping the trail
Sajan Mistry and Jack Beautz (2015) – Trail awareness
Courtney Watson (2015) – Invasive awareness through Art
Chantal Agnew (2014) – Water Quality Monitoring
Tamara Heiselmeyer (2012/2013) – Volunteer Engagement
Alice Wu (2013) – Engagement of Youth
Amanda Tritinger (Summer Intern 2012) – Tree Initiative
Cally Deppen (Summer Intern 2012) – Tree Initiative
Mark Adams (Intern 2012/2013) – Stream Monitoring
Nicole Conden (Intern 2012) – Tree Initiative and Storm Drain Marking

We do provide opportunities for interns to gain experience in the environmental sciences.

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