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  Friends of Fort Bayard Park, Inc. was established in 1999 by neighborhood residents seeking to assist the National Park Service in improving and maintaining historic Fort Bayard Park. The park, located in the Tenleytown / American University Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, is bounded by Western Avenue, River Road, and Fessenden, 46th and 47th Streets, NW. As a non-profit corporation, Friends of Bayard Park, Inc. has applied for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, all gifts to support the improvement of the park will be tax deductible.

Fort Bayard Park's History

Early in the Civil War, Union authorities became concerned about the possibility of Confederate attacks on the capital city and established 68 enclosed enclosed forts and armed batteries to block all approaches to Washington, DC. Fort Bayard was one of these defensive fortifications.

The park was named after Brigadier General George Dashiell Bayard (pronounced Buy-ard) who served as a cavalry commander in the Union Army. He was mortally wounded at Fredericksburg and died on December 14, 1862. Fort Bayard commanded one of the main corridors into Washington along River Roard and through Tennallytown, as Tenleytown as then known. The fort was linked by rifle pits to Fort Simmons to the west and Fort Reno to the east. Infantry and artillery units posted at Fort Bayard included troops from New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

After passing through a number of hands after the Civil War, the land on which Fort Bayard sat was acquired by the U.S. government in 1930. Although there are no visible signs of the fort remaining, the park continues to be of historical interest as well as serving as a neighborhood recreational area.

Park Spruce-ups and
Playground Renovation

In July 2000, Friends of Fort Bayard Park, Inc. sponsored its first annual park spruce-up conducted under the guidance of a National Park Service park ranger. The group hopes to continue such efforts to clear debris and invasive vines which hinder the growth of the many native plants found in the park. Friends of Fort Bayard Park, Inc. is also working with the National Park Service to enhance the existing tot lot to better serve the growing population of young children in the park's immediate neighborhood. To this end, Friends of Fort Bayard Park, Inc. hopes to begin a fundraising campaign in the near future to upgrade the playground with safer and more creative equipment, as well as install new fencing and park benches, all as selected and approved by the National Park Service.

Further Information

For further information on Friends of Fort Bayard Park, Inc., you may e-mail us at ftbayardfriends@aol.com. You can also write to us at Post Office Box 5519, Friendship Heights Station, Washington, DC 10016, or contact the group's president, Maria Alonso-Vazquez, at (202) 966-5633.

Officers and Board Members

Maria Alonso-Vazquez, President; Deanna Madvin Wolfire, Vice President; Tami Holsten, Vice President, Fundraising; Paul J. Fekete, Treasurer; and Karen Spangler Yeo, Secretary. Other Board Members are Francesca Adams, Jonathan Bender, Elizabeth Curda, Thomas (Tad) DiBiase, Jacqueline Fine, Thomas Fine, Carol Grigsby, Margaret Miller, and Mary (Molly) Reilly

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Civil War Defenses