Laws & Policies

Superintendent's Temporary Closure Order for Portions of National Capital Parks-East

Closure Order #20-003
May 15, 2020

Closures, restrictions and public use limits:

Closure Order – Portion of a Park Area: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the follow park areas and facilities are closed, effective immediately, until June 8, 2020:

  • National Capital Parks-East Headquarters Building, 1900 Anacostia Drive, SE

  • Carter G. Woodson NHS, 1538 Ninth Street, NW

  • Frederick Douglass NHS, 1411 W Street, SE

  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS, 1318 Vermont Ave, NW

  • Lanham Estate Picnic Area and Ridge Picnic Area in Fort Dupont Park

  • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Avenue, NE

  • Langston Golf Course, 2600 Benning Road, NE

  • Public Restrooms and Comfort Stations (Anacostia Park, Fort Dupont Park)

  • Athletic Fields (Anacostia Park Field 1 – Field 7, Fort Mahan, Kenilworth Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens)

  • Basketball Courts (Anacostia Park, River Terrace, Fort Davis)

  • Exercise Equipment and Facilities (Anacostia Park, Fort Mahan)

  • Playgrounds (Anacostia Park - Skate Pavilion, Anacostia Park - Nicholson St, Anacostia Park - DC Pool, River Terrace, Fort Mahan, Fort Dupont Park, Battery Ricketts, Kenilworth Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Lincoln Park, Stanton Park, Marion Park, Maryland Ave and 10th Street NE, Parkland)

  • Tennis Courts (Anacostia Park, River Terrace)

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)

Restrictions and Public Use Limits: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the following activities are restricted in all other areas, known collectively National Capital Parks-East effective immediately, until May 15, 2020:

  • Kenilworth Park closed to vehicular traffic

  • Fort Dupont Drive from Randle Circle, SE to Fort Davis Drive closed to motor vehicles

  • Fort Davis Drive from Ridge Road, SE to Massachusetts Ave, SE and from Massachusetts Ave, SE to Pennsylvania Ave, SE closed to motor vehicles 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily

    Anacostia Drive closed to motor vehicles 12:00 am to 11:59 pm, daily

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)-(2)

Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of National Capital Parks-East, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders, except as follows: National Capital Parks -East employees, United States Park Police and authorized park contractors, authorized Special Use Permit holders,

Finding: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with the following public health directives:

These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified above because:

  • The closures are consistent with the Mayor’s Order(s); with CDC guidance listed previously, and with the Secretary of Interior direction to provide mission essential, mission critical, essential support activities per the March 22, 2020 memorandum, documents listed previously. Public health directives require social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Allowing visitors into these park areas is likely to violate the requirement that persons stay at least 6 feet from each other.

  • Crowding that exceeds CDC Guidance (CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance) and District of Columbia COVID-19 guidance ( has been observed in many areas of National Capital Parks-East. Vehicle parking limits are routinely exceeded in parking areas, and capacity crowds have been observed at times in certain park units. There continues to be wide-spread use of trails and picnic areas.

  • Public health directives require social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes Mayor’s Order 202-053, which prohibits gatherings of 10 or more persons. Closing Fort Dupont Road, Fort Davis Road, and Anacostia Drive to motor vehicles is believed to provide enough room for park visitors to undertake essential recreation while maintaining a six-foot distance from each other.

  • Closed areas are known to have natural and cultural resources that could be damaged.

  • Park staff and visitors were encountering crowding.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 8, 2020. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and the order will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.

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Last updated: May 15, 2020

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