Meridian Hill Park – Completely Closed or Not?

Photo of Meridian Hill Park by muddyboots

On @PoPville – @TeamWetDog tweets us:

“funny seeing park police clear out Meridian early this morning and then seeing it full of strollers an hour later.”

@JohnFSettlesII replies:

“They ran off the dog walkers this morning. The moms have better lookouts 🙂 “

29 Comment

  • saw tons of people up there yesterday – their blockade of the park is laughable

  • It is laughable to think about closing an open-space, urban park.

    However, be nice to the Park Police. They are just doing what they are ordered to do.


  • Yeah – police were also patrolling the parking lots of RCP to kick people out. Totally nuts that they are spending lots more money in having police patrols for this then has EVER been spent on routine patrolling.

    Some of the parking lots in RCP now have concrete barriers. The lot for the Melvin Hazen trail did not have a barricade, but squad cars were hanging out – (extra crazy spendy!!!)

    You can however still access all the trails on foot. (Melvin Hazen has an entrance on Conn. Ave. just 1 block north of Cleveland Park metro.)

    As Woodie Guthrie put it in “This Land Is Your Land.”

    Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
    A sign was painted said: Private Property,
    But on the back side it didn’t say nothing —
    This land was made for you and me.

    • It was a lovely bike commute this a.m. on Beach Drive portions that are closed. Please post if police are going after bikes now too! I’ve got a 15 mile ride home and can’t do it without riding on Beach Drive.

  • Huh. I got a pleasant “good morning” from a park police officer in Meridian Hill park today. Maybe they’re only cleaning it out once an hour? Or maybe he thought I was cute? yeah, that’s probably it.

  • Cripes, I didn’t even think about the park next to my place! Been too busy.

  • The more things that are closed, the more people will be pissed. I know that I will be contacting my non-voting delegate to Congress about this! Oops – doesn’t matter. She has practically no say-so in what’s happening.

  • I was at Meridian with the dogs last night at 7:00 and again this morning around 7:45 – definitely less crowded than usual, but there were still plenty of people there.

  • We host the historic drum circle on sundays and we are wondering if we are gonna be able to get some drumming in on sunday.
    Many of us are willing to maintain the park area for trash and we seldom need security.
    But I hear our permit means nothing until the park service is reopen.
    So this is going to be a very interesting weekend.
    It would be nice if we could get the city reps to reach out to the Park Police and ask them for some leave way for sundays…
    Because people are still trying to come and play.

    Maybe someone should talk to the local park police and see if they can cut us some slack?


    • Drumming = free speech! “Closed” parks allow for that.

      • if approached, state you are there for a first amendment assembly in response to the closure of parks

        DC Code § 5-331.03 defines a 1st amendment assembly. be chill and dont be dicks
        DC Code § 5-331.07(f) states that police response to unpermitted assembly must be handled the same as a permitted one.

        I dont feel like looking up the relevant dc regs stuff. but blah. should be ok as long as you leave if asked

  • The Park Police and their management should stay out of the poltics of this situation. Closing down parks like this and the open air monments is just pure political theater. I would have a lot more respect for that agency if they actually did their job of actively patrolling the Parks when there is no political crisis. Let me guess next they ae going to close down the BW Parkway for the same rationale. Park Police your management and enforcement is just making you look like partisan fools.

    • “The Park Police and their management should stay out of the poltics of this situation.”

      Yes. This is the fault of the park police. They should break the law and risk being fired and/or arrested so that you can play hipster olympics in the park. Yes..

      • hipster olympics? did you mean hippie? if it were hipster, there’d be a tattoo station, craft beer tasting, skinny pants 3-legged race, and a obscure reference competition.

    • I’ve heard that some roads in Rock Creek Park have been closed, but surprisingly, they’re still reversing the lanes of the Parkway twice a day. Seems pointless, considering the much lighter than usual rush hour.

  • This theater is just draining more money…none of the monuments, etc. were blocked off during the shutdown of 95-96…I realize the park police are just following orders but the orders are ridiculous…

  • The playgrounds on the Hill are all closed too. They have padlocks on all the gates.

  • If the park police won’t allow the drum circle to go down on sunday…move it to John Boehner’s lawn. That’ll show ’em.

  • If something bad happens in any of these parks, why do I think that there would be a hue & cry that” they should have closed the parks” ?

  • Can someone please give me a rational explanation as to why open air monuments and parks are being shut down due to the government closing? Other than “those are the orders.” Yes, I understand that and know the park police are just doing their jobs but WHY was it ordered in the first place?

  • My wedding is Oct 12 at Meridian Hill Park, never thought this would be an obstacle to our wedding. The fiance and I are going to scope out the feasability of having it if its still ‘closed’ next weekend. His granparents aren’t super mobile, and while we are all for making a statment, are worried about their ability to enjoy our ceremony.

    • The National Cathedral is offering to host displaced weddings in their garden. Check out the article in DCist today. Really, while it would make for an awesome story, you don’t want to deal with everyone getting arrested for trespassing.

      • Thanks! I saw that too. We’re really hoping for a resolution, if not, luckily we’re getting legally married beforehand.

        There are a lot of different parks in the region that might be suitable stand its, but sadly none will be as special to us as Meridian Hill!

    • My wedding is Oct. 15th at Meridian Hill Park! Have you found a good alternative location or are you pushing through with Meridian?

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