Photo by PoPville flickr user nici161

Update from DPR:

“In the early spring, East Potomac suffered a structural failure which jeopardized the facility from opening this summer at all. DGS and DPR retained an engineer to provide an assessment of the structure who then made recommendations for a temporarily fix to safely get guests through the summer.

This facility is over 75 years old and with the current state of the infrastructure, it will take us longer than normal to properly winterize the building. If we do not take the time to winterize it properly, we risk a catastrophic failure and the facility being unusable for a very long time. We are all trying to avoid that. To ensure we have enough time to winterize it, the facility will close on September 30th which is still three weeks longer than most municipal pools on the east coast.”

A reader sends an update on the beloved East Potomac Park Pool:

“This is the infamous Fenty $50k heater pool. It really is a (albeit beat-up) gem. DPS abruptly closed it today and with apparent plans to demolish and rebuilt but with insufficient money to do so.”

OP also shares a detailed note from Council Member Brianne Nadeau: (more…)


Things I’ve walked by a thousand times and never actually checked out vol. 11 – Tregaron Conservancy:

“In a city of world famous and popular monuments, an under-the-radar 20-acre Country Place era estate on the edge of Rock Creek Park called Tregaron, was hands down the most popular destination in TCLF’s first ever What’s Out There Weekend, September 25-26.” (The Cultural Landscape Foundation October 2010 E-Newsletter) (more…)


From a press release:

“The 22nd annual National Public Lands Day will take place on Saturday, September 26. Rock Creek Conservancy, in collaboration with the Songbird Project and the National Park Service (NPS), will host a special volunteer cleanup event at Picnic Area #29 in the Piney Branch section of Rock Creek Park from 10:00 – noon. Community members will gather to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Rock Creek Park with brief remarks at 10:00, and then participate in the newly announced stewardship program. Rock Creek Conservancy and park supporters will then continue the celebrations at the 125th Anniversary Gala later that night.

At the event, Rock Creek Conservancy will announce a commitment to the improvement and beautification of Piney Branch for the entire community to enjoy. The event will also feature a special introduction from NPS Superintendent Tara Morrison, who will kick off the proceedings.  After, community members and volunteers will help remove invasive plant species; clear vines from trees, fences, and stone walls; and remove trash and litter.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Last year, more than 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at more than 2,100 public land sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This year, organizers are hoping for an even larger turnout, and Rock Creek Conservancy is proud to be part of this day of service.

Rock Creek Conservancy’s 125th Anniversary theme, Find Yourself in Rock Creek Park, offers an invitation for all to be inspired by and become engaged with the park. People interested in volunteering for the event can find out more information and sign-up on Rock Creek Conservancy’s website, rockcreekconservancy.org.”



From a press release:

“The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and D.C. Fire and EMS Department are joining forces to see if they can get at least 200 people to learn CPR skills in one day in the neighborhood during the Golden Triangle CPR Challenge.

Hands-Only CPR involves training people to administer CPR to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival, and “Stayin’ Alive” has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

The CPR Challenge will take place Fri., Sept. 18 from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. in Farragut Park at Connecticut Avenue and K Street with quick 20 minute sessions, open to all area workers and residents. The training is easy; people can just walk up without an appointment. The sessions will be part of the BID’s Farragut Fridays.

“We encourage everyone to take part in this training. Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Bystanders will never know when they may need to administer CPR,” says Dr. Jullette Saussy, medical director, D.C. Fire and EMS Department.”

From DDOT:

“PARK(ing) Day is returning to the District of Columbia on Friday, September 18, 2015, from 9 am to 4 pm. District residents and businesses put their creativity on display for last year’s event, building more than 20 pop-up parks in curbside parking spaces.”

parking day
Photo courtesy of Casey Trees

From a press release:

“A global tradition started in 2005, PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that brings community leaders, artists, and activists together to transform metered parking spaces into temporary parks. This year, spearheaded by the Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Washington Parks & People, and the DC Council, the event will convert all 13 Councilmember parking spots in front of the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW) to temporary parks on Friday, September 18 from 9:00AM-3:00PM. (more…)


A reader passes on a letter sent to a couple of DC government agencies:

“The PEPCO contractors responsible for cleaning up the mineral oil spill in Rock Creek appear to have left significant trash on both the north and south sides of Klingle Road between Beach Drive and Adams Mill Road.

I run every weekend down the south side of Klingle Road to enjoy Rock Creek, and since the contractors showed up I have noticed an increase in fresh plastic wrappers and plastic and aluminum beverage containers (water bottles, soda bottles, Red Bull cans, etc). I have tried to pick up some of the trash on my way home, but the trash is extensive.

Will the PEPCO contractors clean up after themselves before wrapping up their oil spill operations?

I picked up what I could fit in the bag I brought. The poorer quality photos are of some of the beverage bottles along the median or by the mural on the north side of Klingle, (across the active traffic lanes, so I didn’t go all the way across). The westbound portion of Klingle is where the Pepco contractors currently operate from, but during the first couple of days after the spill they had one lane on each side of Klingle, with at least a dozen contractors hanging out along the sidewalk.

