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Petition Protests Possible Cut in Active Space at Stead Park Field

by Borderstan.com September 25, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,827 9 Comments

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Featured image: “2012 Fall Kickball opening” is from tedeytan in the Borderstan Flickr pool and was taken at Stead Park.

"Stead Park"

Stead Park: The recreation field is to the north. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The co-founder of Stonewall Sports, Martin Espinoza, started a petition last week, “Save Stead Park,” to protest a reduction in field space at Dupont Circle’s Stead Park (1625 P Street NW).

According to Espinoza’s petition, plans are being proposed to reduce the active field space at Stead Park by 25 percent, which would jeopardize current community leagues such as soccer, volleyball and kickball, while also keeping local schools from using the fields. The petition is to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

“DC already has a limited number of green space available for children and adults to play on, so reducing this unique gem in Dupont Circle would impact the health and wellness of residents who use the park daily,” says Espinoza in his petition. (He is also an ANC 2B-04 candidate, running against Kishan Putta and Stephanie Sheridan.)

According to one source familiar with the proposal, part of the space would used to create a track for running and walking — under one option being proposed.

The reduction in field space comes from a plan drafted by Friends of Stead that would allocate $400,000 to the park’s renovations. According to Espinoza, members of Friends of Stead will be present options for the renovation to the Department of Parks and Recreation. These options reduce the active green space, and, according to Espinoza, cost much more than $400,000 to complete.

On the petition one supporter writes, “The health of ourselves and our children is essential. We need green space to use for outdoor activities. I play kickball and through the experience I have made many friends.”

Another supporter states, “There is no need or reason to reduce the active field space at Stead Park. As the surrounding area continue to grow with new condo and rental buildings, there is an even greater need for residents to have an open space for activities and a sense of community.”

The petition, which already has more than 450 supporters, will be hand-delivered by Espinoza at a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, October 3 ,at 7 pm at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center (1529 16th Street NW).

According to the meeting’s webpage, the October 3 meeting (called the Stead Park Field Re-Design Meeting) will be an opportunity for the public to review and comment upon a plan to re-design the park. More information is available on the DC Jewish Community Center’s website.

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  • This doesn’t say what the green space would be replaced with. Do you have that information?

    • Katherine R

      I would like to know this too, before I sign. I think that is an important factor and I can’t find that information anywhere.

      • We will find out. Our omission.

    • Thanks. Our bad. We just added this to the story: According to one source familiar with the proposal, part of the space would use to create a track for running and walking.

      • Also, there are apparently several proposals floating around. Not all of them call for creating a track for running and walking.

  • Leean Mongkut

    Why have you not gotten quotes from those proposing the renovations? According to the Dupont Current, park/rec space wouldn’t be reduced at all — just changed — and made more usable for more people (not just the kickballers that the instigator of the protest cares about — clearly from self-interest). Doesn’t seem to me that they are taking your park away from you.

    According to the Current, 20-25 percent of the field space would be used for other recreational purposes–running, seating, walking, as well as trees and a water feature for kids to play in. See the story for yourself (pages 1 and 12): http://www.currentnewspapers.com/admin/uploadfiles/DP%2009.26.12%201.pdf

    Neighbors: Let’s have a fully informed conversation rather than half-truths and hyperbole that are parroted without investigation.

    Borderstan, we expect more from you. As written, this story is one-sided and biased. If Borderstan aims to be a news outlet for our community, you owe it to readers to present a balanced view–or at least presents the alternatives. In this case, you present only claims that the proposals aim to take away recreational space from the community. That is at best, a half-truth. Give readers a fuller picture of reality–the neighborhood asked for upgrades that preserve most of the field space, but also offer things to other key residents in the community. Make it a practice to seek input from more than just one side.

    • Leean Mongkut

      Also…don’t you think it’s a little odd that so many people who signed the petition don’t even live in the neighborhood? People who are from Arlington and Silver Spring should not get to influence how things are done in OUR neighborhood….

    • Hold on, there is more to come.

  • rr

    yes, borderstan I think you need to clarify that a cut in active field space does not mean that the space will not be available for community use. The way this story is written makes it sound like the park is going to be gutted and used as a parking lot Stead park was donated primarily for the benefit of children. although I have not seen the proposals in detail, my understanding is that there will be some water elements for children to play in and some running space, which my child would love. currently, the field space is much more used by adult kickball and sports than children which is good for them, but not really what was intended when the land was donated to the city.


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