Superintendent's Temporary Closure Order for Greenbelt Park
Closure Order #20-003
May 14, 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 following park areas and facilities are closed, effective immediately, until June 1, 2020 and may be extended until the Prince George’s County, Maryland stay at home order related to the COVID-19 pandemic response is rescinded or amended:
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 Greenbelt Park, effective immediately, until June 1, 2020 and may be extended until the Prince George’s County, Maryland stay at home order related to the COVID-19 pandemic response is rescinded or amended:
- All park roads
- Parking areas
- Hiking trails
- Loop Trail
- Azalea Trail
- Blueberry Trail
- Dogwood Trail
- Metro Access Trail
- Picnic Areas
- Holly Picnic Area
- Laurel Picnic Area
- Sweetgum Picnic Area
- Comfort stations
- Ranger Station
- Park Headquarters
- Contact station
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 Greenbelt Park, including park visitors, government employees and stakeholders, except as follows: essential/critical employees and authorized park contractors.
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 state public health directives:
- Gatherings of more than 10 persons
These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified above because:
- Governor of the State of Maryland Order Number 20-03-30-01 [March 30, 2020] https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Gatherings-FOURTH-AMENDED-3.30.20.pdf
- Secretary of the Interior Memorandum Ensuring the Continued Performance of the Mission of the Department of the Interior during the Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic [March 22, 2020]
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended action of postponing or cancelling mass gathering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- The closures are consistent with the Governor’s Order listed previously; 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, listed previously. Public health directives require social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Park staff have observed frequent violations of closure notices in park picnic areas and playgrounds despite frequent warnings from staff and United States Park Police.
- Public health directives prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people. Allowing individuals to mingle and gather within these park areas increases the risk of disease introduction and spread and is in likely violation of the requirement that no more than 10 persons gather together.
As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park.
It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state’s websites.
See Maryland Code, Public Safety, Title 5
See also Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Title 4
Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.
Record of Determination to Close National Capital Parks-East to the Launching, Landing, or Operation of Unmanned Aircraft
Authority: 36CFR 1.5 (A) (1)- General Closures- Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of National Capital Parks-East is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.
National Capital Parks-East Superintendent
1900 Anacostia Drive SE
Washington, D.C. 20024