The Anacostia Has New Friends Up the CCRIC

Newsletter of the Anacostia Watershed Society, Spring 1999

Residents of Greenbelt, College Park, and Berwyn Heights have created Citizens to Conserve and Restore Indian Creek (CCRIC) to oppose a massive development on the forested floodplain and wetlands of Indian Creek at the Greenbelt Metro station.

Indian Creek is a major tributary of the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. The new group, formed in February, has already gotten a great deal of press coverage. The Georgetown University Law Center's Institute for Public Representation, which helped to defeat development of Chapman's Forest and the Barney Circle Freeway, agreed in March to assist CCRIC in efforts to protect the site.

Metroland Developers, LLC, hope to build an upscale mall, office buildings, and residential complex on 240 acres straddling the creek that include 130 acres of mature southern floodplain forest, the last unchannelized stretch of Indian Creek inside the Beltway, as well as disturbed industrial and gravel mining areas, and the Greenbelt Metro station parking lot. The site concept Metroland revealed last October would channelize the creek and replace the floodplain forest with an artificial lake. CCRIC contends that the health of the Anacostia River depends on protecting all remaining healthy habitats in the watershed from development and restoring filled wetlands and floodplains to their original function. CCRIC would like to see the entire tract permanently protected as a park with cultural and environmental education programs, a pathless core nature preserve, and a showcase wetland restoration program on the pre-regulation mining area.

Metroland's attorney and spokesman, Chip Reed, has shared little information about current plans, and in a March 16 [1999] College Park City Council work session he would not agree to a request by the Mayor to show the development proposal to the Council before they file it with the Prince George's County Planning Board.

The Sierra Club sponsored a well attended stream walk on March 20 [1999] and a CCRIC stream cleanup held as part of the Potomac Watershed Cleanup introduced 67 volunteers to Indian Creek and removed heaps of trash. The Greenbelt City Council warmly received CCRIC's testimony and requested a work session with CCRIC after Lowell Owens and chairwoman Kate Spencer presented traffic and environmental arguments against development on March 22nd [1999]. Several CCRIC supporters spoke at the Commission 2000 hearings on March 30 [1999], and members are engaged in a letter-writing campaign to educate representatives and regulators about the importance of protecting Indian Creek from destruction.

For information on how to help by writing letters or to learn more about Indian Creek, call CCRIC at 301-441-3844 or visit