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Eleanor N.
Democrat DC 0

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  • Introduction of the Rachel Carson Nature Trail Designation Act of 2013

    by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton

    Posted on 2013-02-12

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    NORTON of the district of columbia in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I introduce the Rachel Carson Nature Trail Designation Act of 2013, to recognize Rachel Carson, an environmental pioneer and inspiration for environmental consciousness best known for her groundbreaking book Silent Spring. In September 2012, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages. The idea for my bill, which designates a National Park Service trail in the District of Columbia in honor of Ms. Carson, was brought to me by Glover Park residents.

    Ms. Carson was born on May 27, 1907, on a farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania, graduated magna cum laude with a biology degree from the Pennsylvania College for Women (later Chatham College), and received a full scholarship that enabled her to obtain a master's degree in marine zoology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. A world-renowned environmental scientist, writer, and educator, Ms. Carson worked as a federal employee for most of her professional life as a writer, editor, and ultimately, Editor-in-Chief for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service's publications department.

    Ms. Carson accomplished much of her seminal professional work as a federal employee at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the District. She often used Glover Archbold Park in the District as a site from which she drew observations about nature and the environment. She performed research on the dangers of pesticides, and her findings were sustained by the Science Advisory Committee, created during President John F. Kennedy's administration. As a result, federal and state legislatures enacted pesticide legislation. Her work also paved the way for groundbreaking environmental protection legislation throughout the world. Ms. Carson was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors. She died on April 14, 1964, in Silver Spring, Maryland, leaving a rich legacy that will continue to benefit present and future generations well beyond the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring.

    Last year, I testified at a meeting of the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission on the bill. The commission asked for additional information on Carson's work in the park. We are providing the commission with such information, and would expect its support for the designation at its next meeting.

    My bill serves to commemorate Rachel Carson for her tireless efforts to make the District of Columbia, the United States, and, indeed, the world a better and safer place for us all. The trail designated by the bill, located in the NPS's Glover Archbold Park in the District, will be known as the ``Rachel Carson Nature Trail.'' The bill ensures that Rachel Carson's contributions will be remembered and treasured for years to come.

    I strongly urge my colleagues to support the legislation.


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