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Contact: Emily Linroth, (202) 619-7156
Plus two new positions to speed progress and improve coordination to benefit the Anacostia River and neighboring communities
The National Park Service (NPS) will increase resources dedicated to Anacostia Park and the Anacostia River, while continuing its commitment to treasured historic sites and beloved neighborhood national parks. Tara Morrison, currently Superintendent of Rock Creek Park, will become the Superintendent of the group of parks known administratively as National Capital Parks –East.
Morrison will be responsible for the management and direction of Anacostia Park, parks that date to the L'Enfant Plan and national parks that honor heroes of American history including Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson.
"I've dedicated my career to urban parks, and I have seen first-hand and believe in their power to improve people's lives and well-being," Morrison said. "The enormous possibilities of the Anacostia, the dedicated staff and partners, and the profound African American history preserved in these parks will inspire me every day, and I can't wait to get started."
Morrison began her NPS career as an archeology intern in Washington, D.C., and rose to be the first Superintendent of African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City. In that role, she worked with the African Descendant community and led the development of the monument's visitor center. Her first permanent job was as a park ranger at Boston African American National Historic Site, and she has worked with parks and communities from Maine to West Virginia to discover, preserve and share stories of the Underground Railroad.
Since 2011, Morrison has served as Superintendent of Rock Creek Park where she has strengthened and developed partnerships and engaged neighboring communities in enjoying and caring for the park.
"I know from working with Tara that she's the right leader at the right time, and this is the right place," NPS Regional Director Bob Vogel said. "Her energy and her commitment to working with partners, practical approach to getting things done and experience nurturing and developing new parks are the exact skills needed to realize our vision."
Anacostia Park is a 1,200-acre park along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.The NPS, along with many partners, is working to make Anacostia Park a signature urban park. Morrison will continue this commitment and will have the support of two new positions to make the shared vision a reality.
A new Project Executive for the Anacostia will provide project management, planning, partnership and community engagement expertise to further Anacostia Park projects and initiatives. The executive will improve collaboration to advance NPS restoration and community engagement goals along the Anacostia River corridor.
A Senior Project Manager, also a new addition to the team, will provide technical, legal and communications coordination for the five highly contaminated sites along the Anacostia River (including the riverbed) and Oxon Cove.The project manager will provide oversight of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) process aimed at cleaning up the sites, and will continue the NPS's partnership with the District Department of Energy and Environment.
Morrison, while building on the NPS's valued relationship with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, will oversee the final phases of a major rehabilitation of Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, which will allow people to visit and learn about the work and legacy of Dr. Woodson like never before. She will also oversee the installation of a fire suppression system at Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site and work with new Federal Advisory Committee members on the future of the site.
She received a bachelor of science degree in African American studies from Northeastern University and completed a graduate certificate in museum management at the University of South Carolina where she completed graduate coursework in anthropology with a concentration in historical archeology. Morrison is passionate about health and well-being, and enjoys running in the parks.
Morrison will begin her new position on December 7, 2016. She replaces Gopaul Noojibail who, along with the park team, has furthered the vision for the park and built a great foundation for the future. Noojibail has been named Deputy Superintendent at Grand Teton National Park, Wyo.
www.nps.govAbout the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 413 parks in the National Park System 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.