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Rock Creek Park and partners to invest $727,000 for centennial

National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242 

202-619-7400 phone
www.nps.gov

Rock Creek Park News Release

DATE:  February 4, 2016
CONTACT: Emily Linroth, 202-619-7156, emily_linroth@nps.gov

Rock Creek Park and partners to invest $727,000 for centennial
Donations leverage federal funding nearly 3-to-1 

WASHINGTON—Rock Creek Park is about to get a $727,000 public-private funding boost for projects that improve visitor services and connect with new audiences. Partner organizations are contributing nearly $527,000 in cash and in-kind support to match more than $200,000 in federal investment. This funding is part of the Centennial Challenge, a national effort to help kick off the National Park Service’s second century.

Partners and projects for Rock Creek Park include:

  • Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy will provide funding and support to design and implement a stormwater management system to protect this unique historic landscape from erosion and potential impacts of climate change and create wildlife habitat.
  • Rock Creek Conservancy and Casey Trees are contributing funding and volunteers to remove invasive plants and donating trees to plant along 5 acres of park land along the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway.
  • City Kids Wilderness Project will conduct a Wilderness Explorers Program that gets urban youth out in parks in D.C. and takes them to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks over the summer.

“We’re thrilled to work with our partners to enhance park experiences for visitors, inspire the next generation, and protect Rock Creek Park in ways we could not do on our own,” Superintendent Tara Morrison said. “Building and leveraging partnership support is especially critical as we prepare national parks for a second century of service.”

Funding for the projects is provided through the National Park Service’s Centennial Challenge Program to leverage partnerships to improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and reinvigorate national parks while forging connections with communities.

"Rock Creek Conservancy is eager to collaborate with the National Park Service as we undertake this important endeavor as part of the Centennial year," Executive Director Matthew Fleischer said. “Partnerships such as this are essential in advancing the vision of Rock Creek Park and protecting its future as a wild national park in the heart of our nation’s capital.”

“Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy is honored to meet the Centennial Challenge with the National Park Service,” President Lindsey Milstein said. “It is our privilege to invest in a project that will protect this Farrand-designed, exceptionally beautiful landscape. The environmental stewardship and habitat restoration work we will engage in serves to increase a connection to this special place for all to enjoy—there could be nothing more gratifying.”

​"We are thrilled to partner with the National Park Service to connect youth and families with powerful wilderness experiences, both at our home park of Rock Creek Park here in D.C. where we love exploring the trails, creek, and open spaces, and in Jackson, Wyoming, where our program moves in the summer so youth can explore the mountains, lakes, and trails in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks," said Eloise Russo, Executive Director of City Kids Wilderness Project.

The Centennial Challenge is a national effort providing $15 million in federal support to 69 projects in 63 national parks across the country. To be eligible for challenge funding, projects must attract at least a 1-to-1 private match to the federal investment.

“As the National Park Service enters its centennial year in 2016, Congress and generous partners across the country are making exceptional investments to improve park facilities, enhance their accessibility, and help more visitors—especially young people—discover our nation’s inspiring places and stories,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

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About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us atwww.nps.gov, on Facebookwww.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitterwww.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTubewww.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

MLK Report from the Field

What a day! Rock Creek Conservancy volunteers were out in full force throughout Rock Creek Park and the surrounding watershed in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  

In total, 772 children, students, and adults participated in 14 events over MLK weekend. Volunteers removed invasive plants like porcelainberry, lesser celandine, and wisteria to help native plants thrive, cleaned up over 215 bags of trash and 175 bags of recyclables, and saved over 450 trees from English Ivy!    

Thanks to all the volunteers, partner organizations, and staff who made these events possible, especially Montgomery Department of Parks, Blue Planet Scuba, Tregaron ConservancyRock Creek Songbirds, and others! And a very special thank you to our Stream Team leaders who hosted events. Without them, the weekend would not have been possible.


