The Nature Conservancy in Virginia and Maryland/DC Announces Fundraising Challenge for Local Runners to Help Chesapeake Bay

Top 20 fundraisers receive guaranteed entry to GW Parkway Classic on Earth Day April 22; money raised will help restore oyster reefs and other Chesapeake Bay habitats

ARLINGTON, VA | January 17, 2012

Today, The Nature Conservancy and Team Nature challenge area runners to run for the Chesapeake Bay and raise money to help plant millions of native baby oysters in sanctuaries. These sanctuaries not only help increase wild populations, but also help clean the Chesapeake’s waters and provide important nurseries and feeding grounds for rockfish and crabs. Over the past three years, the Conservancy and Pacers Events have raised funds to plant more than 10 million baby oysters in the Chesapeake. This year we are looking to do even more.

The top 20 fundraisers will earn a guaranteed spot in the GW Parkway Classic 10-miler—a popular race that always sells out early—on April 22, 2012. The top fundraiser also will win an exclusive two-night stay at our scenic Brownsville Preserve on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This getaway includes lodging in a beautiful historic home not open to the public and opportunities for guided tours of the preserve with Conservancy staff, or simply to enjoy peace and quiet by the water. 

“Runners can help us make great strides in restoring the Chesapeake Bay by raising money, reducing their carbon footprint, growing native plants and reducing pollution on their properties and supporting local stream cleanup efforts,” said Mark Bryer, director of the Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay Program. “It’s time to celebrate all the recreational opportunities, the wonderful seafood and the history of the Chesapeake Bay and give a little back.”

The Challenge
  1. Join Team Nature today and sign up with Crowdrise.
  2. Ask your friends and family for support via Facebook, twitter and other social media.
  3. Join Chesapeake Bay director Mark Bryer and other staff from The Nature Conservancy at the Pacers GW Parkway Classic 10-miler on April 22.
  1. Raise $150 and get a free Team Nature t-shirt.
  2. Our top 20 fundraisers by April 1 will receive guaranteed entry into the Pacers GW Parkway Classic 10-miler.
  3. Our top fundraiser by midnight on Thursday, April 19, will win an exclusive two-night stay at our scenic Brownsville Preserve on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. 

“Pacers is committed to bringing the best races to the DC area, and part of that commitment is making sure our races are some of the greenest around. Encouraging our runners to bring reusable water belts or bottles and recycling race day materials are some of the ways we are having a positive impact on the local environment,” said Kathy Dalby, managing partner of Pacers Events. “Doing our part for the Chesapeake Bay and the local trails we all love to run is important to us.”

Team Nature Green Tips
  • Run outside and get close to nature!
  • Reduce your Carbon Footprint: Start your run from home or work vs. driving.
  • Take public transportation or carpool to races.
  • Avoid excess paper and plastic: Sign up for races online and look for virtual goodie bags.
  • Use water belts or reusable water bottles.
  • Buy powdered sports drinks and mix your own — avoid waste from single-use bottles and save money!
  • Recycle your running shoes and gear.
  • Help maintain your local trail or preserve: Volunteer for the Conservancy in Maryland/DC or Virginia.
  • Recycle your running stories and green tips: Become a Facebook fan of the Conservancy in D.C., Maryland and Virginia! And tell us about your favorite trail run.


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Tom McCann

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