The Soil Connection
Outdoor education through regenerative agriculture, historic preservation, and sustainable land management
The 900-acre site consists of Grain Fields, Mixed Forest, and Wetlands along the Potomac River in Montgomery County, Maryland. The site is 45 minutes outside of Washington, DC and located at the edge of the Agricultural Reserve which is a designated land zoning set aside to preserve rural areas and historical farming culture. Within the property boundary there are multiple historic buildings remaining from when the area was operating as the Seneca Sandstone Company, providing building materials for public and private developments.
The location and surrounding context provide the opportunity to demonstrate Innovative Land Management practices for the area. Many of the properties are currently being passed down to a younger generation who don’t necessarily want to be farmers but would like to see the land used to benefit the environment and general public.
The Seneca Creek Quarry Park provides a demonstration for sustainable management by building Soil Health and restoring the Interconnectedness of productive agriculture and natural systems. Visitors will participate in an educational experience guiding them through the regenerative livestock pastures, mature forests, and past historic monuments from the Seneca sandstone Quarry. The design layout draws inspiration from the Mycelial Networks found in thriving soils. Often called the Wood Wide Web, this system of fungi and mycorrhizae connects plants and trees, transfers nutrients, and recycles resources. This concept is applied to the interactions between native forest and pastureland, looking at them as a Connected Holistic System. Rotational grazing will provide healthy soil and habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species to thrive in both forest and pasture.