Superintendent's Compendium

Superintendent’s Compendium of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

Approved: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent, May 27, 2022

The George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) administers federal parkland located in District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The GWMP includes, but is not limited to:

● Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
● Arlington Memorial Bridge
● Memorial Avenue
● Belle Haven Park & Marina
● Clara Barton National Historic Site
● Clara Barton Parkway
● Collingwood Picnic Area
● Columbia Island Marina
● Daingerfield Island
● Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
● Fort Hunt Park
● Fort Marcy
● Glen Echo Park
● Gravelly Point
● Great Falls Park
● Jones Point Park
● Lady Bird Johnson Park (formerly known as Columbia Island)
● Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove-on-the-Potomac
● Mount Vernon Circle (Terminus) and Parking Lots
● Mount Vernon Trail
● Netherlands Carillon
● Potomac Heritage Trail
● Riverside Park
● Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary
● South Turkey Run Park
● Spout Run Parkway
● Theodore Roosevelt Island
● Turkey Run Park
● U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
● Washington Sailing Marina

 
Introduction

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park, manage visitor use, provide for visitor safety, and protect property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the national park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or prohibiting certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources, or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archaeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the national park system.

A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government

Printing Office at:Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA
15250-7954

The CFR is also available online at:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/36/chapter-I

The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1 et.seq. (Organic Act of 1954, as amended) to “…regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects andthe wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations” (54 U.S.C. Section 1). In addition, the NPS Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National park Service” (54 U.S.C. Section 3).

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS.Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (54 U.S.C. Sections 1a1-1a8), Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one national park system and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1954.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standardof protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the national park system, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

54 U.S.C. Section 1c defines the national park system as “…any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic,parkway, recreational, or other purposes.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found inthe NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in NPS Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitors and other users, as long as use does not impairspecific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect, nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 554 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular park or specific park area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:

● Is the use or activity consistent with the NPS Title 54 and NPS policy?

● Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?

● Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values

● Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?

● Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?

● Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers and United States Park Police enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the US Park Police or the park address.

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document and remains in effect until revised.

Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

Copies of the Compendium are available at 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mclean, VA 22101. It may also be found at

https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm.

 

B. Superintendent’s COMPENDIUM

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of George Washington Memorial Parkway. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations that explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.

I. 36 CFR §1.5 – VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREADESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES

(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of thepark, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the Park to all public use or to a certainuse or activity:

• GWMP areas are closed to the public between the hours 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM unless otherwise posted.

Except for the following:

• Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, is open:

  • September through May 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • June through August 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day;

• Arlington Ridge Park grounds, which includes the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon grounds, are open:

  • 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight) daily;
• Netherlands Carillon (structure) is closed for all uses at all times, except administrative use

• Restrooms at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial are open
  • April 15 through October 31 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM
  • November 1 through April 14 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM

• Belle Haven Marina boat ramp is open Sunrise to Sunset.

  • Belle Haven Marina Offices are open:
    • April 1 through October 31, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM seven days per week.
    • November 1 through March 31 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM seven days per week

• Clara Barton National Historic Site is open from 1:00 PM to 5 PM on Friday and Saturday by tour only.

• Columbia Island Marina and Daingerfield Island/Washington Sailing Marina are open:

  • 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight) daily; Marina slip holders may use the Marina docks for vessel arrivals and departures during closed hours;

• Glen Echo Park is open:

  • 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM daily

• Gravelly Point Parking Lot and Boat Ramp areas are open: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM;

• Great Falls Park is open:

  • 7:00 AM to thirty (30) minutes after sunset, daily.
  • Great Falls Park Visitor Center is open:
    • At daylight savings beginning (2nd Sunday in March) lOAMto5PM until 1st Sunday in November
    • At daylight savings end (1st Sunday in November) 10AMto4PM until 2nd Sunday in March
    • Closed Christmas Day.

• The Parking Lot at Roaches Run on the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial

Parkway is open from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight).

• The Clara Barton Parkway

  • Access in and out of DC across Chain Bridge is restricted during morning (6:15 to 10:00 am) and afternoon (2:45 to 7:15pm) rush hours.
  • From 6:15 to 10:00 am, no traffic allowed Westbound from Chain Bridge. Two lanes allowed Eastbound from Chain Bridge parking lot to the Chain Bridge.
  • From 2:45 to 7:15 pm access to the Eastbound Clara Barton Parkway from the MacArthur Boulevard Exit (aka Glen Echo turn-around) and Chain Bridge will be closed. Vehicles leaving the parking areas, along the parkway during this time are required to exit Eastbound then make a U- turn at the Chain Bridge Parking area to travel westbound. There is no access to Chain Bridge from 2:45 to 7:15 p.m.

• GWMP Headquarters Offices at Turkey Run Park are open 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM, Monday through Friday, and closed on all federal holidays.

• The George Washington Memorial Parkway, the Clara Barton Parkway, and Spout Run Parkway roadways are normally open 24 hours a day year-round. Certain weather conditions or incidents/ events may require a temporary closure of GWMP-administered roadways.

• Maintenance and repair of any vehicle, except for emergencies, is prohibited in all public use areas. Washing and waxing of any vehicle is prohibited in all public use areas. This is to protect natural resources and the visitor experience.

• Flying kites using glass-coated or other abrasive and/or non-biodegradable kite string or line in the park is prohibited. The flying of kites must not negatively affect other visitors. Each kite being flown must be under direct, constant control of a person, and all persons engaged in kite flying must make a reasonable effort to prevent resource damage, including collecting all kite materials. The flying of kites may not interfere with NPS or United States Park Police (USPP) operations. Kites should be flown at least 50 yards away from trees and may not be flown at Gravelly Point and Daingerfield Island (including the Washington Sailing Marina).

• No cleats are allowed, except on designated athletic fields.

• No access to turf is allowed during frosts, saturated conditions, or conditions that would cause turf damage.

Notice of the closure will occur through signage, fencing, red flags, posting on the Park’s website or in the park permit office, or by ranger or officer on-site direction.

• Digging or otherwise damaging turf is prohibited.

• Visitors are required to wear or carry a personal flotation device during boating activities.

• Staking is permitted in most areas of the Park if stakes are under 18" or a utility location survey was completed.

• Tents and canopies must be open on all four sides.

• Parking is permitted in designated areas only. Parking is not permitted on any grass or lawn areas except by permit unless otherwise posted.

• Parking in closed areas is prohibited.

• Commuter parking is prohibited in all George Washington Memorial Parkway parking areas.

• Overnight parking is prohibited on all National Park Service land administered by the George Washington Memorial Parkway unless subject to a permit issued by the National Park Service. The only exception is a vehicle belonging to a slip-holder at the three concession-operated marinas (Belle Haven Marina, Columbia Island Marina, and Daingerfield Island/Washington Sailing Marina).

• The use of park tap water is limited to one gallon per person per day.

• Unless otherwise posted, parking for other than recreational purposes or for longer than six (6) hours Monday through Friday is prohibited in the following lots:

  • Turkey Run Park
  • Scenic Overlooks #1 & #2
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Lady Bird Johnson Park
  • LBJ Memorial Grove
  • Columbia Island
  • Gravelly Point
  • Glen Echo Park
  • Daingerfield Island
  • Belle Haven Park
  • Clara Barton National Historic Site
  • Roaches Run Parking Lot
  • Jones Point Park

• Parking in the parking lot at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) for longer than one (1) hour is prohibited.

• Front-end parking is required in the following parking lots:

  • Turkey Run Park
  • Fort Marcy
  • LBJ Memorial Grove
  • Columbia Island
  • Daingerfield Island overflow parking
  • Riverside Park

• Legally taken, tagged wildlife may be transported through federal land administered by GWMP.

• Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of George Washington Memorial Parkway is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.

o Determination - The Superintendent has determined recreational use of unmanned aircraft within the George Washington Memorial Parkway may conflict with, or impact, a variety of park uses including visitor experience of unimpaired view sheds through the Mather Gorge and along the Potomac River; the disturbance, displacement or harassment of wildlife in areas such as, but not limited to, Great Falls Park, Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, Theodore Roosevelt Island and Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Their use could also lead to the creation of public safety hazards per operation near roadways or large aggregations of visitors. A hazard would also exist in a large portion of the parkway that experience overflights of commercial aircraft to and from Ronald Reagan National Airport in the areas of, but not limited to, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Gravelly Point, Lady Bird Johnson Park, Belle Haven Park, Jones Point Park and Collingwood Picnic Area. The presence of unmanned aircraft may also pose a serious interruption to the solemnity and memorialization intended for areas such as, but not limited to, Fort Marcy, US Marine Corps War Memorial, LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac, Arlington Memorial Bridge and Memorial Avenue, Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Clara Barton National Historic Site, Glen Echo Park and Fort Hunt Park.

o Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links.) This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, model rockets, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

• Parasailing, wind boarding, and gliding are prohibited.

o Determination: Prohibition of parasailing, wind boarding and gliding is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources

• Designated portions of the Potomac River Virginia shorelines adjacent to Great Falls Park is closed to the public and may only be accessible through a Special Use Permit. This closed parkland is depicted on the attached map and is more particularly described as being approximately 1680 feet in length and 250 feet in width along the Potomac River, beginning at the upper edge of Fisherman's Eddy, directly below Overlook Two, and extending upstream to a point in line with Mine Run Stream; and extending from the eastern edge of the park trail that leads to River Bend County Park.

• Access into the Potomac River between the downstream portion of Overlook #2 to the Aqueduct Dam is prohibited. Fishermen and boaters are encouraged to use Fisherman's Eddy to access the Potomac River.

o Determination: Please reference Appendix for the GWMP "Record of Determination for Closure of Designated Portions of the Potomac River Virginia Shoreline Adjacent to the Great Falls of the Potomac."

• Access to the rocky environments south of Overlook 3 to the downstream side of Flat Iron climbing area is restricted as depicted on the attached map. Access is by permit only, which is issued to individuals or groups who wish to access the restricted area for climbing, fishing, and for research or similar special uses. Access to points (climbing routes, fishing spots on Potomac River shoreline) in the restricted area is only by a designated marked trail (yellow blaze).

o Determination: The purpose of the restriction is to preserve globally rare plant communities endemic to Great Falls and the Potomac River Gorge. Permits are available at the Great Falls Park visitor center

• Mount Vernon Trail is closed between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, except for bicycle and pedestrian commuter traffic.

o Determination: Closure of the Mount Vernon Trail during these hours is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety.

• The left lane of the Loop Road at Fort Hunt Park is closed to vehicle traffic beyond Parking Lot A around to the Entrance Road.

o Determination: Please reference Compendium Appendix for the GWMP "Record of Determination for Public Use Guidelines for Pedestrian and Cycling Special Events within the George Washington Memorial Parkway".

• Washing, waxing, or repairing of vehicles is prohibited anywhere in the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

o Determination: Prohibition of the washing, waxing and care of vehicles is necessary for the protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources

• Jones Point Park docks are for canoe and kayak launching purposes only.

o Determination: Limitation of the Jones Point Park docks to canoe and kayak launching is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety and the protection of natural resources

• Picnicking is only permitted in designated areas. Refer to the park Unigrid maps for picnic areas.

o Determination: Limitation of picnicking to designated areas is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values and the protection of natural or cultural resources.

• Food and drink are prohibited in the immediate vicinity of all statues and memorials.

o Determination: Prohibition of food and drink in the immediate vicinity of all statues and memorials is necessary for the protection of scenic values and the protection of cultural resources

• Golf playing is prohibited within the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

o Determination: Playing golf presents a safety hazard to visitors outside of areas designed for that use.

• Pitching of horseshoes is prohibited, except in designated areas at Fort Hunt Park.

o Determination: Pitching of horseshoes presents a safety hazard outside of areas designed for that use.

• Kite flying is prohibited at Gravelly Point and Daingerfield Island (including Washington Sailing Marina).

o Determination: Kite flying in the immediate vicinity of an airport presents a clear public danger.

• The use of portable ramps and similar materials used for performing tricks with bicycles, skateboards, or other devices is prohibited on all GWMP property.

o Determination: The use of portable ramps presents a safety hazard to visitors outside of areas designed for that use.

• The use of wind propelled devices, motorized skateboards, scooters, and any other motorized device (except as authorized under 36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES) is prohibited on the Mt. Vernon Trail, in the Ft. Hunt picnic areas, and on all other GWMP property.

o Determination: The use of these devices presents a safety hazard to visitors outside of areas designed for that use.

• The use of electric motorized scooters, Segways or other similar devices is prohibited on all GWMP property except for use by individuals with disabilities.

o Determination: The use of motorized scooters presents a safety hazard to visitors outside of areas designed for that use.

"Liveaboards" on vessels moored at NPS marinas are prohibited. The NPS will consider a "liveaboard" as a person who stays overnight on board a vessel moored at the marina for four (4) or more nights in any seven (7) day period and more than three (3) occasions in any twelve (12) month calendar period.

• A vessel's internal combustion engine may not be used (while a vessel using electric trolling motor, sail, or paddling is allowed) and no more than three vessels of an organized group at any one time is allowed within designated areas of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve during the Marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris) and Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) nesting season from May 15 through August 25.

o Determinations: Reference Compendium Appendix for the GWMP "Record of Determination at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve for a No Wake Zone and Boating Limits in Designated Areas During the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern Nesting Season"

• Moon bounces and other air-filled land-based recreational devices, simulated rides, rock climbing walls and game trucks are prohibited.

o Determination: The use of these recreational devices can damage park resources.

• Geocaching is prohibited.

o Determination: Searching for caches off trail can disturb plant and animal habitat.

• Orienteering off trail is prohibited.

o Determination: Visitors are always required to remain on a trail to protect park resources.

• Leaving a trial or walkway to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway, or to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway is prohibited.

o Determination: Restricting hikers and pedestrians to the park’s trails and walkways helps protect the fragile habitat and natural resources of the park.

• Ice skating is prohibited on all waters, to promote visitor safety.

o Determination: Skating on ice can present a safety hazard to visitors

• Climbing, rappelling, BASE jumping, bungee jumping, and slacklining, etc. is prohibited unless otherwise designated. Installing, attaching, or using any fixed tensioned ropes and/or webbing (slacklines), and other devices to trees is prohibited.

o Determination: These activities can damage park resources

• Climbing activities may be permitted at Great Falls Park. See section II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT for specific details.

• Hitting golf balls is prohibited.

o Determination: Hitting golf balls presents a safety hazard outside of areas designed for that use.

• Ball playing, flying disc throwing, and kite flying are prohibited in the area of any national memorial, including, but not limited to, Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, Netherlands Carillon, Theodore Roosevelt Island Plaza, or Memorial Avenue, in respect to the sanctity of the memorials.

o Determination: ball playing in the vicinity of memorials creates the possibility of damage to the memorial.

• Swimming or wading into any waters from the shorelines of the areas administered by the George Washington Memorial Parkway is prohibited.

o Determination: swimming or wading from the shorelines of the George Washington Memorial Parkway presents a safety hazard for visitors.

• Ramps leading into the George Bush Center for Intelligence may be closed by the CIA.

o Determination: Closing vehicular entryways to the George Bush Center for Intelligence may be necessary for the purpose of national security.

• All federal land under the administration of GWMP areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with an artificial light, except for GWMP approved resource management activities.

• Unless operated by a person with a disability, motorized personal mobility devices may only operate on sidewalks or multi-use trails in the following locations:

o Mount Vernon Trail

o Users of motorized personal mobility devices must adhere to the following operating standards, most of which are also required under District of Columbia regulations on safe use of electric personal assistive mobility devices:

▪ No person under 16 years of age may operate a motorized personal mobility device, unless they have a disability.

▪ A person shall operate any motorized personal mobility device in a safe and nonhazardous manner so not to endanger oneself or any other person. The speed of the motorized personal mobility device will not exceed 15 M.P.H.

▪ Motorized personal mobility devices should be parked alongside the bicycle racks throughout the park

▪ Mini motorcycles (“pocket rockets,” dirt bikes, or similar) that are not licensed for street use are prohibited.

• Athletic Fields

o The park has identified the following locations as athletic fields:

▪ Ballfields at Fort Hunt. Reservations for all ballfields are tied to picnic areas (A, B and D) at Fort Hunt Park and can be made by telephone (1-800-444-6777) and internet only. Website http://www.recreation.gov (Note: Ballfields are not maintained to field specifications.)

• First Amendment Areas

o The park has identified the following locations as designated First Amendment areas:

▪ Memorial Avenue east of Route 110 - Limited to 25 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment.

▪ Mt. Vernon Circle - Limited to 50 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment. Must clear Mt. Vernon Circle by 9:30 a.m.

▪ Netherlands Carillon grounds are limited to 1000 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment.

▪ Great Falls Park – Limited to 75, with limited and approved equipment.

• Boat Launching:

o Please refer to §3.8 of this document for detailed vessel operation conditions.

