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Press Release: Join the party! Beach Drive Construction Moves Further Down the Road

 

 
National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242 

202-619-7400 phone
www.nps.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2017
Contact: Ethan Alpern, ethan_alpern@nps.gov202-619-7186

 

 


 

Join the party! Beach Drive Construction Moves Further Down the Road 

Day at the Beach Illustration-01.png

WASHINGTON — There is still a long road of construction work ahead, but also much to celebrate.

On Sunday, August 20, Rock Creek Park and Rock Creek Conservancy are hosting a block party for residents and neighbors to experience the brand new Beach Drive before anyone else.

The party will begin at 1 p.m. at the Smithsonian's National Zoo entrance on Beach Drive (by Harvard Street NW) and go until 4 p.m. During the party, guests will be invited to walk and ride bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles on the fully reconstructed roadway and the wider, smoother multi-use trail.

Guests will notice the brand-new stairway and crosswalk leading into the National Zoo, with a flashing signal for drivers and pedestrian push-to-walk button. This newly-installed crosswalk finally provides safe passage into the Zoo, which has been requested by concerned visitors and staff for nearly a decade. There is also a new sidewalk at both ends of the staircase.

Beginning at noon, limited free parking for the event will be available at the Zoo in Parking Lot E.

Last fall, the National Park Service began the three-year Beach Drive Rehabilitation project, which includes a full-depth reconstruction of the nearly 6.5-mile roadway, widening and resurfacing the adjacent multi-use trail, and rehabilitating the six pedestrian bridges.

At the end of August the first segment of the construction project, which goes from Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway to Tilden Street/Park Road NW, will conclude and the roadway will re-open to traffic. When Segment 1 opens, both Segment 2 (Tilden Street/Park Road NW to Broad Branch Road/Blagden Avenue NW) and Segment 3 (Broad Branch Road/Blagden Avenue NW to Joyce Road NW) will close to traffic as construction begins. When Segment 2 construction is complete, that stretch of roadway will open to traffic, and construction work will continue on Segment 3.

In case of inclement weather, the party will be moved into the Zoo Tunnel.

To prepare for these changes, see the new detour route for the next two segments of construction., More information can be found at go.nps.gov/beachdrive. For text message updates on construction, please text “BEACHDRIVE” to 888-777.

-NPS-

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit www.rockcreekconservancy.org.

 

 

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Let's Hit the Beach (Drive)!

Beach Drive Block Party Logo

Join us on August 20, 2017 to celebrate the opening of Segment 1 of Beach Drive. No cars allowed! The National Park Service, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and Rock Creek Conservancy have teamed up to bring the party one day before the road opens to traffic.

Bring a bike, running shoes, roller skates, picnic supplies, binoculars or whatever you need to have fun outdoors! Don't forget to invite your friends to invite them on a Rock Creek adventure. We can’t wait to see you there.

Where: The National Zoo entrance on Beach Drive : https://goo.gl/maps/NQRZP4d3YG22
When: Sunday, August 20th from 1PM – 4PM

More information on the event, how to get there, and the Beach Drive Rehabilitation Project: https://www.nps.gov/rocr/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?event=A03C554A-1DD8-B71B-0B96C3463BC84C76

Extreme Cleanup will target trash along entire length of Rock Creek

Extreme Cleanup with Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy will host its 9th annual Extreme Cleanup on Saturday, April 22, with the goal of cleaning Rock Creek and its tributaries, the parks connected to Rock Creek, and the neighborhoods near Rock Creek where trash originates. This large-scale volunteer effort includes trash cleanups at more than 75 locations along the 33-mile length of Rock Creek.

In the Rock Creek watershed, trash accumulates through littering and illegal dumping of large items, such as furniture and construction waste. When it rains, litter from the street gutters in surrounding neighborhoods wash into the storm sewer system that drains straight to the nearest creek. In the past eight years, Extreme Cleanup volunteers have collected a combined total of over 15,000 bags of litter, 75 tons of junk, 900 tires, and 38,000 plastic bags.

