|Fort Washington Park Added to Gateways Network|
Annapolis, MD (03/15/02) - Fort Washington Park in southern Prince Georges County, MD has been added to the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a system of over 100 special places where people can experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay. Fort Washington Park’s designation as a Bay Gateway brings the total number of parks, refuges, historic ports, museums and trails in the Network to 108.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network is a partnership system of sites, trails and water trails around the Bay watershed. Each of these “Bay Gateways” tells a part of the multi-faceted Chesapeake story. Together, as the Gateways Network, they provide a way for people to experience and understand the Bay as a whole.
Fort Washington Park has a long connection with the Chesapeake due to its strategic location on the Potomac River, a major Bay tributary. The 341 acre park, managed by the National Park Service, shows how people have used the site over hundreds of years, much of it for defending the Nation’s capital from naval attacks coming up the river from the Bay. The park is also the site of an operating lighthouse, reflecting the historic and on-going use of the Potomac by boats. Fort Washington Park is also a popular recreational site, with extensive natural areas and programs.
“We are very pleased to have Fort Washington Park as a Chesapeake Bay Gateway,” said Jonathan Doherty, manager of the Gateways Network. “It is a place where people can experience and understand how important the Bay and its tributaries have been to us over time.”
Today, the Gateways Network includes 20 state parks, 9 units of the National Park System, 5 National Wildlife Refuges, 16 museums, an Indian reservation, 17 water trails, and a number of other types of sites.
While designated Bay Gateways are managed a variety of different organizations, the overall Network is coordinated jointly by the National Park Service and the Chesapeake Bay Program and its partners. The Bay Program, a partnership of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the Bay Commission and the Federal government, works to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
A Map & Guide to the Gateways Network is available to help visitors explore the Gateways to the Chesapeake Bay. It is available free of charge at most Gateway sites, as well as in many state welcome centers in Maryland and Virginia. To order a copy by phone, call toll-free, either: 1-866-BAY-WAYS (1-866-229-9297) in Maryland or 1-888-824-5877 in Virginia. Copies may also be ordered on-line from at www.baygateways.net. The Gateways website also provides descriptions and links for all designated Gateways, as well as the ability to search for Gateways by activities, areas of interest or location.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network will continue to expand in the future. The National Park Service and other partners provide financial and technical assistance to designated Gateways to help tell the Bay story, improve public access and undertake conservation efforts.