This area definitely had a litter problem before the Pepco contractors showed up, and is overdue for a community clean-up. Not all of the trash along Klingle is from Pepco. But I strongly suspect that the workers are better at removing the mineral oil than their own trash, adding to the litter issue along this stretch of Rock Creek.”


Ed. Note: PoP-Ed. posts are received unsolicited. If you have an issue you’d like to discuss please email princeofpetworth@gmail.com

buzzard point marina

The following was written by Doug Siglin – Executive Director, Anacostia Waterfront Trust:

“The National Park Service announced last week that it plans to close the Buzzard Point Marina, on the Anacostia River near its confluence with the Potomac. The 58 people who have docked their boats at the marina’s slips, some for many years, are understandably dismayed.

What I found most interesting was the National Park Service’s comment, according to the < a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/buzzard-point-marina-to-close-in-december-after-half-a-century-of-use/2015/09/03/ef35c4c2-5288-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html" target="_Blank">Washington Post story, that it “will study other recreational opportunities on the Anacostia River.” I am cautiously optimistic that this is true, and that because of it, the closing of the marina ultimately might turn out to be a good thing.

In an era of shrinking appropriations from Congress, the National Park Service needs to conserve scarce funds and, the sad truth is, the Buzzard Point Marina is a casualty of these constraints. Fortunately, there is strong demand coming from the community for a new vision for the Anacostia Waterfront and broad support for improving access from the numerous organizations responsible for its administration.

As a person who has spent much of the last 20 years working in and around the Anacostia, I have experienced firsthand the need for kayaking, canoeing, rowing, sailing and other water based recreation on the river. While the loss of the Buzzard Point Marina may reduce these opportunities a little, it could also allow the National Park Service to redirect resources toward expanding water-based recreation upstream as part of the Anacostia Park experience.

I implore the National Park Service to use this opportunity to invest in the future of “upstream” communities near the Anacostia in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 by providing not only additional water recreation, but additional park-based recreation as well. Anacostia and Kenilworth Parks are huge, and not nearly as well programmed as they should be. Such a pledge could also spur action by others to finally address the lingering environmental problems preventing DC residents from swimming, fishing, boating, and playing in their own public backyard.

Legacy toxins from past industrial use, some carcinogenic, hide untreated in the riverbed, and each fresh rain washes tons of chemicals from roads, parking lots, and other hardscapes into the Anacostia. Unless these sources of pollution are finally addressed, and it will require the efforts of more than the National Park Service, then expanding recreation access will only go so far.

Now that we know Buzzard Point Marina will close in December, all of us who are committed to the future of the Anacostia Waterfront must redouble our efforts to create new ways for the community to engage with the river and complete the important environmental work that remains.”


“Dear PoPville,

After a long hiatus, I walked the trail off 17th St NW in Mt Pleasant by Rock Creek Parkway. I’m not sure what the park is called, but it’s a very well used area by joggers and dog owners in Mt Pleasant.

Over the weekend, I noticed that about a dozen trees or more have been tagged with graffiti and also maybe mutilated by knives. It was very disheartening to see a beautiful wooded area damaged by a bunch of punks. There have always been some sketchy elements hanging out there, but there was never any graffiti before. I went back a day or two later to walk my roommate’s dog, and I noticed that there was new graffiti as well – mostly new graffiti over the old ones.

I reported the graffiti using the DC 311 app. I have spoken with other users of the trail, so I know I’m not the only person who reported this. I believe the graffiti has been up for a few weeks.

I know there’s a crime wave in the city, and it makes me feel unsafe to walk this park. I think that the graffiti should be removed immediately and I’m hoping that the place is monitored by police.”

Ed. Note: I don’t necessarily think graffiti correlates with your safety (though I do think those, especially those who tag trees are jackwagons) but I also spotted this scene under a bridge in Rock Creek on Piney Branch Parkway that could be just kids but left me a little unsettled:


map via DOEE

Thanks to a reader for passing on the warning.

From DOEE:

“September 4, 2015—This morning, a team of inspectors from the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), National Park Service (NPS) and Pepco discovered a spill of insulating oil to Rock Creek along Beach Drive, immediately south of Klingle Road NW.

The source of the insulating oil spill is believed to be a leak in a Pepco transmission line. Pepco has isolated and contained the immediate spill area and is currently working to pinpoint the exact location of the leak and make repairs to the transmission line.

The insulating oil is classified as non-toxic. However, to ensure the health and safety of all park visitors, including pets, contact with this area of Rock Creek should be avoided until further notice.

DOEE, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue to monitor the situation and are coordinating with Pepco to ensure the spill is properly contained and remediated.”

The Washington Post reports:

“On Sunday, Sean Kelly, a Pepco spokesman, said that the source of the leak had been “clamped” but that repair work and environmental clean-up would continue for weeks.”