Poplar Point Site

Poplar Point Site is located within Anacostia Park, a unit of National Capital Parks-East, on the eastern bank of the Anacostia River.


On This Page Navigation

Poplar Point location figure
Poplar Point Map

NPS Photo

Site History

Poplar Point Site was created in part by the filling of tidal marshes along the Anacostia River between 1882 and 1927. The Poplar Point area has undergone a variety of land uses since that time.

The western portion of the approximately 110 acre Site has historically been divided into two parcels, both of which supported nurseries and greenhouse operations from the mid-1920s until 1993. One of those parcels was used by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), and the other by the District of Columbia's Lanham Tree Nursery (DCL). The central and eastern portions of the Site were occupied by the Naval Receiving Station (NRS) from the 1940s through the 1960s. Between 1959 and 1980, the Navy either demolished or transferred the remaining buildings located at the NRS to the National Park Service (NPS).

In 2006, Congress enacted legislation (Public Law 109-396, commonly referred to as the DC Lands Act) directing the United States to transfer the Site to the District of Columbia (District), but the transfer is not yet complete. Currently, the NPS Headquarters for National Capital Parks-East, the U.S. Park Police Anacostia Operations Facility (AOF), and the U.S. Park Police Aviation Unit facilities occupy a portion of the Site formerly occupied by the NRS. The former greenhouse and nursery areas are unused and vegetation has been allowed to grow naturally there. The Site also includes various storage buildings, wetlands, and meadows.

Researchers collecting soil samples at Poplar Point Site
Researches collecting soil samples at Poplar Point Site.

NPS Photo

Poplar Point Environmental Investigations

Since the early 1990s, a number of environmental investigations have been performed at Poplar Point Site. Most of these investigations focused on the southwestern portion of the Site, in the areas formerly operated as nurseries and greenhouses. Those investigations identified metals, pesticides, semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), petroleum hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Site soils above the screening level that may pose unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. In addition to the environmental investigations, abandoned drums and inactive underground and above ground storage tanks were removed from the Site.
In September 2008, NPS and the District entered into a Consent Order under CERCLA, by which the District agreed to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS) of the entire Poplar Point Site under the oversight of NPS. The RI will characterize the environmental conditions of the Site, and will include ecological and human health risk assessments. The FS will present a range of cleanup alternatives and evaluate those alternatives using prescribed criteria. Following completion of the RI and FS, a Proposed Plan identifying the preferred cleanup alternative will be issued for public review and comment.
In the summer of 2018, the District, with NPS oversight, began the RI field activities. These activities included the collection of environmental samples to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the Site. The RI field activities are scheduled to be completed in 2020. The District will compile all of the field results in the RI Report. The RI Report will also include an assessment of risk posed by contamination on the Site to human health and ecological receptors. The RI Report is scheduled for completion in 2021. The FS and Proposed Plan to cleanup the Site will follow completion of the RI.


Community Involvement

Community involvement is an important part of the CERCLA process and the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on proposed cleanup actions. NPS will prepare Community Updates to communicate the current status of the work being completed at the Site. The most recent Community Update was released in Fall 2018.

Poplar Point Site Documents

The National Park Service maintains a record of all site related environmental investigations, ecological and human health risk assessments, community relations materials, public comments, as well as DOEE and NPS responses to significant comments. Find information about how to get site documents.

Contact Information

Donna Davies
CERCLA Project Manager

Address: National Capital Parks-East
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
Email: donna_davies@nps.gov
Phone: (202) 359-3234
Mon.-Fri. 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m. ET

Last updated: November 1, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1900 Anacostia Drive, S.E.
Washington , DC 20020


202 472-3884

Contact Us

Stay Connected