Sponsoring Organizations: Maryland Native Plant Society and Anacostia Watershed Society
The park comprises almost the entire area of Fort Dupont subwatershed which is approximately 460 acres; about 11% is impervious. It is the least populated subwatershed and the one with the highest level of forest cover in the Anacostia watershed, with a forest cover of 63.9%. The park and the entire subwatershed are located within the Coastal Plain physiographic province, although the park topography is quite hilly which explains why a military fort was built during the Civil War era.
In these sites the forest understory shelters native shrubs like mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia) which are abundant on slopes. The Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) is another remarkable native species. At least two interesting native parasitic species occur in the park, Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana) and Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), the presence of the latter by itself shows how rich the woods are. Interestingly, the park has a healthy Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) population that thrives in this woodland oasis in the middle of the city!
We will walk through the park trails, especially the Hollow Tree Trail, the Hiker Biker Trail and the Ridge Picnic Areas. Botanists and conservationists from the Maryland Native Plant Society and the Anacostia Watershed Society will identify the park's wonderful flora and its amazing natural history.
Location: We will meet up at the park's Activity Center which is located on Fort Dupont Drive, SE, off Randle Circle, SE. You can park in the Activity Center's parking lot.
Bring: We strongly recommend wearing enough layered clothing to keep you warm in the cold weather. It is better to be overdressed rather than underdressed when you are in the woods in winter! It is a good idea to wear garments made out of wool or synthetic fabric, especially for the inner layer of clothing to keep you warm. Bring water and lunch and don't forget to bring your plant and wildflower field guides and a hand lens for a closer look. Because it is winter, any rain will cancel the event but a light snow only makes this trip better.
More Information: Mary Pat Rowan (MNPS), (202) 526-8821 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jorge Bogantes (AWS), (301) 699-6204 or (202) 560-6107 (better phone number if calling on the day of the event).