A meeting on the recently proposed design changes to Stead Park will take place on Wednesday, October 3 at 7 pm at the DC Jewish Community Center (16th and Q Streets NW). The Stead Park Recreation Center and field are a 1.5-acre facility located at 1625 P Street NW.
The topic on Stead Park’s design has been a source of controversy with community members.
For the past nine months, Friends of Stead Park, an organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to run the park, worked to upgrade the field at Stead Park. According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, the space is in need of some “desperate love.”
“The grass is patchy at best and the fence (16-feet high, falling over in spots) cuts the field off from the rest of the park,” said Garigliano in a guest post for Borderstan. “The site looks like a minimum security prison. Because of these factors, it usually sits empty on weekdays. Adult sports leagues use the field many weeknights and weekends, but there’s not much there for anyone else — no shade, no place to sit.”
However, not all members of the community are as open to the change. Martin Espinoza, co-founder of Stonewall Sports and ANC 2B-04 candidate, started a petition in light of the proposed re-design changes, called “Save Stead Park.” According to Espinoza’s petition, the proposed plans will reduce the active field space at Stead Park by 25 percent, which could jeopardize current community leagues such as soccer, volleyball and kickball.
According to Garigliano, Friends of Stead Park spent several months reaching out to neighborhood groups (parent listservs, the PTA organizations at Ross and Garrison, day care centers, 17th Street NW businesses and leaders of the sports leagues) to gauge the wants and needs of local residents for the space.
Wednesday night’s meeting is a chance for community members to come and see the result of the integrated plan, and for residents to add further suggestions.
And for those who can’t make it to the meeting, Garigliano openly invites questions and comments. He can be reached at jeff.garigliano[AT]gmail.com.