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Rehabilitation of the Rock Creek Golf Course - EA

Update: The public comment period for the Environmental Assessment has been extended until November 4, 2023.

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The National Park Service (NPS), in coordination with National Links Trust (NLT), is undertaking a plan and environmental assessment to improve the Rock Creek Park Golf Course. NLT is a nonprofit that has a 50-year lease to manage the golf course. The rehabilitation is part of their long-term management of the Rock Creek Park Golf Course.

The Rock Creek Park Golf Course represents a significant period in the history of golf in the United States and the development of municipal recreation in Washington, DC. Additionally, it is an important local work of golf course architect William S. Flynn and a largely intact example of a course designed during the period referred to as the Golden Age of golf course architecture. The golf course is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Rock Creek Park Historic District.

Today, the golf course retains much of its integrity but is experiencing overgrown, encroaching vegetation that has narrowed the fairways and decreased playability; a lack of clear pathways for pedestrians and golf carts; the lack of a driving range; the deterioration of turf grass throughout the course; and limited facilities to accommodate golf course operations, golfers and non-golfers.

To restore the course, the National Park Service is proposing to remove more than 1,200 trees, of this total, more than 366 were determined to be in poor health or already dead, and nearly 190 are non-native, invasive species that pose a threat to native plant species, and nearly 291 are being removed to promote forest health. To mitigate for these tree removals, up to 200 native species trees would be planted in the course. Also, more than eight acres of meadows would be rehabilitated throughout the golf course, and an additional 4.5 acres would be planted in the northern section of the course. This would significantly increase the amount of meadow habitat in Rock Creek Park, a critically important action for the preservation of native pollinator species such as the Monarch butterfly and the many bee species that live in the park.

The EA describes two potential plans: no action or golf course rehabilitation. Under the no action alternative, Rock Creek Park Golf Course would continue to operate in its current condition.

The EA analyzes the potential impacts of both alternatives on the natural, historic and human environment, consistent with the treatment recommendations outlined in the 2019 Cultural Landscape Report (see link below to document).

Public participation is an important part of the planning process. You are invited to review the EA and provide comments from September 25 to November 4, 2023. To submit comments online or get additional information about the EA, click on the link on the left-hand side of this page that says, "Open for Comment". Under "Select a document to review and comment", click on the link that says "Rock Creek Park Golf Course Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment". Click on the green "Comment Now" box on the left-hand corner of the screen. A form will open up that allows you to submit your comments on line.

If you prefer to mail your comments, make sure they are postmarked by November 4, 2023 to receive consideration. Mail comments to:

Rock Creek Park
Attn: Golf Course Rehab
3545 Williamsburg Lane NW
Washington, DC 20008

Please be aware that the entire comment submitted, including personal identifying information such as address, phone number and email address, may be made publicly available. We will consider requests to withhold such personal identifying information from public release, but there is no guarantee that it will be withheld.
Comment Period: Closed        Sep 25, 2023 - Nov 4, 2023
Document Content:
Disclaimer: Links within the above document(s) were valid as of the date published.
Note: Some of the files may be in PDF format and can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. You may download a free copy of from Adobe Systems.