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The Little Falls Watershed Alliance is committed to restoring the water quality, natural habitat, and ecological well-being of the Little Falls Watershed by bringing neighbors together to build awareness, improve natural habitat, protect our community's heritage, and enchance the community's enjoyment of the many creeks in the watershed.
The Little Falls Watershed is located in the southwest corner of Montgomery County in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, MD, and in a portion of the northwest section of the District of Columbia. The waterways of the watershed consist of the Willet, Little Falls and Minnehaha Branches (sometimes referred to below as creeks), several smaller tributaries, and an extensive system of urban/suburban storm sewers that feed into them. The Willet Branch flows into the Little Falls Branch, which continues to the Potomac River. The Minnehaha Branch flows into the Potomac to the north of the Little Falls Branch.
Within the watershed are the commercial districts of the Bethesda Central Business District, Friendship Heights, Westwood Centers I and II, and stores along River Road near the Kenwood neighborhood. Two country clubs, Kenwood and Chevy Chase, are located in the watershed with the latter containing one of the headwaters that flows into the Little Falls Branch. In the Montgomery County portion of the watershed is the Little Falls Stream Valley Park, which is under the jurisdiction of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). With the exception of some much smaller parks, schools, and houses of worship, the remainder of the watershed consists of residential housing, including high-rise and low-rise buildings and single family houses. Development began in earnest in the late 1940s. The trees and shrubbery in these neighborhoods are typically old and dense.
The property within the watershed has become ever more valuable due to good schools, the proximity to shopping and entertainment facilities, and the presence of subway stations along the red line of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's railway system. In an effort to encourage the use of mass transit, Montgomery County has designated much of the watershed for high-density development. New construction of high-rise commercial and residential buildings has grown apace. Many older, single-family homes have been supplanted by larger houses.
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