This swathe of …

by andrewgdawson

This swathe of woods hasn’t been touched, except for the linking trail that connects it with parks to the north and south. Surrounded by neighborhoods and schools, and lying on the major arterial of Capitol St, and having direct access to the Metro, this park is a gem waiting to be uncovered. Mature trees are scattered throughout, just waiting to be highlighted by some selective thinning. This would then bring some attention to the fact that this high ground has a clear viewshed to the Washington Monument, 5 miles to the east.

The earthworks are intact and dramatic, with steep embankments falling away into deep swales only to rise back up even higher, to then settle into a crater-like formation on top. These are formations that George Hargreaves and Michael Van Valkenburgh would pay a lot of money to have installed in their parks…


Unfortunately, Fort Mahan didn’t live up to the standard set by our first park. Yet Mahan has extensive interventions already in place, a walking path with interpretive signage, a large sports field, lighting…why did it feel so dead?

Fort Bunker Hill was a smaller Chaplin, though situated in a much different neighborhood. They shared many of the same characteristics (woods, viewsheds) but were miles apart in terms of their setting. Possibly something to be explored there.