Weigh in on proposed improvements to Theodore Roosevelt Island

National Park Service survey offers options to add boat dock, improved comfort station and more to beloved historic site

The lush and peaceful landscape of nearby Theodore Roosevelt Island offers a wonderful hidden retreat for Rosslyn residents and workers. From Downtown Rosslyn, it's possible to slip away to the island on the lunch hour to stroll its green, wooded trails; take in views of the Potomac and Georgetown; or eat lunch at the Memorial Plaza, where our 26th president stands surrounded by stone tablets etched with his wise words. Rosslyn is the island's only access point, making the connection between the two places especially important.

If you appreciate Theodore Roosevelt Island as much as we do, you'll definitely want to weigh in on the National Park Service's (NPS) plans for long-term stewardship and preservation of the park. In a recent Cultural Landscape Report/Environmental Assessment, NPS lays out specific recommendations for improvements on the island. It's an interesting document that is definitely worth reading: It includes information about the island's history and provides details about proposed changes to be made. Among several options up for consideration are:

  • rehabilitation of the existing comfort station, which is currently partially functioning, into a fully functional, universally accessible, year-round facility
  • trail improvements and viewpoint/wayfinding creation
  • establishment of soft landings for non-motorized watercraft and a floating dock
  • upgrades to the bridge that leads from Mount Vernon Trail

When considering any changes to Theodore Roosevelt Island, NPS is motivated by a mandate "to preserve and maintain the island's natural environment and historic features while providing public access, education, interpretation and other low-impact uses that are compatible with the cultural landscape and natural surroundings."

"We are excited by these proposed improvements and support NPS in their efforts," says Douglas Plowman, urban planning and design manager for the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID). "In particular, it would be terrific if NPS were to make the island accessible by water. We hope people will make their voices heard and weigh in during the public comment period."

Do you support making the island accessible by water via non-motorized watercraft? Or a better comfort station? Help shape the future of the island. Share your thoughts here. The comment period ends May 3, so don't delay!

NPS will release final plans for improvements in May or June.

Related article: An urban escape: Theodore Roosevelt Island Parkrun offers respite from busy city life

Related event: Weekly Parkrun: Theodore Roosevelt Island

Related Destination: Theodore Roosevelt Island

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