• Docking or Mooring Areas:

o Vessels are permitted to dock or moor at the marinas in the George Washington Memorial Parkway managed under a concessions contract or similar instrument, or as approved by the Superintendent

• Weddings:

o The park has identified the following areas approved for wedding ceremonies:

▪ Netherlands Carillon – 100 person limit

▪ Theodore Roosevelt Island – 25 person limit

▪ Great Falls Park – 25 person limit

▪ Lady Bird Johnson Memorial – 25 person limit

▪ Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial – 25 person limit

▪ Navy and Merchant Marines Memorial "Waves and Gulls" – 25 person limit

• Military Ceremony

o The park has identified the following areas approved for military ceremonies:

▪ U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

▪ Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial

▪ Navy and Merchant Marine Memorial

▪ Netherlands Carillon

▪ Seabees Memorial

• Foot/Bike Races

o The following areas are approved for starting and ending a foot race/bike race:

▪ Great Falls Park (Old Carriage Road Trail to be used for foot races only)

▪ Gravelly Point Park

▪ Fort Hunt Park (Must reserve a pavilion)

▪ Belle Haven Park

▪ Jones Point Park

▪ Daingerfield Island

▪ Arlington Ridge

• Hiking and Pedestrian Use:

o The following areas are approved for hiking and pedestrian use:

• Hiking and pedestrian use is restricted to the park’s trails and walkway system.

 

II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the Superintendent is required:

• Advertisements: Display, posting or distribution

• Aircraft & Air Delivery

• Attaching or tying objects to, nailing, jumping from or swinging by ropes or other means from aqueducts, bridges, structures, trees, or other vegetation, construction and use of rope traverses or slack lining

• Audio Disturbances

• Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net

• Commercial Filming

  • The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
    • Outdoor filming activities involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
  • The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:
    • maintain public health and safety
    • protect environmental or scenic values
    • protect natural or cultural resources
    • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities
    • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.
  • If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.
  • The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.
  • The following are prohibited:
    • Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
    • Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
    • Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.
    • Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

• Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events

• Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

• Engaging in or soliciting any business (Requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).

• Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

• Explosives:

  • Use or possess fireworks
  • Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents

• Fishing tournaments and rodeos

• Foot Races and Bike Races

• Livestock use

• Memorialization

  • Erection of monuments (Requires approval from Regional Director; erection of monuments in the District of Columbia requires an Act of Congress)

• Operation of a solid waste disposal site

• Picnicking in Areas A-D at Fort Hunt Park during the periods March - October. (Please refer to section 2.11).

Picnic permits are not available on July 4th Fort Hunt Park. Picnic permits are issued by an NPS reservation agent for George Washington Memorial Parkway

  • Reservation of more than one picnic area at Fort Hunt on the same day requires an additional permit. Information and application can be found at https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/planyourvisit/forthunt.htm or by calling 202-439-7325

• Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views

• Removal of a downed aircraft

• Residing on federal lands

• Sale of intoxicants on private lands.

• Sale or distribution of printer matter that is not solely commercial advertising

• Scattering ashes from human cremation

• Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services

• Specimen collection

• The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages

• Use of a submersible

• Use of a vessel

• Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads

• Weddings

 

III. GENERAL REGULATIONS

Picnicking is permitted in designated areas in section I of this document.

Conditions for Picnicking:

● Picnic areas are available to the public on a first-come first-serve basis except under the following conditions:

o Fort Hunt Park: March 15 through Thursday prior to Memorial Day and Tuesday after Labor Day through October 31

▪ Reservations are required only on Saturdays and Sundays for Areas A-D. Area E is always open for use on a first-come first-serve basis. Use of park electrical outlets at Ft. Hunt Park is allowed only at Area A and by permit only.

o Fort Hunt Park: Friday Prior to Memorial Day through Labor Day

▪ Reservations are required daily for Areas A-D. Area E is always open for use on a first-come first-serve basis. Use of GWMP electrical outlets at Ft. Hunt Park is allowed only at Area A and by permit.
▪ Picnic permits are not available on July 4th

o Reservation of more than one picnic area at Fort Hunt on the same day requires an additional permit issued under 36 CFR 7.96. Permit applications to be made 30 days prior to an event. Additional information and application can be found at https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm or by calling 202-245-4715

● Fort Hunt Park picnic reservations are issued by a NPS reservation agent for George Washington Memorial Parkway. Reservations for Fort Hunt Park are accepted by telephone (1- 800-444-6777) and internet only. Website http://www.recreation.gov

● The use of tents, canopies or shelters by picnickers will only be allowed if they are free standing, self-supporting, weighted and placed in a manner that will not restrict a view shed and allow other park visitors access to all public areas. Use of tents, tarps, or shelters that are wholly or partially supported by using stakes and/or guylines are prohibited.

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Receptacles Allowed:

● Open charcoal fires are only permitted in government-provided or private grills.

Designated Areas:

▪ Belle Haven

▪ Collingwood Picnic Area

▪ Great Falls Park Picnic Area

▪ Fort Hunt

Established Conditions for Fires:

● A permit may authorize open flame candles relating to a demonstration, but such candles must be hand-held at all times and equipped with drip protectors to protect park resources. Because wax can cause permanent damage unless removed properly and in a timely fashion, if wax drips occur in park areas, they shall contact the park’s Superintendent to ensure proper removal treatment occurs.

● Grills and charcoal fires are prohibited in GWMP managed areas within the boundaries of Arlington County, Alexandria City, and the District of Columbia on July 4th

● At Columbia Island Marina, Washington Sailing Marina, and Belle Haven Marina charcoal or gas grills, or open flames of any type, are not allowed on the docks or on any vessel tied to the docks.

(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:

It is prohibited to extinguish charcoal fires by spreading on any ground surface or dumping in any body of water. It is the responsibility of the user to extinguish the fire and remove all fire by-products from the park upon completion of use.

(a)(8) In developed areas, the disposal of human body waste is prohibited, except at the following designated locations or fixtures provided for that purpose:

● At marinas managed under a concessions contract or similar instrument

(a) The following are prohibited:

(1) Possessing a pet in a public building, public transportation vehicle, or location designated as a swimming beach, or any structure or area closed to the possession of pets by the superintendent. This subparagraph shall not apply to guide dogs accompanying visually impaired persons or hearing ear dogs accompanying hearing-impaired persons.

• Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

• Clara Barton House

• Pets are prohibited from entering the Potomac River from within GWMP managed areas.

(5) Failing to comply with pet excrement disposal conditions which may be established by the superintendent:

• Solid pet waste must be collected and disposed of by placing in a trash receptacle or removing it from the park.

Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices is prohibited, except in the following designated areas:

● The Mt. Vernon Trail

● The left lane of the Fort Hunt Park picnic area Loop Road

● Paved areas of Jones Point Park

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

● All buildings, structures, or facilities, including picnic pavilions and comfort stations are closed to smoking.

● Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any building entrance.

● Smoking is prohibited within 500 feet of fuel storage.

(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Areas:

o Entrance fees are collected at Great Falls Park on the following fee schedule:

▪ Per Vehicle: $20

▪ Per Person: $10

▪ Per Motorcycle: $15

▪ Park-Specific Annual Pass: $35

Special Recreation Permit Fee (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):

Special recreation Permit Fees are collected for the use of the Fort Hunt Picnic Areas on the following fee schedule:

● Area C1 $70 weekday $45.00 /weekend additional

● Area C2 $125.00 weekday $75.00 /weekend additional

● Area C3 $70 weekday $45.00 /weekend additional

● Area A $425 weekday $325.00 /weekend additional

● Area D $140 weekday $85.00 /weekend additional

● Area B $275 weekday $150.00 /weekend additional

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

The use, sale, or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all areas of the park except in:

• designated areas of approved concessions

• within limited and clearly designated areas if authorized under a specific permit issued by the Superintendent.

• Fort Hunt Areas A through D allow for the possession and consumption of only beer and wine and only in association with a permit obtained through the Fort Hunt Park Picnic Permit system at www.recreation.gov

(c)(1) The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations:

● Memorial Avenue east of Route 110 - Limited to 25 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment.

● Mt. Vernon Circle - Limited to 50 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment. Must clear Mt. Vernon Circle by 9:30 am.

● Netherlands Carillon grounds are limited to 1000 maximum people, with limited and approved equipment.

● Great Falls Park – Limited to 75, with limited and approved equipment.

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is prohibited outside of the following trails, routes or areas designated for their use:

● The Potomac Heritage Trail

• The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, or in the following areas and according to the following conditions:

o Great Falls Park

(a) PFDs must be worn or carried on the designated waters, at the designated times and/or during designated water based activities outlined in §1.5 of this document.

