Washington, DC

From the National Park Service:

“The National Park Service (NPS) wants to hear how you would like to see the northern part of Beach Drive NW in Rock Creek Park managed in the future. On July 8, the NPS will host a virtual public meeting and begin a public engagement process to inform the future management of the section of Beach Drive that runs from Broad Branch Road NW to the Maryland border and adjoining roads.

Beginning in late April 2020, the NPS temporarily increased socially-distanced recreational opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists on the northern section of Beach Drive and adjoining park roads by limiting drivers’ access during weekdays. Ross Drive NW and Sherrill Drive NW were also temporarily closed. Bingham Drive NW has been closed for construction. Read More

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via National Park Service

From the National Park Service:

“The National Park Service (NPS) today reopened Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, following a complete rehabilitation of the site and transformation of the visitor experience. New exhibits and research allow the NPS to interpret the history of the Custis and Lee families alongside that of the more than 100 enslaved people who labored on the plantation. Together, their stories reveal a more complete picture of life at Arlington House and of the people and events that changed our nation.

The rehabilitation, which began in 2018, was made possible through a $12.35 million donation by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to the National Park Foundation.

“Our goal is to create a place of dialogue and learning. We invite visitors to be curious, to connect with the stories, and to be open to hard questions. Park rangers and volunteers will share inclusive stories about the many people and events connected to Arlington House,” Charles Cuvelier, George Washington Memorial Parkway superintendent, said. “David Rubenstein’s generous donation improved every aspect of the site, and the National Park Service is grateful for his continued support.”

A visit today reveals a layered history that has often been untold–the experience of the enslaved people of Arlington House. Read More

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Photo by C on the scene

From the National Park Service:

“To protect and restore native plants and promote healthy and diverse forests, the National Park Service (NPS) proposes to reduce overabundant deer populations in several national parks in DC and Maryland. We encourage park neighbors and visitors to review and share comments on a NPS proposal to develop a deer management plan and environmental assessment (EA) for National Capital Parks – East, which includes Anacostia Park, Greenbelt Park, Fort Washington Park and other parks. The NPS will host a virtual public meeting and make the proposal available online on June 15.

The purpose of this proposal is to develop a white-tailed deer management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation and restoration of native plants and landscapes in these parks. Within forests, deer can significantly reduce forest regeneration by eating tree seedlings and preventing them from growing taller and becoming saplings. Over time, this can degrade forests and the habitat they provide for other animals and plants. Through the proposed deer management plan/EA the management of the deer population will allow for the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes. 

Several national parks in the Washington, DC, area have approved and implemented deer management plans. Rock Creek Park has seen tree seedling densities almost triple since starting deer management. Catoctin Mountain Park has seen a 13-fold tree seedling density.

The proposed white-tailed deer management would be implemented within the following parks: Read More

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From the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a letter requesting that the National Park Service permanently close to motor vehicles the portion of Beach Drive NW in the District of Columbia that has been closed to motor vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic. The portion has been closed during the pandemic to provide more space for pedestrians, bicyclists and recreation. Thousands of people now use Beach Drive to walk, run, bike and play.

“As we shift to post-pandemic life, there is much we have learned about our values as a community,” Norton said. “One of those lessons is the benefit of spending time outdoors. We want to take advantage of the opportunity the temporary closure of Beach Drive provided to prioritize health, outdoor recreation and other forms of transportation by making the closure permanent.”

The letter follows. Read More

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From the National Mall NPS:

“A North American river otter is a rare sight around the National Mall. Once eliminated from the area, the species is on the road to recovery. Though they are cute & playful, you otter remember that they are wild animals & never get too close.” Read More

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