Washington, DC

“Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves…” – Dr. Miles J. Bennell | Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956

They’re already here! They’re growing silently in your favorite parks. They’re climbing over trees, covering the forest floor, and slowly taking over the ecosystem–vine by vine, sprout by sprout! They’re leafy invaders from outer space and they’re hiding in plain sight!

Well, technically, they aren’t from outer space and they certainly aren’t going to turn you into a pod person. The aliens we worry about at Rock Creek Conservancy come from all over planet Earth, and are a major problem for the forests of Rock Creek Park. Today, we’re talking about invasive plants.

The extraterrestrials from the 1955 sci-fi novel The Body Snatchers planned to leave Earth depleted of all resources before moving on to the next planet. Similarly, the non-native invasive plants that take root in Rock Creek Park wreak havoc on entire ecosystems. They monopolize space, nutrients, and sunlight until the local flora and fauna can’t live here anymore. Read More


You may have heard or seen that Rock Creek Park has an invasive plant problem.

After a 9-year battle with bamboo in her backyard, Tori Garten knows first hand the challenges of fighting invasive plants.

When Tori first bought her house in Randolph Hills, she noticed a stand of bamboo was taking over the backyard and spreading into the neighboring parkland of Rock Creek. Tori explains, “The bamboo was on the ‘cons’ side of the pros and cons list. I knew at some point I’d have to deal with it.”

Like so many invasive plants, the bamboo started as something ornamental to create a privacy screen. It quickly spread by out-competing the native plants and taking over the local ecosystem (not to mention Tori’s garden and the adjoining parkland.) Rock Creek Conservancy and other local environmental groups lead regular invasive plant removal efforts to support our public lands struggling to combat this “growing” challenge. To keep these invasive plants from gaining (and re-gaining) footholds, park neighbors are essential partners to take action from their own homes and communities. Read More


15th/16th and W Street, NW. Photo by Stan Engelbretson

From an email:

“Washington Concert Opera & Washington Parks and People Presents the 3rd Annual Opera Outside on Saturday, September 28, 2019

Washington Concert Opera and Washington Parks & People are pleased to present the Third Annual Opera Outside, a casual outdoor concert on the upper field of Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park featuring performances by soprano Vanessa Becerra, baritone Benjamin Taylor, and pianist David Hanlon.

This event is FREE and open to all ages. Come and go as you please, and come as you are. Bring your children and pets! Bring a blanket and/or chairs so you can enjoy the music in comfort! Read More


At 1:25pm Cassandra wrote us: “Hey @PoPville we’re stuck at the top of the Washington monument. Broken elevator. No end in sight.”

Folks were understandable incredulous.

Charles emailed us the photo above: “I wish I was kidding. Elevator issues strike again.”

The Washington Post quoted and NPS spokesman:

“Normal operations resumed after about an hour,” Litterst said. He said tours were on schedule, and he apologized for the inconvenience.”

Charles tells me that they were originally told they’d be taking the stairs down but they were able to finally get the elevator working again.

The Washington Monument reopened this past Thursday, “after a 37-month closure to modernize the elevator control system and construct a new security screening facility.

The re-opening of the Washington Monument is another example of how the Trump Administration is enhancing visitors’ experiences at national parks and public lands by better meeting critical infrastructure and maintenance needs.”


“Dear PoPville,

Any idea what’s going on with the fountain and pond at Meridian Hill Park? The cascades have been off and on since last Friday. Since Sunday evening the water has been sitting stagnant. The water is turning a bright green (see pictures below). It seems like the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Unless of course the Park service has been treating the water but it doesn’t appear that way.” Read More


From an email:

“The National Park Service (NPS) invites D.C. residents to a community discussion Saturday, September 7th from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Wilson High School Auditorium about the future of Fort Reno Park, at which they will outline plans for various initiatives slated for the coming year.

They will also hold breakout sessions on opportunities for education and interpretation (wayfinders, signs, elements to bring out the history) in the park, recreation and programming (concerts, lectures, etc.) and upkeep, maintenance and site safety. Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user akung

From DPR’s Doggie Day Swim:

“Saturday, September 7th at 12pm

Upshur Pool, Randall Pool & Francis Pool

Secure a spot

With the end of the outdoor swimming season, this annual event provides dogs with a one-day opportunity to jump in the pools, enjoy a swim and play fun aquatics games.

Admission is free, however all dogs must have a valid and original DC Department of Health (DOH) issued dog license (no photo copies) and tag to enter the pool. Read More


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