Don't call it a park
NCPC, NPS, and the DC government have a new site for a new parks partnership, CapitalSpace. The alliance aims to improve DC's smaller parks, link larger parks with greenways, and balance the various demands on the major parks.
However, I have a major quibble with this map, which lists the total acreage of parks in DC broken down by NPS parks, DC parks, and other open space (like the Zoo) and by neighborhood. Many of the so-called parkland isn't parkland at all. NPS lists as "parkland" such areas as Rock Creek Parkway/Beach Drive, Canal Road/Clara Barton Parkway, the giant parking lots east of RFK Stadium, and the ramp spaghetti area between the Kennedy Center, Foggy Bottom, and the Lincoln Memorial.
These areas aren't available for protecting nature, passive enjoyment, or active recreation. They're only available for driving. Whether you think these areas should be roads or not (I don't), it's disingenous to call it a "park". Without this land counted, the statistics would be even worse, and the disparity between parkland in the center city versus the outer reaches would be even greater.
"Parkway" and "parking lot" may have "park" in their names, but just because the National Park Service owns the land, a highway is a highway and not a park.
Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!
- I-66 widening will happen soon whether it makes sense or not
- Modern Washingtonians have a mandate to remember black Georgetown
- Eckington is getting some much-needed retail
- How the Navy, baseball, and government planners made Capitol Riverfront one of DC's hottest neighborhoods
- More than 20% of people bicycle to work in some DC neighborhoods
- Think you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 77
- DC once had its own Arc de Triomphe