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Scott Suchman
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Enhancing the Visitor Experience at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
By Emily Kamin

Wolf Trap is the only national park dedicated to presenting the performing arts to the public. With such a vital role to play in bringing art and culture to visitors, it is important that its amenities, facilities, and performance venues are kept in optimal condition and are safe and welcoming for all.

Each summer, visitors to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts come to enjoy opera, jazz, country music, and more at its outdoor venues: the architecturally stunning Filene Center or the charming Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. These venues offer an array of concerts, dance performances, musicals, operas, plays, and educational productions. When visiting the park, visitors can also explore the rest of the park’s 117 acres by hiking, picnicking, sledding, or taking a ranger-led tour.

Not only does the park invite visitors to enrich their lives and expand their imaginations through the arts, it also provides the opportunity to build community. A $300,000+ grant to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts from the National Park Foundation, made possible through The Boeing Company, is helping to address pressing renovation needs by rehabilitating four deck structures available to the public to rent for celebrating special occasions.

Through a public-private partnership between the park and NPF, the decks will be transformed into modern and welcoming places where visitors can gather for celebration and marvel at the natural beauty of the surrounding park. The decks were previously equipped with impermanent tents or totally exposed to the elements, but once this project is complete, they will be covered by permanent pavilions, allowing multi-season use, improved accessibility, and improved safety and structural integrity.

Upgrades to the deck areas will also ensure that they comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design, making them more accommodating for people of differing physical abilities, including:

  • Eliminating stairs to the deck platforms and replacing them with ramps or level grading
  • Adding lighting and handrails on the paths leading to and from each structure
  • And replacing the railings to improve the view for people who use mobility equipment

The pavilion renovation project will provide safe and accessible spaces, allowing patrons visiting Wolf Trap to enjoy the trip to the fullest. The National Park Foundation is proud to help people discover and enjoy their new favorite national park. Donate today to support important projects like this one.

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