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The mission of the Friends of Peirce Mill (FOPM) is to maintain the mill in working condition, provide innovative programming for students and other visitors, and work with the National Park Service to insure the mill remains a prominent site in Rock Creek National Park.
FOPM was founded in 1997 to restore to operating condition the last remaining mill in Washington D.C. The 200-year-old water-powered mill, long a popular community destination, broke down in 1993, and faced an uncertain future because the National Park Service had no restoration funds. FOPM led a $3 million restoration campaign that resulted in the reopening in October, 2011.
With the mill grinding grain again, FOPM is now co-managing the site with the National Park Service, and recently began an education program that brings District elementary schoolchildren to the mill for curriculum-based lessons on waterpower, gravity, simple machines, and nutrition. FOPM has also planted the first apple trees in a revival of the Peirce family orchard, a demonstration project that again will involve schoolchildren learning about the life cycle of the apple tree and the nutritional value of the fruit.
Peirce Mill is one of the few sites in Washington that actually re-creates an authentic experience of industrial Washington in the 19 th century.
- Steve Dryden
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