“As a result of the efforts by Extreme Cleanup volunteers, Rock Creek and its adjacent locations are much cleaner, but there is still plenty of work to be done,” said Matthew Fleischer, Rock Creek Conservancy’s Executive Director. “We hope to see a big turnout this year and encourage anyone—from companies and organizations to families and students—to join us on this day of work in the Rock Creek watershed.”

The Extreme Cleanup is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, which occurs in four states and the District of Columbia in April. Volunteers with the Conservancy do their part for a trash-free Potomac River by cleaning up Rock Creek, which flows into the Potomac near the Watergate Complex and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Additional Extreme Cleanup partners include Blue Planet Scuba, DC Parks & Recreation, Montgomery County Parks, and the National Park Service.

For more information about the Extreme Cleanup or to register for a site, visit http://www.rockcreekconservancy.org/what-we-do/upcoming-events/extreme-cleanup. Those who would like to host a cleanup at their own site with a private group or public volunteers may email volunteer@rockcreekconservancy.org

Beautification in Rock Creek

Extreme Cleanup with Rock Creek Conservancy

 

Beautification in Rock Creek

Rock Creek Parkway commuters near Pennsylvania Ave. will soon to be in for a floral surprise! On Saturday, June 10, Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service will welcome volunteers from throughout the DC metro area to plant wildflowers and daffodils during this special planting event. The project aims to revive Lady Bird Johnson's 1960s beautification campaign designed to make the United States, including Rock Creek Park, a more beautiful place. Over the next several years Rock Creek Park and Rock Creek Conservancy hope to install several wildflower and daffodil gardens throughout the Park.

These flowers aren’t just a pretty addition to the park; they are working hard to increase the health of our environment by reducing runoff and increasing biodiversity. Wildflower gardens provide food and shelter to pollinators and other animals in the city. They also help reduce runoff into Rock Creek, which in turn helps reduce pollution in the Potomac. Reducing runoff is critically important for waterways that are near roads and cities, where water headed into creeks, streams, and rivers may bring along noxious chemicals from the urban environment.

Interested in volunteering?

The event is an all-day affair, split between morning and afternoon shifts. Volunteers are asked to sign up online.

More information can be found on our events page.

Contact John Maleri at jmaleri@rockcreekconservancy.org with any questions you may have.

About Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which is committed to restoring Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit www.rockcreekconservancy.org.

 

Rock Creek Conservation Corps (RC3) Enters its Third Summer

 

Students from different backgrounds link arms during a team building event.

 

RC3 Offers Highschoolers a Transformative Experience in Rock Creek Park

For the third summer in a row, youth from diverse communities are going to be accomplishing critical conservation work and engaging local communities to develop and sustain a culture of environmental stewardship for future generations. This year, the program has nearly doubled in size, growing from 22 to 40 crewmembers.

During the 4-week youth work program spearheaded by Rock Creek Conservancy, the Rock Creek Conservation Corps (RC3) will remove invasive exotic plants in key restoration areas, install green infrastructure to manage polluted runoff, and maintain trails for all people to appreciate.

RC3 is designed to not only revitalize Rock Creek, but to also provide a transformative experience to the 16- to 19-year-old crew members.

“Rock Creek Conservation Corps is an innovative program that empowers youth to be leaders in their community through conservation work and outreach, thus creating a culture of stewardship for future generations,” said Erica Carlsson, the program manager for RC3 who specializes in youth, education and health. “With research showing strong public support for youth crews in America’s National Parks, this program goes hand-in-hand with the Department of the Interior’s efforts to encourage young people to protect the nation’s public lands.”


Quotes from previous RC3 Crew Members:

“I realized that the park is a huge part of my life, and wherever I go, I want Rock Creek to be involved. It’s a magical place.”
- Dona Anderson (2016, Rising Senior)

“ RC3 has taught me the value of our city’s park and how I can advocate for the well-being of National Parks everywhere. I was taught the multiple ways our Park effects every resident’s life, and the ways we must conserve our park.”
- Danny Ayele (2016, Graduate)

“RC3 has led me to meeting new people that I probably would have never met before, especially the EL Haynes crew. It has also kept my life occupied for the month, as well as making me feel important in a way.”
- Carlos Campos (2016, Graduate)


Learn more about RC3

About Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which is committed to restoring Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit www.rockcreekconservancy.org.