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Contact: Emily Linroth, 202-619-7156
The National Park Service (NPS) is accepting public comments through September 29, 2016, on the third phase of the proposed increases for picnic fees at Rock Creek and Fort Dupont parks. Under the proposal, a half day reservation would cost $65 beginning January 1, 2017. Fee charges will fund the picnic areas' upkeep and improve the level of service provided to visitors.
In 2013 the NPS solicited public feedback through online comments and public meetings on a 3-year phased increase in the cost to reserve a picnic pavilions in Rock Creek and Fort Dupont parks. During this public comment period, the comments received were generally supportive, especially with the assurance that the additional funds would help improve the areas. As proposed in 2013, the NPS began phasing in this increase over 3 years starting in the summer of 2014 with an increase to $25/half day, and in 2015 with an increase to $45/half day. The third and final year of the 3-year increase was planned for 2016. Anticipating an increase in park visitation resulting from the NPS Centennial, the NPS decided to delay implementation of the third phase increase to $65/half day until January 1, 2017.
From 1949 until 2014, the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) managed picnic pavilion reservations at these parks under an agreement with the NPS. The NPS reassumed management of the reservation system with the goals to make it a more user-friendly and convenient process, bring the reservation fee in line with similar group picnic areas in the Washington Metropolitan Area and to help fund the picnic areas' upkeep.
NPS is inviting comments during a 21-day public comment period ending September 29, 2016. If you wish to comment on this proposal, you may submit comments electronically at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site.