Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park was created in the 1920 and ‘30s by the filling in of wetlands on the east side of the Anacostia River. Its 1,100 flat, mostly open acres are beloved by Washingtonians of all generations, who come for cookouts, biking, fishing, and organized sports. The park’s amenities include a swimming pool, recreation center, and the National Park system’s only roller skating facility. 

Unfortunately, the 1960s construction of Highway 295 cut off nearby neighborhoods from the Park. Today, main access points to Anacostia Park are at the west end of Marion Barry Avenue near the 11th Street Bridge and Nicholson Street near the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge. 

Anacostia Park has historically suffered neglect by the National Park Service, but a planning process launched in 2021 promises to bring improvements.  Learn more about Anacostia Park’s layered past and promising future here.

Since 2021, Friends of Anacostia Park (FoAP) has worked with the National Park Service to “enrich the lives of DC residents by preserving Anacostia Park and connecting surrounding communities to its restoration.” Their Friends Corps maintains the park and leads fishing and other free activities for the community. 

Ward 8 Woods partners with FoAP to control trash and invasive species in the park’s wooded areas, especially along the river north of the CSX railyard, where plastic bottles washed up by floodwaters often cover the shore. 

In December 2022, we came upon more than 3,000 tires that had been dumped from a 295 overpass into a remote part of the park near the rail yard. The media attention generated by that discovery led to prompt cleanup by the Park Service, yet the tire dumping continues on adjoining land along 295 and elsewhere in Wards 7 and 8. 

In spite of these challenges, Anacostia Park is a place of joy and connection. The Anacostia River Festival has been celebrated in the park on the first Saturday in May since 2014.



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