“The Empress of the Docks”

The Washington Post has a fascinating profile today of a DC naturalist:

In the long tradition of American self-reliance — that urge to eschew social conventions for a simpler life — most refugees have headed for wilderness. Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond. John Muir to Yosemite. Then there is Paula Smith, who came to Washington about 20 years ago and has been pretty much living off the land ever since.

The article refers to Smith as “the Potomac’s keeper,” but she’s not to be confused with the Potomac Riverkeeper, a group that works to protect and restore the Potomac’s water quality.

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