Lake Artemesia

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Lake Artemesia
Sunset at Lake Artemesia.jpg
View of the gazebo
LocationCollege Park, Prince George's County, Maryland,
United States
Coordinates38°59′12″N 76°55′20″W / 38.98667°N 76.92222°W / 38.98667; -76.92222Coordinates: 38°59′12″N 76°55′20″W / 38.98667°N 76.92222°W / 38.98667; -76.92222
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area38 acres (150,000 m2)

Lake Artemesia is a man-made lake in Prince George's County, Maryland. It is part of the Lake Artemesia Natural Area in College Park and Berwyn Heights. The lake itself covers an area of 38 acres (150,000 m2), and the surrounding natural area is administered by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and includes aquatic gardens, fishing piers, and hiker-biker trails.

The lake, located between Indian Creek and Paint Branch, was constructed during the completion of the Washington Metro Green Line in the late 1980s, which runs alongside the lake. Sand and gravel were excavated from the site of a smaller lake and the surrounding area to construct the rail beds and parking lots for the College Park-University of Maryland and Greenbelt Metrorail stations.[1] Metro saved $10 million by sourcing the material locally and in return spent $8 million constructing the lake and natural area to repair the excavation damage. During the construction phase, signs identified the site as "Lake Metro."

The park is named for Artemesia N. Drefs, who donated ten lots to the county for preservation as open space in 1972. The smaller lake that existed on the site prior to the Metro-funded reconstruction was already named Lake Artemesia after Artemesia's mother and grandmother, who shared the same name. Drefs's father, Arthur, surveyed the land for his Lakeland development in the 1890s; according to Drefs, the pre-existing lake was originally used to raise goldfish, but was later stocked with bass.[2][3]

The 1.35 mile hiker-biker trail around the lake is part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and East Coast Greenway.


  1. ^ Historical Marker Project. "Origins of Lake Artemesia." Accessed 2019-07-30.
  2. ^ Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation, Riverdale, MD. "Lake Artemesia." Accessed 2009-12-22.
  3. ^ Kelly, John (2017-12-02). "Perspective | Breeding ponds in College Park, Md., once kept the U.S. awash in goldfish". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-12-09.

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