by Sean Meehan October 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm 0

Bruce Monroe Dog Run (Photo via Facebook/ Save the Bruce Monroe Community Park Dog Run)Dog owners near Bruce Monroe Community Park in Park View are fighting to regain access to an unused strip of the park that they’ve been using as an off-leash dog run for several years.

Earlier this week, District Parks and Recreation officials locked the gated patch of grass next to the Bruce Monroe Community Garden and attached signs to the gates barring dogs.

Almost immediately after the signs went up, Columbia Heights resident Dave Bobeck started a Facebook page called “Save the Bruce Monroe Community Park Dog Run,” which has already garnered 60 members. The problem, Bobeck said, is that he’s not sure who they’re saving their makeshift dog park from.

“I’m not really sure if there was pressure or where it’s coming from to keep dogs out,” Bobeck said. “Obviously somebody cared enough to send enough emails that they put up the signs, so somebody out there is opposed to this, but we haven’t heard who or why.”

Department of Parks and Recreation spokesman John Stokes told DCist that the area was chained off because it was not a legitimate dog park. In fact, said Stokes, the plot is officially designated as a stormwater management area for the community garden.

Still, Bobeck said he and his neighbors are trying to get the signs removed so their dogs can use the area again. Bobeck said he’d at least like the chance to respond to whatever opposition the makeshift park has run into.

“People having been using that as a place to run their dogs for basically as long as the community garden has been there,” he said. “It’s been uncontested as far as I know and we want to restore access to that immediately if possible. Failing that, we’d at least like to know what the issues are with the dog run use and have a chance to address those issues.”

But a resolution may come soon. ANC 1A Commissioner Rashida Brown told members of the Facebook group that she is working to schedule a meeting next week to bring together dog owners and DPR officials who closed the area. Bobeck said that one member of the Facebook group is working on submitting the applications to DPR for an official dog park, but added that he doesn’t think there is a need to spend money building an official dog park when owners have been happily using this plot for years.

“Some people are talking about development and an official dog park in the future, but if it comes down to public funds going to that or to some better cause, by all means let them go to a better cause,” he said. “Just open that area back it, it won’t cost anybody anything.”

Photo via Facebook/ Save The Bruce Monroe Community Park Dog Run

by Tim Regan September 8, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Spray Park, photo via Facebook.com/dcdpr

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation wants locals to stay cool this week.

The department yesterday declared it was delaying the closure of its spray parks through the end of the week due to forecasted high heat and humidity.

 

The parks, which were originally scheduled to close for the season on Labor Day, will stay open until Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.

Here’s a list of spray parks in the Wards 1 and 2:

Ward 1:

  • 14th and Girard Street Spray Park (14th and Girard St. NW)
  • 4th and Park Road Spray Park (14th St. and Park Rd. NW)
  • Columbia Heights Spray Park (1480 Girard St. NW)
  • Harrison Spray Park (1330 V St. NW)
  • Westminster Spray Park (911 Westminster St. NW)

Ward 2:

  • Stead Recreaction Center. Spray Park (1625 P St. NW)

Photo via Facebook / DCPR

by Tim Regan September 1, 2015 at 10:35 am 0

Banneker Pool, photo via flickr/awisemanHere’s your last chance to cannonball into a local pool at night before next summer.

Banneker Pool (2500 Georgia Ave. NW) will host its last late-night pool party of the season this Saturday from 7-11:30 p.m. The pool previously hosted a late night pool party in July.

Like last time, attendees of all ages are free to splash around in the pool while bobbing their heads to music from a live DJ.

A photo ID is required to attend, and D.C. Parks and Recreation has requested that guests RSVP online beforehand.

Photo via Flickr/awiseman

by Borderstan.com October 8, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,409 1 Comment

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

"Stead Park"

Friends of Stead Park Board members met with the community to discuss design changes to the park. (Rachel Nania)

On Wednesday, October 3, Friends of Stead Park Board of Directors met with community members at the DC Jewish Community Center to discuss a proposed $1.5 million renovation to the park. Landscape architects from Studio 39 made the presentation.

Friends of Stead Park is an organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DCDCP) to govern and maintain the park. With the proposed changes (which includes a pavilion, linear bench seating, a rain garden, a new fence, a water park feature and a synthetic playing field), the city would pay for the cost of the renovation and the park’s private trust would pay for the maintenance; currently, $150,000 to $175,000 is spent from the trust each year.

According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, DCDPR has the final say in the park’s changes.

Community Reaction

The topic on Stead Park’s design has been a source of controversy with community members. 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.

Espinoza and the petition’s supporters were present at Wednesday night’s meeting. Garigliano and Sarah Rabin Spira, secretary for Friends of Stead Park, offered to work with Espinoza and members of the adults sports leagues on the exact dimensions of the playing space.

Victor Wexler, ANC commissioner for 2B-05, which includes Stead Park, applauded the sports teams that use the field, but reminded them that the park should also cater to the area’s changing demographics (more families and more children).

“It’s important to remember that we are not losing the park to non-recreational use,” said Wexler. “It’s being made in to other types of recreational use.”

"Stead Park"

Illustration of  proposed changes to Stead Park. (Courtesy Friends of Stead Park)

Will Stevens (ANC 2B-08) and chairman of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, was also present at the meeting along with Commissioners Jack Jacobson (ANC 2B-04) and Ramon Estrada (ANC 2B-09).

Overall, the meeting’s attendees seemed receptive to the proposed design changes. One woman thanked the designers and the Friends of Stead Park for including the idea of a water park feature. “If I want to take my kid to a water park playground, I have to drive all the way to Anacostia,” she explained.

Another attendee wanted to see fewer changes to the design of the park. “Let’s aim to keep the park the same and just make some improvements,” he said. “I don’t think we should fix what isn’t broken.”

Information and Next Steps

Spira told the meeting’s attendees that Friends of Stead Park wants to hear from the community on the proposed changes. The group is aware of the lack of its information available to the public, but encouraged anyone with questions or concerns to email Friendsofsteadpark{AT}gmail.com.

The next steps in the renovation process are to make adjustments to the proposed designs and present the plans to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B.

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