News Release

Part of Fort Totten Park closed for public safety after discovery of metal canisters

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Date: April 18, 2023
Contact: Katie Liming, 703-399-4547

5/8/23 UPDATE: This release has been updated to correctly reflect the location where the two munitions were taken on 4/18/2023 for analysis. 

4/18/23 UPDATE: The U.S. Army has safely removed the canisters and will analyze any contents. We will provide updates as more information is available.

WASHINGTON— On April 18, a National Park Service employee found two metal canisters in a mound of soil in Fort Totten Park. Out of an abundance of caution and until more research can be completed, the park is closed just east of Fort Totten Drive, south of Gallatin Street, and north of Brookland Ave NE/Farragut St. The United States Park Police has blocked off the site, and the NPS urges people to stay out of the area.  

The canisters were found in a large mound of soil along Farragut St. that appears to have been pushed into the park from the road.  

The U.S. Army will analyze the canisters and any contents at a secure Interim Holding Facility in Washington, D.C. The origins of the canisters and several mounds of soil along the edge of the road are under investigation.  

Public safety is the NPS’s highest priority. The NPS is working to determine the next steps to evaluate the area. We will provide updates as more information is available.   

In July 2020, the NPS discovered an empty WWI-era metal canister on the surface of the ground in a different area of Fort Totten Park (east of the Metrorail Station) while working on the Fort Totten Trail. At the time, the NPS thought that the canister could be an unexploded ordnance, and the canister was immediately removed from the site and inspected by the Department of Defense (DOD). The information provided by DOD indicates the munition was an unfused and unused, empty canister, and it was safely disposed of. The source of the munition is unknown. Following the 2020 discovery, the NPS investigated the area around the trail for additional metal canisters and none were found. 



Last updated: May 8, 2023

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