In the 1950s, local residents became concerned proposed development along Maryland's Potomac River shore across from Mount Vernon would rob the land of its natural and historic character.
Their efforts led to an agreement by the National Park Service and Congress to protect the area through an innovative partnership between the federal government and landowners. A key element of this innovative collaboration was the use of perpetual scenic easements covering private properties within the newly established Piscataway Park.
Piscataway Park is a place of natural and cultural significance, and one of the nation’s earliest public-private preservation successes. Landowners within Piscataway Park, have both a privilege and responsibility to participate in the protection of the land. The National Park Service and landowners act together to protect the river view from Mount Vernon and the natural and tranquil beauty of the Maryland shoreline which so many call home.
This partnership results in a park which is very unique within the National Park system. Less than half of the land in Piscataway Park is owned outright by the federal government, instead, it is owned by private landholders. In order to maintain the integrity of the park and support its mission of preserving the view from Mount Vernon, the private lands are covered by easements which restrict what landowners may do with their property.
These easements "run with the land", meaning that once the easement was recorded, it is binding on every subsequent owner of the property in perpetuity. It is every owner's responsibility to follow the easement recorded for their particular property and contact the Park service before taking any actions which might impact it.