Park View Residents Launch Petition to ‘Save Bruce Monroe Community Park’

by Tim Regan November 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm 0

Bruce Monroe Community Park, group of Park View residents have launched an effort to halt a proposed public housing development they say threatens the existence of Bruce Monroe Community Park (3000 Georgia Ave. NW).

According to the group’s MoveOn petition, the group aims to “stop the proposed redevelopment of the Park Morton public housing community at Bruce Monroe Community Park.”

As of 2:36 p.m. today, 288 people had signed the petition.

The redevelopment as proposed calls for the construction of new affordable and public housing units, retail space and an area for recreational purposes at the Bruce Monroe site. According to city officials, the redevelopment would allow current Park Morton residents “to move directly from their current public housing unit into a newly built, mixed-income apartment home within their neighborhood.”

But Steve Seuser, a petitioner and one of the original founders of the community garden at Bruce Monroe, said that paving over the park to redevelop Park Morton would deprive locals of a popular gathering spot, and would be a “huge loss for the community.”

“It’s busy all day,” he said. “On the weekends, there’s always kids playing basketball. There are adults playing tennis. There’s always smaller kids using the playground.”

“There are gardeners there almost all the time,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity for people to meet and greet. Everybody is there.”

Instead of Bruce Monroe, Seuser said, the city should look at the old Hebrew Home or another site along Georgia Avenue NW as a location for proposed redevelopment.

Seuser said he and his fellow petitioners aren’t sure if they’ll be able to change the city’s mind.

“I’m quite convinced that the mayor and her development team will put up a solid front saying this is the only option,” he said. “It will take a huge political move to stop this.”

The group will share concerns with Mayor Muriel Bowser tonight during a Park View United Neighborhood Coalition meeting at the Park View Recreation Center (693 Otis Pl. NW) tonight at 7 p.m.

But the “most important” discussions regarding the proposal will occur during at community meeting at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School (3560 Warder St. NW) on Nov. 16, Seuser said.

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