I'll try to post regular updates here about events and news affecting ANC 5A09, as well as matters before the 5A commission and any actions or positions I'm taking on issues. You can also follow me on Twitter at this link or by clicking on the icon just below. 



You can now schedule 30-minute video calls with Commissioner Ammerman via this link every Tuesday and Thursday at any time from noon to 7 pm. Video calls can be scheduled up to two weeks in advance, and can be about any topic at all. Please feel free also to reach out to me on my official DC email, 5A09@anc.dc.gov (email is the fastest way to get in touch with me) or you can also call or text me at 202.695.2213. 

The history of toxic waste and Fort Circle Park is long and convoluted, but the details are critically important here, so I created a timeline on Google Docs, complete with historic satellite photos of the area that I don’t believe have ever been shared publicly, at least not widely. I have also included links to several news articles about this issue, as well as copies of NPS testing reports, all in one place. Again, unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe all of this has been compiled in one location before.

 A public dashboard using MPD data on all crime categories for both PSA 405 (N. Mich. Park, Michigan Park and Univ. Heights) and 406 (Riggs Park, Manor Park and Lamond-Riggs) as well as ANC 5A from 2008-2022 and monthly data from 2020-2022. I will post monthly updates comparing the crime data for 2023 and after with previous years' data. 

Help me reach out to you: fill out my survey on communication

Nov. 29, 2022

I want to try to reach out to you where you are, and know that a lot of community meetings are difficult to attend for busy, working people living normal lives. Please fill out my survey to let me know the best ways to reach out to you. Do you get your neighborhood news on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media? Would you like to get in touch at informal community service events like litter cleanups? Or would you prefer to jump on a quick Zoom or Webex meeting? Let me know what your preferences are by filling out this quick survey. 


Nov. 3, 2022

This morning, I filed a Freedom of Information Act Request (<—click link to read it) for more information regarding the WWI-era unexploded ordnance found in July 2020 in Fort Circle Park between Galloway and Gallatin streets NE and later identified by the Army Corps of Engineers as a chemical weapon. 

The National Park Service has repeatedly — including just last night during their town hall with Congresswoman Norton — downplayed the discovery of this WWI-era weapon, which likely came from the infamous Spring Valley site across town, and described it as a “one-off,” but have yet to divulge any meaningful details at all about how they came to that conclusion. I would very much like to have those details, and I think the public in and around the park in particular deserves to know the details about whether or not there are chemical weapons buried in the ground in their neighborhood parks. 

During the town hall last night, NPS failed to provide adequate details about that information, so I have filed this Freedom of Information Act request to obtain it. I will keep the public posted about any developments on this moving forward. 

Additionally, I also formally invited representatives of NPS to come to our neighborhood for an informal walkthrough of parks in our area so that we can show them in-person some of the many issues facing our parks, from litter and water runoff, to downed tree limbs, large dead trees, and the infamous unfinished muddy mess of a trail. I will keep you posted about any response I get to that invitation. 

Finally, I participated in Congresswoman Norton’s town hall with NPS last night, during which they acknowledged the many comments about problems in parks in our areas, some of which I referenced above, but unfortunately did not provide much meaningful information beyond that acknowledgement. Julia Washburn, Superintendent of Rock Creek Park (the NPS unit that manages the Fort Circle parks in our area), did say that they were working on securing a contract for redesigning the unfinished trail, but did not provide any timeline on that, and did not respond to a statement about NPS having previously stated that redesign work was scheduled to be completed in November (which, if you haven’t noticed, we are more than half way through with no redesign work). 

One important piece of information: Superintendent Washburn did indicate that NPS intends to solicit public input on re-writing their long-term plans for parks in our area in the next year or so (2023-2024 was the timeframe referenced). This will be a great opportunity for us to push NPS to do more than the bare minimum (if that) in parks in our area. I’ll keep an eye out for more information about that and will let the public know when I hear more.


Nov. 29, 2022

NPS forwarded the following information on Nov. 18th regarding the status of the abandoned trail between Fort Totten metro and North Michigan Park:

Good Day Fort Totten community leaders and residents, please note this latest update on the project to construct a paved trail between Gallatin Street and Galloway Street NE, just east of Fort Totten.

As most are aware, the National Park Service stopped work on this project earlier this year-- after uncovering a portion of the Metrorail's green line tunnel during trail construction.

 After a thorough review and subsequent discussions with engineers and additional engagement with WMATA, the National Park Service has determined that we will need to redesign the trail with a new alignment. It is our intent to issue a contract for this redesign later this year or early 2023. 

If this can be done, we should have design completed in mid-2023. When funding is available, we will proceed with construction, but that may take some time, as we won't know the costs of construction until we have a design completed.  In the meantime, we will update you on a regular basis as we proceed with the design. 

We ask again for the community's patience as well as request neighbors/metro riders continue to detour around the trail construction site until the new trail is in place. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at kym_elder@nps.gov.


Kym Elder

Program Manager

Civil War Defenses of Washington

Additionally, Nick Bartolomeo, Resources Manager at NPS, when responding to a question about my earlier FOIA request, sent along the following information to me regarding a sidewalk on the south side of Galloway Street NE alongside the park

I also wanted to alert you to a DDOT/Federal Highway/National Park Service project to install a sidewalk on the south side of Galloway Street NE between the Metrorail station and South Dakota Avenue NE. We are working on the design for the project at the moment. I don't have a date for construction, but Kym Elder and I will keep the community informed as we move forward with that project.

While somewhat vague, this is still good news, and I look forward to getting more info from NPS on this in the future.