(a)(2) Launching or operating a vessel is prohibited, except at one of the following launch sites:

● Marinas under the management a concessions agreement or other similar instrument authorized by the Superintendent

● Gravelly Point

● Kayaks at the Jones Point Park boat launch, Roaches Run, Riverside Park, and vessels at Fisherman’s Eddy and Sandy Landing at Great Falls Park

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

● Access to park roads is limited to vehicles not exceeding load, weight and size restrictions. Vehicles may not exceed 10,000 pound gross axle weight unless permitted. All such requests, other than emergency responses, require an application to the NPS for a permit.

● No commercial motor vehicles are permitted on park roads. A commercial motor vehicle is defined as:

O Any vehicle in excess of 10,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight, 49 CFR 3 §350.105(1)

● Permits may be granted by the Superintendent for commercial motor vehicles to use park roads. Said permits may limit the size of the vehicle and the route the vehicle may take while on the GWMP or any roads its administers.

● Guidance for commercial motor vehicles, of any size, is found in 36 CFR 5.6 and 7.96(f)

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

● Pursuant to 36 CFR 4.21, the maximum speed limits on all park roads are as posted.

● Speed limits at approximate locations on the George Washington Memorial Parkway:

● Southbound

o 50 mph from I-495 south to Windy Run Bridge

o 40 mph from Windy Run Bridge to Slaters Lane

o 30 mph from Slaters Lane to Powhatan Street

o 25 mph from Powatan Street to Hunting Creek Bridge

o 35 mph from Hunting Creek Bridge to south of Belle View Boulevard

o 45 mph from south of Belle View Boulevard to Little Hunting Creek Bridge

o 35 mph Little Hunting Creek Bridge to Mount Vernon Circle.

o 25 mph at Mount Vernon Circle

● Northbound

o 25 mph at Mount Vernon Circle

o 35 mph after Mount Vernon Circle to Little Hunting Creek Bridge

o 45 mph from Little Hunting Creek Bridge to south of Belle View Boulevard

o 35 mph from south of Belle View Boulevard to Hunting Creek Bridge

o 25 mph from Hunting Creek to Bashford Lane

o 30 mph from Bashford Lane to Abingdon Drive merge

o 40 mph from Abingdon Drive merge to Spout Run Parkway

o 50 mph from Spout Run Parkway to I-495

▪ Speed limits on Clara Barton Parkway:

● Eastbound

o 30 mph from MacArthur Boulevard to Carderock exit

o 50 mph from Carderock exit to Cabin John Parkway

o 45 mph from Cabin John Parkway to prior to Glen Echo exit

o 35 mph from Glen Echo exit to Chain Bridge

● Westbound

o 35 mph from Chain Bridge to Glen Echo exit 25 MPH at Glen Echo exit

o 50 mph beyond Glen Echo exit to MacArthur Boulevard approach

o 30 mph to MacArthur Boulevard

▪ Speed limits on Spout Run Parkway:

● 35 mph for entire parkway

▪ Lower speed limits are posted on other GWMP roadways and ramps.

● Memorial Circle 25 mph

Bicycles are prohibited in the following areas

Great Falls Park:

• Patowmack Canal Trail

• River Trail

• Swamp Trail

• Swamp-Ridge Connector Trail

• Matildaville Trail

• Mine Run Trail

• Riverbend Road Trail

• Between Old Dominion Drive and River Bend Road

Jones Point Park Trails

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve Haul Road

Potomac Heritage Trail

The George Washington Memorial Parkway roadway from Mount Vernon Circle to Interstate 495 near the American Legion Bridge.

The Spout Run Parkway Roadway

The Clara Barton Parkway Roadway

The following regulations apply to bicyclists on designated trails in George Washington Memorial Parkway:

• The speed limit for bikes is 15 MPH.

• Cyclists must stay on the right side of the trail.

• Move left only to pass and give ample audible warning when passing other trail users.

• Bicyclists must adhere to protective equipment requirements and regulations set by the applicable state or county.

• Trail users must keep to the right and travel in single file.

• Commercial or guided bicycle groups are not permitted in any 36 CFR 7.96 restricted area.

• Bicycles should be parked in the bicycle racks.

• All unpaved trails, and off-trail or off-road areas are closed to bicycle use.

• Bicycles must be operated at speeds reasonable for existing conditions. Speed should not exceed 15-mph on paved multi-use recreation trails or 25-mph on paved roadways.

• Bicyclists must adhere to protective equipment requirements and regulations set by the applicable state or county.

(1) E-bikes are allowed in George Washington Memorial Parkway where traditional bicycles are allowed.

E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

• A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

• Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within George Washington Memorial Parkway is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

• Electric bicycle means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of not more than 750 watts that meets the requirements of one of the following three classes:

(1) “Class 1 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

(2) “Class 2 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

(3) “Class 3 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

 

Appendix A

Record of Determination for the Public Use Guidelines for Pedestrian and Cycling Special Events Within the George Washington Memorial Parkway

May 27, 2022

Record of Determination for the Public Use Guidelines for Pedestrian and Cycling Special Events Within the George Washington Memorial Parkway

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §§ 1.5, 7.96(g),(l)(ii),(5)(vi), (xiii) the George Washington Memorial Parkway issues this public use limitation guidelines for special event races and organized runs in the George Washington Memorial, Clara Barton and Spout Run Parkways; Mount Vernon Trail; Arlington Ridge Park (United States Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon); Arlington Memorial Bridge; Memorial Avenue; Fort Hunt loop Road; Great Falls Park, Virginia and all other sites under the administration of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. In this policy, the public use limitation is intended to more fully define what is “reasonably suited” for these park areas, by imposing a ‘public use limitation’ on the number and duration of pedestrian and cycling special events in order to minimize any negative impact on resources, visitor services, access to and egress from park concessionaires, normal park visitor usage and other permitted activities. Permit applications for pedestrian and cycling race special events runs within George Washington Memorial Parkway will be administered in accordance with this Record of Determination, 35 CFR 7.96 and all applicable National Park Service special event policies and requirements.

The Park Service is committed to providing appropriate, high-quality opportunities for visitors to enjoy the parks. In exercising its discretionary authority, the Service will allow only special uses that are appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established and that can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts to park resources and values. One factor for unacceptable impacts would be a special use that creates an unsafe or unhealthy environment for visitors or employees. Another factor would be if the special use diminishes opportunities for visitors to enjoy, learn about, or be inspired by park resources or values, or if it unreasonably interferes with appropriate use.

We believe this policy outlined herein appropriately balances pedestrian and cycling special events with the other concession and public uses, while maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. The restrictions address how park management addresses the various challenges dues to trail congestion with concession and other public uses. According to a 2004 park memorandum, “The trail receives heavy public use and is so congested, particularly on weekends in the spring and fall, that a times foot race presents a serious hazard to trail users.” Data collected in 2009 reveals peak weekend visitation is nearly 4,000 trips per day in northern section.

In addition to the wide range of recreational activities on the Mount Vernon Trail; the George Washington Memorial, Clara Barton and spout Run Parkways serve as major commuter routes. While maintaining the background for a scenic, historical and cultural setting, the Parkways must also minimize its recreational usage.

Furthermore, the George Washington Memorial, Clara Barton and Spout Run Parkways consist of 32.6 miles of scenic parkways which annually has over 30 million motor vehicles per year. A purpose of the George Washington Memorial Parkway is to protect and manage the natural, cultural, and recreational resources and scenic values in light of its major commuter route. Superintendents will set, enforce, and monitor carrying capacities to limit public visitation to or use of cultural resources that would be subject to adverse effects from unrestricted levels of visitation or use. (Management Policies 2006, 5.3.1.6 Visitor Carrying Capacity).

The following data collected in 2009 reveal vehicular visits throughout the four seasons along the George Washington Memorial Parkway: Spring (March, April and May) – 7,716,798: Summer ( June, July and August) – 7,756,082: Autumn (September, October and November) – 7,305,904 and Winter (December, January and February) – 6,579,118. The George Washington Memorial Parkway links the Clara Barton and Spout Run Parkways to a variety of experiences to millions of people each year. Through prescribing indicators and specific standards for acceptable and sustainable visitor use along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Clara Barton and Spout Run Parkways, recommendations are made to enforce and monitor carrying capacities for pedestrian and cycling events. While providing enjoyment of the parks, the Parkways must be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts to park resources or values.

