By Lisa Edmunds

When Marian Wagener moved to Southwest D.C. in 2000, she could not have foreseen the new developments her neighborhood would eventually undergo.  Twelve short years later, the area is bustling with the addition of Nationals Park and the myriad of businesses that have relocated to this up-and-coming section of the District.

“I have lived in several places, but I’d have to say my neighbors in Southwest have been the best so far,” Wagener said. “We look out for each other, which is great.”

As an usher in the Lexus Presidents Club at Nationals Park, Marian Wagener makes every effort to share her passion and enthusiasm for the neighborhood with the many visitors at the ballpark. In fact, it is her enthusiasm for the community that brought this St. Louis native to her current position with the Nationals.

“I came [to Washington] for work,” Wagener said. “Then when I retired, I hadn’t seen everything, so I stayed.”

As a phone company employee, Wagener moved from one city to another for several years, but ultimately found a home in Southwest D.C. Following her retirement, she began working as a tour guide at the U.S. Capitol during the day and as an usher at Nationals Park on summer nights. It’s on her nightly walks home from the ballpark that Wagener can sense the difference in the energy around the neighborhood, especially when the team wins.

“It’s exciting and fun,” she said. “The people along the way always talk to you and there are always people along the way. There is plenty of foot traffic in the evening, which is great for our neighborhood.”

Wagener also notes the strong sense of D.C. pride the residents exhibit with the recent resurgence of activity in the neighborhood.

“Neighbors want to stop and ask questions,” she said. “They want to know who the Nationals are playing. It’s fun and makes it kind of a team effort.”

Marian Wagener at Nationals Park.

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