Housing Complex

Eleanor Holmes Norton to Park Service: Give Us More Frisbee Space!


This spring, ultimate frisbee players in D.C. got in a huff over some trees that got planted in the Ellipse behind the White House, encroaching on their recreational frisbee grounds. They wrote a letter to First Lady Michelle Obama, who didn't respond to them directly—but Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton got some answers. She learned that the National Park Service had planted the trees at the request of the U.S. Secret Service. Norton wasn't going to take this news lying down: She invited the Park Service and Secret Service to her office, then scheduled a public meeting on the matter.

Today, we learn that Norton still isn't satisfied. She just released a letter she sent to Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, in which she states that the public meeting was not to residents' satisfaction and implores Jarvis to find an alternate space near the Ellipse in President's Park that people can use for recreational activities like frisbee.

“Despite being able to ask individual questions after the presentations, my constituents were concerned that they were not able to ask public questions to raise the issue that they were promised would be discussed," she writes. "Because NPS failed to obtain public comment before planting the trees in President’s Park, which has directly interfered with public use of the field, and because no further information was given to the community about the trees at the July 9 public meeting, I ask that you propose an alternative site where my constituents can hold their recreational activities. I also ask that you send me any future plans that NPS or the Secret Service has for planting trees in Presidents’ Park. I ask for a response in 30 days.”

Your move, Park Service. The frisbee lobby is not to be trifled with.

Update 2:24 p.m.: Norton spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten clarifies that Norton actually sent the letter last week. He says he can't share the full letter because it contains "sensitive information."

Image via Google Earth

  • Barry Morase

    I wonder if the people playing frisbee are constituents of Eleanor Holmes-Norton or do they live in Maryland or Virginia?

  • Typical DC BS

    The Park Service should be thumbing it's nose at EHN. Just more hot air from an old windbag.

  • Will

    While the trees degrade the area for ultimate frisbee, they enhance it for frisbee golf. I'd call it a wash and move on frisbee-enthusiasts.

  • Barry Morase

    LOL; I agree. The woman is an old hag.

  • Anonymous

    Actually most of that group are DC residents who play after work, so, definitely constituents of EHN. There's a pretty big following for ultimate frisbee, and not so much for frisbee golf (which isn't really "enhanced" by trees in any way that I know of), so I think it was responsive and appropriate for her to take an interest, and advocate on behalf of her constiuents--who rasied the issue in the first place.

  • Armand

    At least 85% DC residents and it's great how she's tried to help!

  • Donnie

    Frisbee Space? The residents need to vote you out of office. Find out why the property value in Riggs and Michigan Park are much lower than other neighborhoods in this city. These are very nice, quite neighborhoods. Maybe because they are 80% black. Speaking of the March, don't forget this. Black people are always last on the list Mayor Gary and City Council.