As managers of the Mount Vernon Trail (MVT), we are often challenged to balance a wide range of uses and the timing of events on the multi-use trail. It is also critical to understand the trail in nine feet wide, portions of which are located within just a few feet of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The close proximity of the trail and roadway contribute to congestion and concerns for the safety of all visitors. Weekend congestion on this narrow trail is typically recorded at 400-450 people per hour in the afternoon. Morning use on the weekend is also high, at 300 people per hour observed during 8am to 10am time period. It’s also important to note that congestion persists throughout the week due to a combination of transportation and recreation use. With this policy, our goal is to make the MVT available to as many visitors and users as possible, while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all parties involved.

Permit application for pedestrian and cycling events on the George Washington Memorial and Spout Run Parkways; Mount Vernon Trail; Arlington Ridge Park (United States Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon); Arlington Memorial Bridge; Memorial Avenue; Fort Hunt Loop Road; Great Falls Park, Virginia and all other sites under the administration of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Administered in accordance with this Record of Determination, 36 CFR 7.96 and all applicable National Park Service special event policies and requirements, the park issues the following guidelines:

A. Consistent with 36 CFR 7.96(G), applications for pedestrian and cycling special events will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, up to one year in advance of the proposed race date, which includes pre-event set up and post-event take down.

Races requiring road closures will not be conducted on sites/areas under the administration of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.

B. Pedestrian and cycling special events on the George Washington Memorial, Clara Barton, and Spout Run Parkway – maximum of three per year (except the Marine Corps Marathon and the Parkway Classic)

1. Will be allowed between Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day Weekend;

2. Must begin no later than 8:00 a.m.

3. Parkways must be cleared for reopening by 9:30 a.m.;

4. Maximum participation will not exceed 5,000;

5. Events requiring road closures will not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;

C. Pedestrian and cycling special events at Arlington Ridge Park (United States Marine Corps War Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon) with the exception of the Marine Corps Marathon

1. Will be allowed between Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend;

2. Must begin no later than 8:00 a.m.;

3. Must be cleared by 9:30 a.m.;

4. No activities are permitted on the parade field, reviewing platform and plaza levels;

5. No events are permitted the second Tuesdays of June, July and August and Veteran’s Day;

6. No events are permitted Memorial Day, Saturdays of June, July and August, Labor Day, and Independence Day,

7. Races requiring road closures will not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;

D. Pedestrian and cycling events along Arlington Memorial Bridge and Memorial Avenue (except the Marine Corps Marathon, Rolling Thunder, Army Ten-Miler, and Chery Blossom)

1. Only permitted on the weekends between Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend;

2. Must begin no later than 8:00 a.m.;

3. Must be cleared by 9:30 a.m.;

4. Events requiring road closures will not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;

E. Pedestrian and cycling special events on the Mount Vernon Trail (MVT) – maximum of two per month

1. Will be allowed November 1 through the third weekend in April with a maximum number of 300 participants;

2. Between the fourth week in April – October 31 with a maximum number of 100 participants;

3. Must begin no later than 8:00 a.m.;

4. Must be cleared by 9:30 a.m.;

5. For event starting on park property, must maintain a dispersal start with a maximum of 15 participants at a time entering the MVT in 4-minute intervals;

6. Participants shall maintain adequate dispersal while entering and traveling along the MVT in order to share the trail with the general public;

7. Must maintain a maximum of 15 single file participants per group at a time on the MVT;

8. Events requiring road closures will not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;

F. Pedestrian and cycling special events on the Fort Hunt – Fort Hunt Loop Road

1. Year-round events are permitted at Fort Hunt Park. If the event occurs during the Fort Hunt Park reserved picnic season, permittee must also obtain a picnic permit for one of the reserved areas. Visit the website http://www.recreation.gov/ for more information and to make a reservation.

2. Events must begin no later than 8:00 a.m.;

3. All roads musts be cleared no later than 9:30 a.m.;

4. Maximum participation will not exceed the carrying capacity of the reserved area(s);

5. Must maintain a dispersal start with a maximum of 25 participants at a time entering the Fort Hunt Loop Road in 4-minute intervals;

6. Participants shall maintain adequate dispersal while traveling along the inner land of Fort Hunt Loop Road in order to share the inner lane with the general public;

7. Participants must run single file clockwise in the inner lane of Fort Hunt Loop Road;

8. During events the outer lane of Fort Hunt Loop will be reserved for police, emergency, and administrative vehicles and closed to the general public;

9. Events requiring road closures will not be permitted on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;

G. Pedestrian and cycling special events at Great Falls Park, Virginia

1. Pedestrian events will be allowed between September – March

2. Cycling events are not allowed.
3. Must remain on official established trails;

H. Pedestrian and cycling special will be allowed under the following conditions:

1. Permittee must provide for and require all participants and support staff to be clearly identified. Participants must be clearly identified through clothing items or bibs. Support staff must be clearly identified through t-shirts naming the event. Marshalls must wear reflective vests and be stationed at every intersection.

2. At predetermined “Off the Course” time, permittee is responsible for direction all participants to conclude the race on the course and provide a vehicle to pick-up participants who have not finished the course by the off the course time limit.

3. The permittee is required to make an announcement to all participants at the start of the foot race, the walk, and/or the bike ride that they are required to abide by the following while on the Mount Vernon Trail:

• Participants may run only in the right lane, except when passing. When passing

in the left lane, runners must yield to any oncoming traffic.

• Participants are prohibited from impeding or preventing the general public from using any part of the Mount Vernon Trail.

• When crossing roads, participants must stay within the boundaries of the painted crosswalks.

I. Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 4.30(a) the use of a bicycle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes designated for bicycle; provided, however, the Superintendent may close any park road or parking area to bicycle use pursuant to the criteria and procedures of § 1.5 and 1.7 of this chapter. Routes may only be designated for bicycle use based on a written determination that such use is consistent with the protection of the park area’s natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety consideration and management objectives and will not disturb wildlife or park resources. Any bike race special event that is allowed wither separately or as part of a biathlon/triathlon only, may occur under the following conditions:

1. Permittees must provide for and require all participants to exercise all normal and reasonable safety precautions including observance of all applicable bike course safety notices and the wearing of personal protection equipment such as helmets.

2 Permittee must provide and adequately maintain suitable protective safety devices such as barricades, heavy duty plastic surfaces and fences for the safety of staff, volunteers and participants. Placement of such devices requires the prior written approval of the National Park Service.

3 For filming on the race/bike course, only one motor vehicle will be allowed and must be located behind a United States Park Police cruiser leading the runners/Bikers and must continue moving with the cruiser throughout the race/bike route.

4 The “transition Area”, must be finished with adequate lighting, entrances and egress points. The fencing design must provide for the safety of participants entering and exiting the transition area as well as for spectators viewing the event for this location.

J. No fees (including electronic transactions) or charges may be collected on park land and the special event permittee may not engage in or solicit any business on park land. All participants must be pre-registered.

K. The permittee/sponsor for special event races requiring road closures must procure public and employee liability insurance from a responsible United States based company with a minimum limitation of $1 million per person for any one claim and an aggregate limitation of $3 million for any number of claims arising from any one incident. The United States of America shall be included as an additional named insured on all such policies and a copy of the insurance rider must be provided to the National Park Service.

L. Permittee will be required to reimburse any costs incurred by the National Park Service and the United States Park Police in support of these activities.

M. The Permittee will be held liable for any damage to park property coincident to this permit. The Permittee is responsible for all reimbursement cost, including work performed by park staff, to correct or repair damages to park property (i.e. ruts, damages to drains, curbing and/or road surfaces, injuries to vegetation and turf, etc.) incurred as a result of the activity permitted.

N. The National Park Service will not be held responsible for any specific roadway maintenance requirements in support of footrace events, above and beyond routine maintenance.

O. Marking of racecourse must be by flour, real estate type signs, or similar material only, but must first be approved in writing by the National Park Service and is to be removed immediately after the event.

P. Unbudgeted expenditures incurred by the National Park Service and/or United States Park Police include personnel services, maintenance supplies and materials as well as maintenance clean-up following event.

The Permittee will take special care to prevent damage to park resources. The Permittee will be held liable for any damages to park property coincident to the permit. In addition, the Permittee is responsible for the immediate cleanup of any debris deposited on park lands and roads. Permittee is responsible for reimbursing the National Park Service and United States Park Police for all personnel costs associated with this activity.

