Playing in the Shadow of the Washington Monument: Office Softball in a National Park [VIDEO]

Coaching my office softball team, The Scrubjays, is one of the best perks of my job here in Washington, DC.  Every week in the summer we walk down to the National Mall, set up a field, and play softball against teams from other national conservation organizations under the shadow of the Washington Monument.  Watching the sun set over the Lincoln Memorial while ripping line drives—or, if you’re like me, popping out to 2nd base—is a summer tradition.

Anyone visiting Washington, DC can enjoy the open fields for ball games, picnics, jogging, rallies, touring the monuments and cherry blossoms, or any number of activities. Believe it or not, free public access to special places and open spaces is a uniquely American idea.

Our nation’s federal public lands are home to our famous national parks, like the National Mall or Grand Canyon National Park, but they are also home to some amazing wildlife habitat in our national forest, wildlife refuges, conservation system lands, national monuments, conservation areas, recreation areas, national seashores, and much more. At each of these places, from wilderness areas to battlefields, there are fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities.

Listen in after a Scrubjays softball practice:


Take Action!

I fell in love with these public lands at a young age out west in states like Utah and Montana, and it’s why I decided to devote my career to protecting them and celebrating these treasured landscapes owned by all Americans.

And now, you can make a difference too and push back on attempts to open our public lands to development that will harm wildlife habitat and limit recreational opportunities by contacting important decision-makers.

Connect With Your Public Lands! Use the NatureFind tool to find parks, trails, nature sites, and other places to get outside around the country.

National Wildlife Federation’s Storytelling Video Diary Series shares the candid tales of nine NWF staffers from around the country; armed with their cameras in the Great Lakes, California, South Dakota, the Pacific Northwest, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC, these nine staffers will share with you their individual trials, epiphanies and stories as they unfold in their daily adventures.