by John Burwell
When I and some like-minded neighbors adopted Linnean Park last summer, our goals went beyond improving the park for health of flora, fauna and enjoyment by visitors. We have been lobbying the Department of Parks and Recreation to consider installing an official identifying sign at each entrance, similar to those erected at other DC parks. So far, without success.
Linnean Park has been a District of Columbia property since the National Park Service transferred ownership on December 14th, 1972. And it has gone by other names. For decades, it was known by kids growing up in the neighborhood as “the ditch” or “the woods,” and shown on maps as “Linnean Playground.” The Park Service called it “Reservation 625.” But it wasn’t much of a park until a contractor working under the Department of Energy and the Environment restored the stream and installed a walking path in 2014.
To my knowledge, there has never been a sign at Linnean Park, and people walking through the park have asked me, “Where am I?” and “Who controls this property?” Even a nearby resident, who has been here for more than 50 years, did not know the park had a name.
Well, I thought it was time, and took it upon myself to research and create a sign that would enlighten, illuminate, educate, inform and entertain visitors. The signs include information on the park’s namesake and recognition of the DOEE stream restoration in 2014.
I have also displayed a woodland birds poster using photography from Forest Hills resident, David Cohen.
He and I have collaborated on multiple posters highlighting wildlife found here and in Rock Creek Park and will display those and others throughout the year. See more of Cohen’s wildlife photography on Instagram: @davidcohenphotodc.