Just in time to coincide with its third anniversary, the Shaw Dog Park will be hosting an open house event this Saturday, November 5, from noon to 2 pm to let the community see the enhancements made to the park over the last few months. The event will include refreshments, entertainment and a raffle to generate some operational funds to keep the park running throughout the year. The park is located on 11th Street NW between Q and R Streets.
Lillian Iverson, who is in charge of the anniversary party committee, pointed out some of the improvements made to the park since September.
- The installation of crepe myrtle trees in tree boxes, which come next spring and summer, will allow for additional shading throughout the park.
- The installation of benches for owners to relax while watching their dogs.
- An aesthetically pleasing, yet practical solution to our hydration system, which will allow for water to be accessible at the park year-round.
- The installation of a shade-sail and bench in the “under 25 pounds” dog enclosure.
Iverson emphasized that while this weekend’s event is a time to celebrate three years of success, it is also an opportunity to remind everyone that year-round functioning of the Park is dependent upon the not-for-profit Shaw Dog Park Association and volunteers. In addition to the raffle, Shaw Dog Park T-shirts will be sold to raise funds for operational upkeep.
When the 15,000 square foot park opened in 2008 — during the Adrian Fenty administration — it was the first legal off-leash dog park in DC. The money to plan and build the park came from a grant from DC’s Neighborhood Investment Fund. During the 2010 mayoral campaign Fenty was frequently accused of favoring young, newcomers to DC by supporting bike lanes and dog parks. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans is expected to attend this Saturday’s event.
The Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street NW will be closed for three days next week, Monday through Wednesday. Shaw Dogs reports that workmen will be pouring concrete at the entrances. Weather permitting, new metal benches will be installed Friday. Shaw Dogs plans to re-open the park on Thursday morning.
The Shaw Dog Park was awarded an $85,000 grant last fall from the Neighborhood Investment Fund (NIF) to pay for the upgrades.
The Shaw Dog Park will receive some major improvements over the next few weeks. The park, on the east side of 11th Street, NW between Q and R Streets, was awarded an $85,000 grant from the Neighborhood Investment Fund (NIF) to pay for the upgrades. (See Shaw Dog Park Gets $75,000 City Grant for Improvements, September 13.)
The NIF is administered by Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Some of the planned improvements will include:
Neighbors turned out in force for a community planting day on April 30 at the newly renovated French Street Park. The pocket park is located at the corner of 10th and French Streets NW, between R and S Streets NW. The five-year effort to renovate the park involved city agencies, contractors and many dedicated residents from the area.
The concepts for the renovation revolved around creating a monarch butterfly waystation and improving the green infrastructure. The French Street Park attracts the butterflies through plants — Russian Sage, Sedum, Yarrow and Bee Balm to name a few.
Scot Rogerson, executive director of Friends of French Street Park, could not have been happier with the results; as he gave me a tour, neighborhood children rode their Razor scooters around the park.
Decline and Renewal
Once the site of six rowhouses, the corner became a park after the homes were demolished in the 1970s. The original park created at that time, like many in the city, had lots of concrete. By early in the 2000s the corner was fenced off after drug dealers became the most frequent visitors.
Shaw Dogs has received a $75,000 grant from the city to make improvements at the public dog park at 11th and R Streets NW. Shaw Dogs is the non-profit group with responsibility for maintaining and operating the park.
George Kassouf, co-chair of Shaw Dogs, said he was notified Monday that they will receive the grant through the DC Neighborhood Investment Fund. NIF is handled by the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development.
“We applied for the grant in May and got tentative approval a few weeks later, but I didn’t want to announce it until we received the official notice. We basically have Mayor Fenty, a big supporter of dogs parks and other recreational facilities, to thank for this grant,” Kassouf said.
Kassouf said that the funds will help pay for upgrades and improvements to the surface, water systems, fencing and gates. In addition, Shaw Dogs will be able to purchase landscaping items, including planter boxes, trees, shrubs and shade sails. They also plan to purchase new, sturdier benches.
According to Kassouf, only certain, targeted neighborhoods in DC are eligible for NIF grants. The Shaw Dog Park falls just within the border of one of those areas.