Rock Creek Park is celebrating its 123rd birthday all day Saturday at the Nature Center.
The festivities begin at 8 a.m. and there’s something for everyone. And some of the activities listed below are offered by the National Park Service on a semi-regular basis, so if you like them, you can do them again! And it looks like the weather will be very cooperative. From NPS:
8:00 a.m. Early Bird Hike
Join Park Naturalist Tony Linforth on an early morning bird walk to explore the beautiful sounds and sights of our fine, feathery friends. Binoculars available.
9:00 a.m. Arbor Day September (Volunteer Event; Pre-Registration Required)
The trees that were planted two years ago at the park’s environmentally friendly Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances (RSCs) are in need of some tender loving care. Assist park staff in weeding, mulching, and maintaining the trees and help protect them from overbrowsing. E-mail us to register.
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PARK PARTNER INFO BOOTH FAIR
(Free Rock Creek Park Discovery Packs issued to the first 200 children! First 50 kids will have the opportunity to become official Junior U.S. Park Police Officers!) Rock Creek Park couldn’t succeed without its steadfast park partners. See who these partners are and what they do through interactive exhibits and activities including pony rides, living history programs, the Great Migration Challenge, natural resource exhibits, sun-spotting, and more. Visitors will be able to purchase a tasty, healthy lunch from Guest Services, Incorporated.
10:30 a.m. The Rock Creek Park Story
This 123-year-old park was not established overnight. It was created only after years of struggle and compromise. Learn the story of the establishment of Rock Creek Park during this 20 minute program.
11:00 a.m. Be an Animal Athlete! (Children’s Program)
Did you know that white-tailed deer can jump eight feet straight up, or that ruby-throated hummingbirds can flap their wings over a hundred times per minute? Children are invited to learn more about Rock Creek Park’s athletic wildlife during this interactive program with Healthy People Volunteer Albert Arevalo.
11:30 a.m. Yoga in the Park
Calm your body and mind with a free yoga class focusing on fluid motion from pose to pose and proper breathing. Be sure and bring a towel or yoga mat.
12:00 p.m. Fort DeRussy Hike
On July 11, 1864 the big guns of Fort DeRussy were firing at Confederate soldiers to the north. Learn about this battle and all about life at the fort.
1:00 p.m. Train Like an Astronaut! (Children’s Program)
NASA astronauts have to train in special ways to prepare themselves for outer space… Now it’s your turn to train. Prepare to exercise, run around, and have fun with Healthy People Volunteer Albert Arevalo.
2:00 p.m. Hidden Histories of Rock Creek Park
Learn about early uses of Rock Creek Park during Hidden Histories. Did you know that one of the most eccentric poets in U.S. history has a cabin in Rock Creek Park, or that a display was held at the 1894 Chicago World Fair depicting ancient American Indians in Rock Creek Park? Discover ten of the park’s lesser-known his-stories with Ranger Scott Einberger.
3:00 p.m. Zumba in the Park
Get your groove on for this fast-paced, Latin-inspired, dance-fitness class led by Healthy People Volunteer Catherine Fleishman.
4:00 p.m. Wacky Weather of the Solar System
Did you know that the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus makes it the hottest planet in our solar system, or that you could wear shorts and a t-shirt on the equator of Mars during summer? Discover our solar system’s wierd weather during this unique, 45 minute planetarium program with Ranger Tony Linforth.
Getting there: The Rock Creek Nature Center is at 5200 Glover Road, NW and is easily accessible from Military Road by car, on foot and by bike.
Also, consider hiking through Soapstone Park. The trailhead is on Albemarle Street just west of Connecticut Avenue. The Soapstone trail exits onto Broad Branch Road and from there you can connect to the West Ridge Trail (entrance on your left after you cross the bridge on Glover Road) to get to the Nature Center.