by John Burwell
Visitors to Linnean Park the weekend January 7th and 8th will be unable to cross the old cut log footbridge, as a new boardwalk bridge will be under construction. A member of Boy Scout Troop 100 will be leading the troop in building a level and safe water crossing as his Eagle Scout service project. All park visitors will be the lucky beneficiaries of this trail improvement for years to come.
Troop 100, “The Century Troop,” was chartered on February 1, 1918, only eight years after Scouting was introduced to the United States. Troop 100 is the oldest Boy Scout Troop in our nation’s capital, and one of the oldest in the nation. It meets at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Tenleytown.
I’ve been speaking with Linnean Park visitors about the bridge, first installed in 2014, and they have expressed varied opinions upon learning of the planned improvement.
Some robust hikers enjoy the challenge of maneuvering across, on either or both of sides of the uneven crossing. Many others welcome the proposed change. In fact, just recently an elderly person appreciated a helping hand to successfully negotiate the sunken and partially rotted conveyance.
Those familiar with Linnean Park have probably noticed some other various improvements over the past calendar year. Multiple organized volunteer group efforts have included trail maintenance, planting and protecting native trees with fencing, and the removal of invasive non-native fountain grass, Japanese knotweed, porcelainberry vines and autumn olive.
Marlene Berlin of Forest Hills Connection, Mitch Baer with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and recently elected ANC 3F03 commissioner, and I, a National Park Service Weed Warrior, adopted Linnean Park in February 2022 through DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation Adopt-A-Park Program. We are the Linnean Park Partnership.
The DC Department of Energy and the Environment was also active, planting native trees and bushes this past summer on the slope below the Kuwaiti ambassador’s residence.
Over the past two years, 54 native species have been planted and 129 existing species protected from deer browsing and buck rub.
Plans for future improvements include identifying signage at the park entrances on Broad Branch Terrace and Linnean Avenue. Many visitors aren’t aware of the property’s DC ownership or that it even has a name.
John Burwell is a certified Weed Warrior and founding member of the Linnean Park Partnership and the Pinehurst Project. He has also led volunteer efforts at Broad Branch Stream. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and requests for information.