The mission of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is to educate and mobilize people and resources to preserve and restore the lands and waterways of the Gunpowder watershed.

Celebrating 30 Years of Caring for the Gunpowder

In honor of the GVC's 30th anniversary, we assembled timeline posters with highlights from our history. We hope you enjoy seeing how we have grown over the years!

Click here to view the GVC Timeline posters

History and Information

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, founded in 1989, values the beauty and bounty of the land and waterways in the Gunpowder watershed. Protecting the planet includes stewarding the ground beneath our feet and our precious waterways. Our approach - by preserving land, we help protect waterways; by maintaining waterways, we better foster land. 

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is a non-profit organization which works as a land trust and a waterway restoration organization. Volunteers are the key to our success.  We work with residents and volunteers to care for the entire Gunpowder watershed system by providing them with an array of stewardship opportunities.

Waterway Restoration, Land Preservation, and Educational Programs

Crossing the Piedmont Plateau and both Western and Eastern Coastal Plains, the Gunpowder watershed stretches southeast. Draining some 500 square miles from its starting point in lower York County, PA, it sweeps through pastoral and densely populated spaces in portions of Maryland’s Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties before reaching the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Marylea Farm

The Gunpowder watershed is home to woodland creatures and coastal crustaceans, wildflower fields and sidewalk grasses; contains fresh water streams and tidal wetlands; and feeds two reservoirs– Prettyboy and Loch Raven—which supply the Baltimore metro area with the majority of its water supply.

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy protects and maintains this rich diversity of land and water resources through a dual emphasis on land preservation and waterway restoration.

We hope you will explore our website to learn more about our easement opportunities, restoration projects and educational programs!





“We want to be able to swim with our dogs in the bay without worry of what harm it might do to us or them.”

- Bob Neverly and Ernie Ritchey, Volunteer community stewards for Clear Creeks Project

“It’s not something we have to wait for the county or state to handle. We can make the planet better on our own.”
- Dan Doerfer, one of 72 volunteers who removed 4.5 tons of trash from Middle River Headwaters in 2013