Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley
From the National Parks Service:
“Completion of the new security screening building for the Washington Monument has been delayed for mitigation of possibly contaminated soil in the construction area. The modernization of the monument’s elevator is substantially complete, with just final testing and certification of the safety systems remaining.
The potentially contaminated soil is below the ground surface and poses no risk to public health. The soil in question was likely introduced in the 1880s as the monument was being completed. Due to the necessary mitigation efforts, the reopening of the Washington Monument is now expected to take place in August. (more…)
Photo by PoPville flickr user nici161
Thanks to a reader for passing on her query to DGS about the status of the reopening of the East Potomac Pool:
“Thank you for your inquiry about the modernization of East Potomac Pool, which is currently underway. This email is to provide an update regarding the construction and the pool’s opening.
We want to assure you that providing residents and the patrons of the East Potomac Park with a state of the art new pool; pool deck and pool house is our priority.
The opening of East Potomac Pool is currently scheduled for summer of 2020. This is a delay from our previously communicated timeframe of Summer 2019. The new date and time is due to unforeseen construction circumstances during construction.
During construction, our teams faced several unforeseen circumstances, which included the findings of: (more…)
Just went for a walk around the tidal basin, and there’s a fence up around the cherry trees. A nice park ranger told me the the trees were in bad shape, and so they were treating and protecting the soil to allow them to recover.
Sounds reasonable, but I wouldn’t want to be on that path this weekend. Something to keep in mind.”
via DC Forest Bathing
I thought readers might like to hear about some forest bathing events coming up through DC Forest Bathing.
Wait, what’s forest bathing? Isn’t that just a walk in nature? Forest bathing is different. It’s not hiking or jogging or a naturalist talk. Literally, it means taking in the forest atmosphere — bathing in the sense of sunbathing, basking in te feelings. (I.e. no swimsuit required.) It’s exploring the natural environment through our senses. It’s like a bridge between us and the natural world. The health benefits are well-documented: improved immunity, lower cortisol (stress hormones), lower heart rate, improved mood and attention — and more. Going with a guide gives participants a chance to let go of having to “effort” their way into relaxation — someone else keeps you safe, keeps track of time, and gives you a sensory way to explore the woods. (more…)
The playground at Ft Bayard has been closed for renovation with no progress since December. I’m getting nowhere trying to find out who to contact for information.”
Ed. Note: Looks like this is run by the National Park Service, in which case Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s office might be the best bet? Anyone know what’s going on here?
From Rock Creek Conservancy:
“Spring has officially sprung, and Rock Creek Conservancy invites you to get outside and clean up your favorite parks during the 11th Annual Extreme Cleanup. The main event will take place between 10 AM and 4 PM on April 13th with satellite cleanups occurring every weekend throughout April.
Every year, the Extreme Cleanup mobilizes thousands of people to remove litter from more than 70 sites along the 33-mile length of Rock Creek in conjunction with Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup Day. The goal is a total people-powered stream cleanup of Rock Creek and its tributaries. (more…)
Is there an update on the fencing/grass revitalization of the southern half of the mall in Meridian Hill Park? A couple years ago, NPS fenced off the northern half of the mall and the grass made a comeback, but this year neighborhood dog owners have been using the fenced off area as a dog park and the area has become more of a dirt pit than it already was. It would be nice to have grass up there again, so more people could enjoy the park.
Although it’s unclear, it seems like the plan was to fence off the southern half to minimize foot traffic so the grass could come back; it also seems unlikely that NPS intended to make the area a dog park, considering that signs in the park say dogs are required to be on a leash at all times. But, until NPS prevents dog owners from letting their dogs off leash within the fenced area, I don’t see how the grass will have a chance to take root again.”
Photo by PoPville flickr user bajidc
My organization would like to have a summer gathering at a DC park where we can grill. Are there any good options beside Rock Creek park? We’d like to be metro accessible if possible.
We have done Virginia Highlands park in Pentagon City in the past, but wanted to be in DC proper this year. Thanks!”
From a press release:
“The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the U.S. Senate today passed a federal lands package that contains Norton’s bill that clarifies that the District of Columbia and the National Park Service (NPS) have the authority to enter into cooperative management agreements (CMAs) to maintain and operate NPS properties in the District, such as Franklin Park. The Senate lands package was introduced by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Last Congress, Norton and Murkowski introduced the stand-alone versions of the D.C.-NPS CMA bill. The rehabilitation of Franklin Park would be funded through a public-private partnership between NPS, the D.C. government and the Downtown Business Improvement District. Under current federal law, NPS has the authority to enter into CMAs with states and cities, and Norton’s bill makes clear that D.C. is included under this authority. (more…)