The 5pm Post – Take a Survey About the Arboretum

Photo by PoPville flickr user n0rbert.

From an email:

Take a survey being conducted by the US National Arboretum. It is a chance for DC area residents to weigh in on the future of the 446 acre public space. This information will be used in the strategic planning for the future of the Arboretum. So if anyone wants to see bikeshare there or segways or cafes or concerts or a classical Chinese Garden there, here’s a chance to be heard.”

You can take the survey here.

19 Comment

  • allow doggies!

  • Dogs are def allowed in there on leashes

  • idea: have DC build new leash-free arboretums in gentrifying areas.

  • I like that they’re asking our opinion, but this is a horribly designed survey that focuses on the wrong stuff, especially if they’re concerned about catering to DC residents.

    • Agreed – I’m not sure how my responses on this survey will help them in any way.

    • +1 I took half the survey before clicking the red x

      • +1 – very poor survey, but each question does have a comment box so I just kept entering the same suggestion. Make the place more accessible to those without cars! Right now it is very difficult to get there on public transportation, and impossible to get around inside without a car or walking 10 miles. Definitely should at least have bikes and a circulating hop-on-off tram.

    • I agree that the survey was meandering and will be ineffective. But what they are really getting at is how are they going to deal with their huge financial problems as funds are cut (remember – they almost removed the azaleas last year because the plants were so expensive to maintain, then at the last minute a donor stepped up). The Arboretum’s mission is not to be a park for everyone’s enjoyment but as a conservatory of national stature. We are lucky to have it in any form – and they are testing the waters to commercialize it for funding purposes.

    • The Arboretum is a research institution run by the Agricultural Research Service not a DC park. As such they are concerned about comments from the research community, which is why the questions were designed as such. Nevertheless, they are part of the federal government and open their doors to the public. Most of my comments were about better public education efforts which ARS does a poor job of at the Arboretum. This is mostly due to a lack of resources so sceintists stick with thier strengths as a germplasm resository and breeding facility.

  • They seriously need to change their hours of operation (at least during the summer when the days are much longer). People with normal jobs and things to get done on the weekend are hard pressed to take advantage. Hell you might as well forget it if you have two jobs. I live not to far at all and I find it very hard to enjoy it based on the hours the hours of operation.

  • i really hope they dont commercialize it too much. no real concessions, no public event facilities. the best part of that place to me is that you can go there and feel a million miles away, all while in the city.

  • I think the questions don’t make a ton of sense to responders because they are probably trying to figure out where to ask for money, how to staff the various initiatives they do (some of which are not seen by the public but have major effect, such as plant introductions), and whether people are comfortable with USNA seeming much more corporate-friendly and less like a full-on government institution.

  • Nevermind the survey, I’m just excited that they are apparently growing corndog plants at the National Arboretum!!!

    • well, the plant is at least edible if you cook it the right way…

    • saf

      Have you not seen cattails before? (Or. as my husband inexplicably calls them, punks.)

      • Nicknames for the common cattail – cat-o-nine tails, cattail flag, blackamoor, candlewick, water torch, bulrush, punks, corndog grass, reedmace, Cooper’s reed, Cossack asparagus

        Note a “punk” is also a smoldering stick used to light fireworks, and they resemble cattails.

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