Invasive Plant Removal in Pinehurst and Piney Branch

Over 50 volunteers from Catholic University joined Conservancy staff in Pinehurst Branch and Piney Branch for invasive plant removal activities. After demonstrations on removal, volunteers got right to work clearing huge swaths of invasive vines and shrubs. Students athletes from the CU Soccer, Rugby, and Track and Field teams showcased their skill and fitness by removing large amounts of trash as well.  

Meadowbrook-Mania at the Trash Cleanup

Meadowbrook Local Park in Montgomery County is much cleaner than it was last week. On Monday over 100 volunteers came out to remove trash and debris from the surrounding park and banks of Rock Creek. In total, students and parents collected almost 75 bags of trash.

An English Ivy Removal Team in Glover Archbold

On Monday afternoon, 51 volunteers joined Conservancy staff in Glover Archbold Park to learn about the perils of arborized English ivy. The vine, which strangles and confines trees, is prevalent in an area on the West side of the Park. To help, volunteers equipped with loppers, saws, and crowbars saved a whopping 450 trees from the invasive plant. Smaller trees were freed of vines that began to creep up the trunk, while larger trees were saved from what could have been years of strangulation.   

A Trash Bash at Peirce Mill

The winner of the largest volunteer event goes to Peirce Mill where 134 volunteers joined to remove over 1000 lbs of trash and debris from the surrounding park. We were so thrilled to see such a large response in one of Rock Creek Park's most popular areas. Special thank you to Blue Planet Scuba for leading the event and managing the huge crowds.  

Special Thanks to our Volunteer Groups

Finally, we wanted to extend a special thank you to our volunteers from Catholic University and The Washington Center joining us for Rock Creek Conservancy’s MLK Weekend activities. Thanks to all who attended!

2017 MLK Weekend of Service recap

Thank you for your part in making MLK Day a huge success! You volunteered your time, improved the community, displayed teamwork toward achieving a greater goal, and advanced Dr. King's vision of the "Beloved Community." We set records this year! Click here for a detailed write up.

By the numbers: 14 events | 772 volunteers | 217 bags of trash | 189 bags of recyclables | 457 trees saved from English ivy

See you for the next MLK Weekend of Service! In the meantime, you can stay involved by visiting our event calendar and signing up for any of our events throughout the year.

Green Paper-
Revitalizing Rock Creek Park:
The Next 125 Years 
 

 

Executive Summary of the Green Paper

 

Green Ribbon Panel 

 

Empaneled by Rock Creek Conservancy as part of the 125th Anniversary of Rock Creek Park, the Green Ribbon Panel reviewed, made recommendations, and presented the Green Paper: Revitalizing Rock Creek Park: The Next 125 Years.

The Green Ribbon Panel members are recognized authorities in environmental and regional resource issues, including natural and built environments, community engagement, urban planning, parks and recreational issues, education and awareness regarding the natural environment, and historical matters. Click here to view Biographies and Photos.

 

Green Ribbon Panel Members

Lisa Alexander, Executive Director, Audubon Naturalist Society

Doug Barker, President, Barker + Scott Consulting

Hedrick Belin, President, Potomac Conservancy

Mark Buscaino, Executive Director, Casey Trees

Jim Foster, President, Anacostia Watershed Society

Denis Galvin, Board, National Parks Conservation Assn.; Dep. Dir., National Park Service (fmr)

Rachel Goslins, Executive Director, President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities

George Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, DC Water and Sewer Authority

Jerry Johnson, Chief Exec. Officer and Gen. Manager, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

Lori Kaplan, President and CEO, Latin American Youth Center

Greg Kats, President, Capital E

Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery County, Maryland

Stephanie Meeks, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Michelle Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Groundswell

Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Congresswoman, District of Columbia

Ari Novy, Executive Director, United States Botanic Gardens

Audrey Peterman, Founding Director, Earthwise Productions

Carter Roberts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund

David Rogner, Executive Director, Harvest Collective

Lex Sant, Managing Director, Persimmon Tree Capital

Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Congressman, Maryland

Tommy Wells, Director, District Department of the Environment

Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus, Harvard, Pulitzer Prize winning author

  

Find Yourself in Rock Creek Park

125th Anniversary Kickoff: Green Ribbon Panel Interviews

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