Washington, DC

Above: Boulder Bridge spans Rock Creek in Rock Creek Park. For many DC residents, this urban oasis provides a natural respite from the city. However, high bacteria levels from raw sewage and stormwater runoff challenge the health of the creek to the surprise of many visitors. Photo credit: Rock Creek Conservancy | Katy Cain

Recently, a Washington Post article confirmed what Rock Creek Conservancy has long known: there is a lot of work to be done to restore Rock Creek. While significant infrastructure upgrades and federal and local funding have been invested in the Anacostia watershed, the Rock Creek watershed remains in need of assistance.

A Tale of Two Sewers

The volunteer-driven bacteria monitoring project provides practical, week-by-week insights into high levels of bacteria in Rock Creek. So, where does all of this bacteria come from? Read More


From the DC Department of Energy and Environment:

“Your chance to see what fish might bite under moonlight!

Join DC’s Department of Energy & Environment, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and FishingCommunity.org for an evening of fishing along the Tidal Basin!

Thursday, August 22
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This event is free to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user C JRCook

Ed. Note: Stay tuned for details on the coming doggie day swim.

From DPR:

“The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has released the outdoor aquatic facilities closure schedule for the 2019 summer season.

Outdoor pools will close in waves beginning on Sunday, August 11, 2019. Pools will close for the season at 6 p.m. on their respective Sundays; with the exception of Banneker Pool, Francis Pool, Langdon Park Pool, Oxon Run Pool, and Rosedale Pool, which will close 6 p.m. on Monday, September 2, 2019 (Labor Day). Read More


Photo Ian Jannetta

Thanks to Ian for sending Sunday:

“Anyone lose a chicken in Rock Creek Park? @ Melvin C Hazen Trail.”

If you spot a hawk or any interesting wildlife around town, lunching or otherwise, and get a good photo please send where you spotted it to [email protected] and I’ll add it to the queue. Hawks around Town is made possible by a generous grant from the Friends of the White Whale Society.


Jelani White reflects on his time spent in Rock Creek Park growing up in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Rock Creek Conservancy | Katy Cain

“Sometimes, I say to myself that I must have been born in the wrong geographical setting. My circumstances would tell anyone that I’m a city boy, but my mental focus says that I am, in essence, a kid of the wilderness and high mountain tops. Growing up, Rock Creek provided the wilderness I needed.”

For the fifth summer in a row, Rock Creek Conservancy is cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards through Rock Creek Conservation Corps (RC3)! This program employs DC high school students from communities underrepresented in conservation to work. These students work with Rock Creek Conservancy to complete critical conservation projects in nearby nature throughout the Rock Creek watershed. This is RC3’s first summer in partnership with  DC’s Mayor Marion S. Berry Summer Youth Employment Program.

Over the past four summers, 120 crew members have graduated from RC3, leaving our favorite park better than they found it. From installing green infrastructure to removing invasive plants, these hard-working young people do it all, and they do it for Rock Creek.

For some RC3 crew members, the program provides a quick foray into conservation and a productive and fun way to spend the summer. For others, it sparks a passion for taking care of the environment. RC3 crew member Jelani White is an excellent example of the latter.

Jelani first attended RC3 in 2016 as a high school junior at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and is now pursuing a four-year degree in Environmental Science from Tuskegee University. Even though he’s getting his education in Alabama, he keeps coming home to Rock Creek Park. This summer is his fourth year as an RC3 crew member.

We wanted to learn what encourages him to come back year after year, so we visited his RC3 crew in the field and asked him some questions! Read our interview below to learn more.  Read More


For those keeping track of the Meridian Hill Park fountain roller coaster. Thanks to Andy for sending this photo of the fountains back in action.

And seriously, everyone knock wood – right now!!

And check out this timelapse from Chris S.

“A early/late spring 2019 timelapse project shot at various locations in one of Washington, DC’s most vibrant parks. Drum music recorded at the Sunday drum circle.”


From an email:

“Washington Parks & People in partnership with KonsiderDis Radio and Turning Point are hosting our 2nd annual Summer Peace Jam in Marvin Gaye Park (601 Division Ave NE) on Saturday, June 29. DJ music starts at noon and live music starts at 1pm. There will be plenty of GO-GO music with headliner T.O.B. as well as activities for youth, food vendors, and tons of great DC organizations tabling. It’s free and open to everyone (including pups)!

RSVP by signing up on Eventbrite here.”


Guests enjoy an evening jazz show under the stars at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in 2016, the last year that the amphitheatre was open for the summer season. Image: NPS | Katy Cain

From a press release:

“Join Rock Creek Conservancy and the Crestwood Citizens Association on Sunday, July 14, 2019, for a one-of-a-kind party at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre.

The historic Carter Barron Amphitheatre is closed for repairs. However, this summer, party-goers will have the opportunity to step inside the gates of this important DC landmark. This event will celebrate the Crestwood neighborhood’s300th birthday and raise funds for Rock Creek Conservancy’s partnership with Rock Creek Park, including the organization’s community engagement efforts around the upcoming Carter Barron Amphitheatre revitalization.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore the legacy of the amphitheatre through games, crafts, and expert-led hikes while enjoying performances and music by local artists, including FAME Jazz band and Folger Shakespeare Theater, in the amphitheatre’s promenade. Read More


Subscribe to our mailing list