Lesser restrictive measures will not suffice in order to effectively balance and avoid conflicts between race and organized run activities with other visitor use and services activities equitably allocated park areas and facilities, access to and egress from park concessionaires, and concession operations. The public use limitation enhances park resources and values and is not of a nature, magnitude and duration that will result in a significant alteration in the public use pattern. Further, it will not adversely affect the park’s natural, aesthetic or cultural values and is not of a highly controversial nature, given that these guidelines have been developed for past races in Rock Creek Park. Accordingly, pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §1.5(b) publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unnecessary and unwarranted. This is consistent with hundreds of past park judicial adjudications. Mahoney v. Norton No.02-1715 (D.D.C. August 29, 2002), plaintiffs’ emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied Mahoney v. Norton, No.02-5275 (D.C. Cir. September 9, 2002) (per curiam); Spiegel v. Babbitt, 855 F.Supp. 402 (D.D.C. 1994), aff’d and vacated in part 1995 US App. LEXIS 15200 (D.C. Cir. May 31, 1995); Picciotto v. United States, No. 99-2113 (D.D.C. August 6, 1999); Picciotto v. United States, No. 94-1935 (D.D.C. September 9, 1994); Picciotto v. Luian No. 90-1261 (D.D.C. May 30, 1990); Picciotto v. Hodel, No. 87-3290 (D.D.C. January 26, 1988).

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 1.7, notice of any closure will be made by posting, by officers’ direction, or outlined in the permit. Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 1.5 (c), this Record of Determination is also available to the public upon request.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent
Date: May 27, 2022

 
Map of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Appendix B

Record of Determination at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve for a No Wake Zone and Boating Limits in Designated Areas During the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern Nesting Season

April 21, 2021

Record of Determination of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve For a No Wake Zone and Boating Limits in Designated Areas During the Marsh Wren And Least Bittern Nesting Season

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is part of the National Park Service’s George Washington Memorial Parkway pursuant to the Act of June 11, 1959, Public Law 86-42, 73 Stat. 71-72. That Act provided that its acquisition was “in order to acquire and area of irreplaceable wet lands near the Nation’s Capital which is valuable for the production and preservation of wildlife” and that it is to be administered “so that fish and wildlife development and their preservation as wet land wildlife habitat shall be paramount”.

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §§1.5, 2.2(a)(2) and 2.3(a), and in order to further management objectives including preservation and protection of wildlife, within the boundaries of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve (1) no vessel wakes are allowed and (2) during Marsh Wren and Least Bittern nesting season from 15 May through 25 August, designated areas are closed to the use of internal combustion engines and for groups of three or more water craft. The boundary of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is based upon Public Law 86-41(a)’s NCPC map 105.22-415. Attached is the map which also contains supplemental GPS points to help identify its boundaries to boaters as well as the area that is restricted during the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern nesting season. Violation is prohibited.

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is the largest remaining freshwater wetland in the Washington Metropolitan Area and provides a habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals and offers an ideal setting for a variety of recreational activities. A park trail that leads visitors into the marsh is a favorite of area birdwatchers, hikers, photographers, and nature lovers, while the waters in and around the marsh are popular for wildlife viewing and fishing.

To date, more than 360 species of plants have been recorded. The dominant plant species of the marsh itself is the narrow-leafed cattail. Other plants include arrowhead (a.k.a. duck potato), a plant whose starchy tubers are favored by waterfowl; arrow arum, a distinctive plant with large triangular leaf blades; pickerelweed; sweet flag; spatterdock-pond lily; and northern wild rice, the grains of which are enjoyed by red-winged blackbirds and waterfowl. Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve also provides habitat which supports a diverse array of animals, which includes beavers, muskrat, little brown bats, red fox, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, shrew and white footed mice. Several species of reptiles and amphibians also inhabit the marsh, including bullfrogs, leopard frogs, northern water snakes, as well as snapping, painted and box turtles.

Nearly 300 species of birds, including Marsh Wrens and Least Bitterns, have been observed in Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, making it one of the premier bird watching spots in the metropolitan area. Among the species reported at Dyke Marsh include the commonly observed Canada geese (Branta canadensis), Mallard (Anas platyrhychos), Great Egrets (Ardea asba), Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auratus), Great blue herons (Ardea herodias), Laughing gulls (Larus atricilla); rarely observed: Common loons (Gavia immer), Tundra swans (Olor columbianus), Redhead ducks (Aythya americana); and rare to uncommonly observed: Woodducks (Aix sponsa), Black ducks (Anas rubripes); Herring gulls (Larus argentatus), Snowy egrets (Egretta thula), Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), Black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), and Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). At least 14 other duck species are of similar size and habit as Mallard also occur in Dyke Marsh.

I. No Wake Zone

The land portions of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve have eroded at an alarming rate. A recent study of erosion rates at Dyke Marsh by Litwin, R.J., et al. 2010, Analysis of the Deconstruction of Dyke Marsh, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia: Progression, Geologic and Manmade Causes, and Effective Restoration Scenarios. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report (In Press) which determined that since 1976 27% of the marsh land has been lost to erosion. Acres of remaining marsh land were documented as eroding over the years. Specifically, in 1976 while there was 82.9 acres, in 1987 there was 78.7 acres, in 2002 there was 68.9 acres and in 2006 there was only 60.3 acres. The rate of loss is approximately 3/4 of an acre per year over the last 30 years and the trend is that the amount of loss is increasing each year. Although northeastern tracking storms have been pointed out as the primary causes of the erosion, it is well known that the cumulative effects of boat wake waves dissipating energy on shorelines cause erosion.

In that regard, there have been numerous studies documenting that boat wakes cause shoreline erosion. See e.g. Dorava, Joseph M. and Gayle W. Moore, 1997. Effects of Boat Wakes on Riverbank Erosion Kenai River, Alaska. USGS Water res. Inv. Rpt 97-4105. Anchorage, AK; Nanson, Gerald C. and Axel Von Krusenstierna and Edward A. Bryant, 1994. Experimental Measurements of River-Bank Erosion Caused by Boat Generated Waves on the Gordon River, Tasmania. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources sponsored Zabawa, Chris and Chris Ostrem, 1980. Final Report on the Role of Boat Wakes in Shore Erosion in Anne Arundel County MD, Coastal Resources Division, Tidewater Administration, MD Dept of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD, which shows erosive energy is caused from boat wakes, and that total energy from the series of waves in the wake of one boat does not decline significantly. And while the wave travels up to 200 feet across water, that distances over 500 feet were needed to reduce wave energy. The Report also noted that the most damaging wave energy came at boat speeds about 10 mph (9 knots) In a 26’ boat, and 7 mph (6 knots) in a 16’ boat, which are just above Maryland’s 6 mph speed limit, so a small error in estimating speed causes maximum wake. Accordingly, to help minimize shoreline erosion caused by boats, no wakes are allowed by vessels within the boundaries of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.

II. Boating Restriction At Designated Areas During Marsh Wren and Least Bittern Nesting Season

A vessel’s internal combustion engine may not be used [while a vessel using electric trolling motor, sail, or paddling is allowed] and no more that three vessels of an organized group at any one time is allowed within designated areas of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve during the Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) and Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) nesting season from 15 May through 25 August.

This limited boating restriction at the designated areas is necessary to protect the nesting activities of the Marsh Wren and the Least Bittern, which are two regionally rare bird species known to nest in Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Indeed, Dyke Marsh is now the only location near Washington DC where these two species are consistently known to nest. The Marsh Wren, whose reedy gurgling’s sounds make it a true song-bird, typically creates nests using cattail, sedge and grass which form a cup upon which the walls are woven usually with water-soaked vegetation. The Least Bittern, the smallest member of the heron family, typically nests on an elevated platform with an overhead canopy built with emergent aquatic vegetation and sticks.

Although once considered common in the Washington DC area (Coues, E. and D.W. Prentiss, 1883. Avifauna Columbiana: Being a list of birds ascertained to inhabit the District of Columbia, with the times of arrival and departure of such as are non-resident, and brief notices of habits, etc. 2nd Ed. U.S. National Museum Bulletin 26 Washington, DC), the Marsh Wren is now rare and local here due primarily to the loss of vast marsh lands that historically occupied areas in and around the District. It also appears that Marsh Wren populations are declining in Dyke Marsh itself. (Spencer, S.C. 2000. Population Abundance and Habitat requirements of the Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) at Dyke Marsh National Wildlife Preserve, An Urban Conservation Challenge. Masters Thesis, George Mason University) documented 31 male defended territories and seven breeding territories in 1999, but a survey of the same area using the same methods by Bulmer et al. 2008. Marsh Wren and Least Bittern Breeding Survey Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve (NPS Unpublished Report) detected only 17 male defended territories and six breeding territories in 2008. The Least Bittern is considered a “rare to uncommon” species in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is now state-listed for breeding occurrences and considered “somewhat vulnerable to extirpation” Roble, S.M. 2010. Natural Heritage Resources of Virginia: Rare Animal Species. Natural Heritage Technical Report 10-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, Virginia.

