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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Belle Haven Park in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wasteland or Wetland?

What is Your Point of View?

 

—George Washington Memorial Parkway —

 
Wasteland or Wetland? Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 3, 2015
1. Wasteland or Wetland? Marker
Inscription. Here, 400 years ago, the Piscataway tribe fed themselves on fish and waterfowl. In the early 1800s, Virginia farmers built retaining walls, called dykes, to drain this marsh and make farmland. The dykes proved too hard to keep intact. Without dyles, in a matter of decades Potomac tides reclaimed this marsh.

By the 1950s, metropolitan Washington D.C. was booming. Developers dug gravel out of Dyke Marsh and dumped debris in its place. Gravel mining stopped in the early 1970s, but the erosion that digging started still harms Dyke Marsh today.

In 1974, Congress directed the National Park Service to protect and restore Dyke Marsh. Even now, there is much left to do. What we do today will determine if these wetlands ever truly recover.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 46.665′ N, 77° 3.057′ W. Marker is in Belle Haven Park, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on the Bell Haven Marina access road just east of George Washington Memorial Parkway, on the right. Click for map. It is at the beginning of the Dyke Marsh Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22307, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker
It is easy to forget how rural Washington D.C. looked only 100 years ago image. Click for full size.
By NPS Photo
2. It is easy to forget how rural Washington D.C. looked only 100 years ago
, measured as the crow flies. Colonial Fort (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historic Jones Point (approx. 0.2 miles away); These Trees (approx. 0.3 miles away); Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fort Willard (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Willard (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Jones Point Lighthouse (approx. one mile away); D.C.'s First Building Block (approx. one mile away).
 
More about this marker. Marker contains four images. They are the photograph reproduced on this page as image No. 2 and three maps, reproduced on this page as image No. 3.
 
Categories. EnvironmentNotable Places
 
Going ... Going ... Gone? image. Click for full size.
By NPS Photo, October 13, 2015
3. Going ... Going ... Gone?
1937, 432 acres. 1959, 371 acres. 2005, 244 acres.
Wasteland or Wetland? Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, November 9, 2015
4. Wasteland or Wetland? Marker
Marker is in the distance, on the left side of the trail (in the center of the picture).
Wasteland or Wetland? Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, November 9, 2015
5. Wasteland or Wetland? Marker
This is the NPS sign near the entrance to the trail.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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