Norton Announces Senate Passage of Bill to Allow D.C. to Work with NPS to Make Improvements to Franklin Park and Other NPS-Owned D.C. Parks

Feb 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the U.S. Senate today passed a federal lands package that contains Norton’s bill that clarifies that the District of Columbia and the National Park Service (NPS) have the authority to enter into cooperative management agreements (CMAs) to maintain and operate NPS properties in the District, such as Franklin Park.  The Senate lands package was introduced by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).  Last Congress, Norton and Murkowski introduced the stand-alone versions of the D.C.-NPS CMA bill.  The rehabilitation of Franklin Park would be funded through a public-private partnership between NPS, the D.C. government and the Downtown Business Improvement District.  Under current federal law, NPS has the authority to enter into CMAs with states and cities, and Norton’s bill makes clear that D.C. is included under this authority.

“I am grateful to my friend Senator Lisa Murkowski for her tremendous leadership in shepherding through the Senate this comprehensive, bipartisan lands package, which includes our bill to allow D.C. to work with NPS to maintain and improve the many NPS-owned parks here in the nation’s capital,” Norton said.   “NPS owns nearly all of D.C.’s neighborhood parks, which makes this bill particularly valuable to the District and its residents.  Of immediate importance, enactment of this bill would allow the planned rehabilitation of Franklin Park, a major NPS-owned park in downtown D.C., to proceed.  I will work to ensure the House quickly takes up and passes the lands package.”

Last Congress, the House passed Norton’s bill and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee passed it, too, but it was tied up in negotiations over unrelated lands bills and did not go to the Senate floor.