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