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East and West Potomac Park

National Park Service Unit

Photo of East Potomac Park

The two largest parks along the Potomac in Washington are East Potomac and West Potomac Parks, which encompass more than 700 acres of reclaimed Potomac riverbottom and marshland. The parks were largely the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which not only dredged the Potomac River bottom to maintain a channel, but put the dredged materials in an aesthetic parklike setting. The Corps dutifully carried out many of the plans created by Pierre L'Enfant. Early Corps achievements included the parks along the ravine of Rock Creek, a unified Mall area, and beginning the reclamation of the swampy Potomac flats. Later engineers completed the reclamation project. As the Potomac was dredged, a huge piece of land was added to the mall, stretching from what is now Hains Point to the Lincoln Memorial. Hains Point was named after Peter Hains, one of the early Corps district engineers. The Corps also designed and built the Tidal Basin.

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Contact Information
National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington DC 2242