There is an abundance of scientific literature that documents the negative effects of anthropogenic noise and movement on nesting birds. See e.g. Carney, K.M., Sydeman, W.J., 1999. A review of human disturbance effects on nesting colonial waterbirds. Waterbirds 22:68-79; Erwin, R.M. 1989. Responses to Human Intruders by Birds Nesting in Colonies: Experimental Results and Management Guidelines. Colonial Waterbirds 12:104-108; Rodgers, Jr., J.A. and H.T. Smith. 1995. Set-back Distances to Protect Nesting Bird Colonies from human Disturbance in Florida. Conservation. Biology 9:89-99; Speckman, S.G., J.F. Piatt, and A.M. Springer. 2004. Small boats disturb fish-holding Marbled Murrelets. Northwestern Naturalist 85:32-34 Vermeer, K., and L. Rankin. 1984. Population Trends in Nesting Doublecrested Cormorants and Pelagic Cormorants in Canada. Murrelet 65:1-9.

While we are unaware of a study specific as the Marsh Wrens or Least Bitterns, and there are a diverse array of papers that show there are little or no effects from anthropogenic noise on some species of breeding bird, we believe that reduction in the numbers of boaters and the ban of the use of internal combustion engines near designated areas where these birds traditionally nest will help minimize disturbances and make it a quieter venue during their nesting season.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway earlier posted on its website that Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve was closed to groups of three or more water craft during the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern nesting season. Park personnel have spoken to groups who intended to organize large groups of canoeists during the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern nesting season. When informed of the closure, visitors readily agreed to reschedule their activity until after the breeding season and have stated that they love the marsh and would not want to unintentionally do anything to harm it or its wildlife.

Consistent with 36 C.F.R. §1.5, the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s (1) creation of no wake zones and (2) prohibition of internal combustion engines and limit of the number of organized groups of water craft to no more than three water craft in designated areas during the Marsh Wren and Least Bittern nesting season, will not adversely affect the park’s natural, aesthetic or cultural values. Accordingly, the National Park Service determines publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted under 36 C.F.R. §1.5(c).

The Determination is consistent with the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor and judicial adjudications that have upheld other NPS public use limitation or closures. Mausolf v Babbitt, 125 F.3d 661, 669 n10 (8th Cir. 1997); Spiegel v Babbitt, 855 F. Supp. 402 (D.D.C. 1994), affd in part w/o op. 56 F. 3d 1531 (D.C.Cir. 1995), reported in full, 1995 US App. Lexis 15200 (D.C.Cir. May 31, 1995); ANSWER Coalition v Norton, No. 05-0071, (D.D.C. January 18, 2005), Mahoney v Norton, no. 02-1715 (D.D.C. August 22, 2002), plaintiffs’ emergency motion for appeal for injunction pending appealed denied Mahoney v Norton, No. 02-5275 (D.C. Cir. September 9, 2002) (per curiam); Picciotto v United States, No. 99-2113 (D.D.C. August 6, 1999): Picciotto v Lujan, No. 90-1261 (D.D.C. May 30, 1990) Picciotto v Hodel, No. 87-3290 (D.D.C. December 7, 1987).

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §1.7, notice of this Record of Determination will be made through publication in the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s Compendium, media advisories, or notice. Finally, pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §1.5(c), this Determination is available to the public upon request.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent
Date: May 27, 2022

 
Map of Closed Shoreline at Great Falls Park

Appendix C

Record of Determination for Closure of Designated Portions of the Potomac River Virginia Shoreline Adjacent to the Great Falls of the Potomac

May 27, 2022

Record of Determination for the closure of Designated Portions of the Potomac River Virginia shoreline adjacent to the Great Falls of the Potomac

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(a), designated portions of the Potomac River’s Virginia shoreline adjacent to Great Falls of the Potomac is closed to the public and may only be accessible through a Special Use Permit. This closed park land is depicted on the attached map and is more particularly described as being approximately 1680 feet in length and 250 feet in width along the Potomac River, beginning at the upper edge of Fisherman’s Eddy, directly below Overlook Two, and extending upstream to a point in line with Mine Run Stream; and extending from the eastern edge of the park trail that leads to Riverbend County Park. Violation is prohibited.

This park land is being closed to ensure public safety and to protect historic and natural resources. There are no designated trails along the river in this area, and the terrain is very difficult to traverse. The shoreline above and adjacent to Great Falls is lined with many large boulders and steep rock faces, polished smooth by river currents and when combined with algae, make the rock surfaces very slippery. The river in this location is very dangerous with deep, fast moving water and extremely strong river currents, undertows, and whirlpools. According to a 2001 study by the National Park Service Office of Risk Management, this stretch of river has had the most drowning deaths in the entire Potomac River Gorge. The study indicates that 72% of overall river-related incidents are shoreline-based activities and 51% of all river-related injuries are fatal. Indeed, if someone falls in the Potomac River from this now-closed area, they would probably drown or be seriously injured by slipping and falling on the rocks.

In the past unsafe visitor activities had been frequently observed in the now closed area by Great Falls Park staff. Most visitors who venture into this area do so to enter or be close to the river. Usually, they wear inappropriate clothing and foot gear for the thick vegetation and rugged terrain. A very small number of visitors attempt to fish the river in this location; however, the currents in the area are too fast for good fishing. Another small percentage of visitors enter the area for photography. It is common for visitors to wander off trails and onto unauthorized “social paths” that can cause damage to cultural and natural resources. It is not feasible to construct and maintain designated trails because this area is frequently flooded. However, visitors can still experience the river and its views by using the overlooks and on designated trails located both downstream and upstream. In addition, with park staff having to make numerous safety contacts with visitors who enter the area, park staff has a higher risk for injury due to the difficult terrain.

This closed area also includes several unauthorized social paths that were created by park visitors who wander off the Patowmack Canal Trail to visit associated features like Briggs Grist Mill or to access the river.

Visitors using these unauthorized social paths enter the historic remains of the canal by climbing over dry laid stone, which has caused some sections of the canal stone wall to become dislodged, causing serious damage to historic resources. The unauthorized social paths also cut through native vegetation, spurring the growth of invasive exotic plants that crowd out native plants and trees. These unauthorized social paths, if allowed to be worn over time, are difficult for maintenance staff to eliminate because of compaction of soils.

This closure is not of a nature or magnitude that will result in a ”significant alteration in the public use patterns”. Although this closure may eliminate some scenic views for the public along the shoreline, many similar views of the falls are available via three constructed and safe overlooks and the River Trail north and south of the closed area. As detailed herein, less restrictive measures will not suffice to ensure public safety and to protect historic and natural resources. The closure will not adversely affect the natural, aesthetic, or cultural values of the park; nor require significant modification to the resource management objectives; nor is it of a highly controversial nature.

Accordingly, pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(b), publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted. This decision is consistent with the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor and past judicial adjudications that have upheld National Park Service closures or public use limitation. Mausolf v Babbitt, 125 F. 3d 661 n10 (8th Cir. 1997); Spiegal v Babbitt, 855 F. Supp. 402 (D.D.C. 1994); Mahoney v Norton, No. 02-1715 (D.D.C. August 29, 2002), plaintiffs’ emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied Mahoney v Norton, No 02-5275 (D.C. Cir. September 9, 2002) (per curiam); Picciotto v United States, No. 99-2113 (D.D.C. August 6, 1999); Picciotto v United States, No. 94-1935 (D.D.C. September 9, 1994); Picciotto v Lujan, No. 90-1261 (D.D.C. May 30, 1990); Picciotto v Hodel, No. 87-3290 (D.D.C. January 26, 1987).

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), 1.7, notice of this closure will be made through fencing and posting of signs at conspicuous locations in the affected area of the park and available in electronic formats. Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), this determination is available to the public upon request.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent
Date: May 27, 2022

 

Appendix D

Record of Determination for Public Use Guidelines for Footraces and Organized Runs at Great Falls Park

April 21, 2021

Record of Determination regarding Public Use Guidelines for Foot Races and Organized Runs at Great Falls Park (Virginia)

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §§ 1.5, 7.96 (g) (1) The George Washington Memorial Parkway issues this public use guideline for foot races and organized runs at Great Falls Park in Virginia. This record of determination is intended to more fully define what is "reasonably suited" for this particular sire of the George Washington Memorial Parkway known as Great Falls Park. Violation is prohibited.

