Alerts & Conditions


National Capital Parks-East Operational Changes to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

In response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Public Health Service, is modifying park operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

In areas of substantial or high community transmission, agencies must require all Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask inside of Federal buildings. As of August 4, 2021 that includes the Washington, DC and Maryland areas. Visitors should utilize the CDC COVID Data Tracker website to determine whether they are located in an area of substantial or high community transmission.

Pedestrians and bicyclists can access:

  • Anacostia Park, including the Anacostia River Trail
  • Fort Dupont Park including the Community Gardens
  • Capitol Hill Parks
  • Kenilworth Park
  • Parkland and Shepherd Parkway
  • Oxon Cove Park Hiker Biker Trail
  • Fort Foote Park
  • Fort Washington Park
  • Piscataway Park Accokeek Boardwalk
  • Hiking Trails at Greenbelt Park

With public health in mind, the following facilities are closed at this time:

  • National Capital Parks-East Headquarters Building

  • Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  • Fort Dupont Amphitheater
  • Public Restrooms at Lanham Estates in Fort Dupont Park, Skating Pavilion in Anacostia Park, as well as Public Restrooms in Fort Washington Park and Greenbelt Park

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At National Capital Parks-East, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

Recreate Responsibly

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders and the following guidelines to #RecreateResponsibly

  1. Know before you go. Visit for current park conditions and availability of facilities. Make a plan, and if you are sick, stay home.
  2. Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you’re considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System. Consider visiting sites you can walk or bike to from your home.
  3. Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you’re near others.
  4. Know your limits.Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
  5. Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited or unavailable in many park areas. Follow Leave No Trace principles.

Special Use, Picnic, and Athletic Field Permits

National Capital Parks East is again issuing permits for approved demonstrations and special events for groups of 50 or fewer people.

Anacostia Park and Kenilworth Park Athletic and Picnic Fields

Currently we are only accepting applications for Anacostia Park and Kenilworth Park picnic and athletic fields by email. We are not accepting any in person applications. Information on these fields and permit applications are on Anacostia Parks's website. Please email complete applications and any questions to: e-mail us.

Fort Dupont and Fort Washington Picnic Areas, handles reservations and refunds for Fort Dupont and Fort Washington areas. Please use their website or call them at 1-866-444-7777.

All Other Pemits
The National Capital Area permits office handles all other permit applications, including demonstrations, special events, and commercial filming and photography.

Records of Determination for Temporary Facility Closure

For more information about how and why we closed some areas, check the Records of Determination for National Capital Parks-East, and the Piscataway Parks .

CDC Guidance for Park Visitors regarding COVID 19 including social distance, face masks, hand washing, covering mouth, stay at home if sick, avoid touching face
#RecreateResponsibly to protect yourself and others while enjoying your National Parks.

Image Credit: NPS

Last updated: August 4, 2021

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Mailing Address:

1900 Anacostia Drive SE
Washington , DC 20020



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