By Corrine Irwin
How many people visit Titanic Memorial Park? What do folks do in the park? The Friends of Titanic Memorial Park are finding answers to those questions with our Visitor Count Project.
The park is an eight acre area that stretches between N and P St. SW, along the Washington Channel. The highlight of the park is the statue at the southern end. The memorial statue honors the men on the Titanic who gave their lives so that women and children might be saved.
The Friends of Titanic Memorial Park is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization working with the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve, restore, and maintain the park, which sits along the Washington Channel. Our visitor count project will allow us to estimate daily park visitation. These estimates are used by NPS to determine funding for restoration and maintenance, and to set priorities for improvements. The estimates will also help the Friends seek grant funding for park improvements.
NPS has well-defined methods for estimating park visitors based on 15-minute visitor counts. At park sites like the Lincoln Memorial, these counts are made daily by park rangers. We don’t have park rangers at Titanic Memorial Park, so the Friends are seeking volunteers to help count visitors.
Volunteers count the number of people they observe. They also record the activities they see, including walking, running/jogging, dog walking, biking (recreation), biking (commuting), skateboarding/roller blades/scooters, fishing, sitting (on the benches or in the grass), among other activities.
The project kicked off in May of 2021, and has five 15-minute shifts on randomly selected days throughout the summer and fall. Volunteers count visitors entering the park for a 15-minute period, and then do a “point-in-time” count where they count up everyone in the park at the end of their shift.
The Friends will provide volunteers with a user handbook with detailed instructions. It includes information about how to complete the log, where to do your observation, what volunteers need to bring with them, and other information. They will also cover this information during the volunteer training session. The training takes less than an hour.
To find out more about the visitor count project and to sign up for a shift, visit https://www.fotmpdc.org/visitor_count_resources.
Sign up for our monthly e-mails to get more information about activities at Titanic Memorial Park at https://www.fotmpdc.org/join.