Great Falls Park is an 800 acre park located on the Potomac River fourteen miles upriver from Washington D.C. at the head of the Potomac Gorge. The park has three scenic overlooks at the Great Falls of the Potomac, a visitor center, the historic remains of the Patowmack Canal, 15 miles of trails, a picnic area, and three large parking areas accommodating approximate]y 750 spaces: On average, the park receives about 500,000 visitors annually. The park largely serves the local community who comes year round to see the vistas, hike on trails, picnic, mountain bike, rock climb, or do whitewater kayaking. It also serves as a popular destination for international travelers. Although the busiest seasons are typically in spring, summer and fall, park visitation is highly dependent on the weather and can be as busy on fair weather days ia winter as one. might see in summer. The majority of park visitation occurs in the core area of the park that includes the visitor center, overlooks, parking areas, and trails near the visitor center. These areas can be highly congested on busy days while other park trails receive much lower visitation. Foot races and organized runs need to be managed to avoid escalating the congestion of the park and be balanced with other public uses and demands on the recreational resources throughout the year.

Foot races and organized runs must be applied for through a special use permit and will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to 36 CFR § 7.96(g) (5) (v). Permits for foot races and organized runs will not be allowed on federal holidays, when the park typically experiences greater visitation. Any permitted foot races and organized runs must remain on designated trails that are appropriate for their use. Race events will be evaluated on their potential to impact park resources, capacity of the infrastructure (i.e. trail conditions and parking), and the safety and visitor experience of other park users.

This record of determination for Great Falls Park is not of a nature or magnitude that will result in a "significant alteration in the public use patterns," of the park; and attempts to create a balance with special event pedestrian and cycling races with other park uses. The policy will not adversely affect the natural, aesthetic, or cultural values of the park; nor require significant modification to the resource management objectives; nor is it of a highly controversial nature.

Permit applications for pedestrian and cycling race special events within Great Falls Park will be administered in accordance with th.is Record of Determination, 36 CFR 7.96 and all applicable National Park Service special events policies and requirements.

Accordingly, pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(b), publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted. This decision is consistent with the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor and past judicial adjudications that have upheld NPS closures or public use limitations. Mausolf v Babbitt, 125 F.3d 661 n10 (8th Cir. 1997); Spiegal v Babbitt, 855 F. Supp. 402 (D.D.C. 1994); Mahoney v. Norton, No. 02-1715 (D.D.C August 29, 2002), plaintiffs’ emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied Mahoney v. Norton, No. 02-5275 (D.C. Cir. September 9, 2002) (per curiam); Picciotto v. United States, No. 99-2113 (D.D.C. August 6, 1999); Picciotto v. United States, No. 94-1935 (D.D.C. September 9, 1994); Picciotto v. Lujan, No. 90-1261 (D.D.C. May 30, 1990); Picciotto v. Hodel, No. 87-3290 (D.D.C. January 26, 1987.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), 1.7, notice of this closure will be made through fencing and posting of signs at conspicuous locations in the affected area of the park, a permitting system, and available in electronic formats. Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), this determination is available to the public on request.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent
Date: May 27, 2022

 
Riverside Outcrop Prairie/Riverside Outcrop Barrens (Area of Closure)

Appendix E

Record of Determination Closing the Rocky Environments South of Overlook 3 at Great Falls Park, Virginia - Riverside Outcrop Prairie/Riverside Outcrop Barrens.

May 27, 2022

Record of Determination Closing the Rocky Environments South of Overlook 3 at Great Falls Park, Virginia – Riverside Outcrop Prairie/Riverside Outcrop Barrens.

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §1.5, and the 2008 Record of Decision for the Great Falls Park General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, designated portions of the Virginia shoreline along Potomac River south (downstream) of Overlook 3 is closed. This closed parkland is depicted on the attached map and is more particularly described as the rocky environment south of Overlook 3 to the downstream side of the Flat Iron climbing area between the Potomac River and the fence line along the picnic area and River Trail. Access to this closed area is prohibited except by a permit that will be issued to individuals or groups who wish to access the restricted area for climbing, research, educational programs, or photography. Access to the climbing routes on Potomac River shoreline in the closed area will also only be by use of a designated marked yellow blaze trail. Permits to access the closed area for the purposes mentioned above will be issued through the George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters. Violation is prohibited.

This closure is intended to help preserve globally rare plant communities endemic to Great Falls and the Potomac River Gorge, where the trail used to access the restricted area passes through two globally rare plant community types. The “Piedmont / Central Appalachian Riverside Outcrop Prairie” is known only from scattered sites along the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The “Potomac Gorge Riverside Outcrop Barren” is not known from any place else on earth (Fleming, 2007; Steury et al., 2008).

The 2008 General Management Plan called for designation an access trail and the closed area due to National Park Service concerns about possible negative impacts from foot traffic on the globally rare plant communities and state listed rare plant species. In the past, repeated entry into the area by casual visitors on non-designated trails have trampled vegetation, including state listed rare species, and increased the spread of invasive exotic plants that further crowd out native plants species. The purpose of issuing special passes for the designated trail is to ensure visitors who access the area have received educational information about the significance and sensitivity of the unique natural environment, be aware of and adhere to appropriate plant protection and recreational practices, and to discourage casual visitors from entering the area.

This closure is not of a nature or magnitude that will result in a “significant alteration in the public use patterns”, especially since entry will be allowed through the use of the permit system. Although this closure may eliminate for others some scenic views along the shoreline, many similar scenic views of the Great Falls and the Gorge are available elsewhere in the park. As detailed herein, less restrictive measures will not suffice to ensure resource protection.

Accordingly, pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(b), publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted. This decision is consistent with the legal opinion of the Office of the Solicitor and past judicial adjudications that have upheld NPS closures or public use limitations. Mausolf v Babbitt, 125 F.3d 661 n10 (8th Cir. 1997); Spiegal v Babbitt, 855 F. Supp. 402 (D.D.C. 1994); Mahoney v. Norton, No. 02-1715 (D.D.C August 29, 2002), plaintiffs’ emergency motion for injunction pending appeal denied Mahoney v. Norton, No. 02-5275 (D.C. Cir. September 9, 2002) (per curiam); Picciotto v. United States, No. 99-2113 (D.D.C. August 6, 1999); Picciotto v. United States, No. 94-1935 (D.D.C. September 9, 1994); Picciotto v. Lujan, No. 90-1261 (D.D.C. May 30, 1990); Picciotto v. Hodel, No. 87-3290 (D.D.C. January 26, 1987.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), 1.7, notice of this closure will be made through fencing and posting of signs at conspicuous locations in the affected area of the park, a permitting system, and available in electronic formats. Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(c), this determination is available to the public on request.

Literature Cited:

Fleming, G.P. 2007. Ecological communities of the Potomac River Gorge in Virginia: composition, floristics, and environmental dynamics. Natural Heritage Technical Report 07-12.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, Virginia.

Steury, B.W., G.P. Fleming, an d M.T. Strong. 2008. An emendation of the vascular flora of Great Falls Park, Fairfax County, Virginia. Castanea 73(2): 123-149.

Approval: Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent
Date: May 27, 2022

 

Appendix F

Map of First Amendment Areas

 
First Amendment Area: Great Falls Park
 
First Amendment Area: Memorial Avenue
 
First Amendment Area: Mt. Vernon Circle
 
First Amendment Area: Netherlands Carillon
 

Appendix G

Public Notice - First Amendment Demonstration and Activities at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are rights protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. People may exercise these rights in national parks, but the National Park Service (NPS) retains its responsibility to protect park resources, prevent conflict among park visitors and adhere to federal regulations and policies.

Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial is located inside of Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery is an entity separate and apart from the National Park Service, and controls access to the Cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s most hallowed ground, is the final resting place for nearly 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. This historic cemetery bears witness to American heritage and the military service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform throughout U.S. history.

By statute, Arlington National Cemetery prohibits first amendment demonstrations and activities that occur 60 minutes before and ending 60 minutes after a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony within 150 feet of a road, pathway, or other route of ingress to or egress from such cemetery property or within 300 feet of such cemetery and impeded the access to or egress from such cemetery cited in 38 U.S. Code § 2413. For this reason, no demonstrations are authorized within the Cemetery.

If you have any questions and concerns, please contact the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Chief of Staff or Special Use Permit Coordinator at (703) 289-2500.

Last updated: June 9, 2022

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George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean , VA 22101

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703 289-2500

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