Parking spots across the District today were converted into miniature parks for D.C. PARK(ing) Day, but few of the tiny parks had room for a bike path like the one set up by Rails to Trails Conservancy on New Hampshire Avenue NW near Dupont Circle.
The Conservancy, a national organization that advocates for bike and walking trails, built the parklet in two parking spaces at 1300 New Hampshire Ave. NW, near their Dupont Circle offices. The parklet, which features a roughly 20-foot-long “bike path” lined with real sod, is part of the conservancy’s effort to advocate for “active transportation,” including biking, walking and skateboarding.
Milo Bateman, the conservancy’s manager of membership operation, said that turnout to the small park was good. The organization gave out free t-shirts, bike accessories, pedometers and popsicles to all who showed up.
Amy Kapp, the editor-in-chief of Rails to Trails’ quarterly magazine said that people weren’t only turning out for the free goodies.
“Everyone has been really interested in what we do,” she said. “It feels good that people are asking about our overall mission and where trails are located.”
Kapp also said that a lot of visitors to the “parklet” talked about their desire for more protected bike lanes in the city.
Locals can now enjoy a new outdoor space on K Street.
The new seasonal parklet, called “parkKIT,” was officially opened to the public during a ribbon-cutting held this morning in front of the Gensler building at 2020 K Street NW.
Among the dozens in attendance for the ceremony were Golden Triangle BID Executive Director Leona Agouridis; Tanya Stern from the D.C. Office of Planning; DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo; Gensler Managing Director Jeff Barber; and Director of the District Department of the Environment and former D.C. Councilmember, Tommy Wells.
“It is a project that celebrates the importance of public space,” said Agouridis during a speech. “It also shows the potential to activate public space in the most unlikely of places, K Street, one of the most iconic streets in the nation.”
The parklet replaces two street parking spaces and is composed of yellow blocks that visitors can rearrange and triangle planters set at different heights.
“Messing with parking in [D.C.] takes a lot of guts, takes a lot of vision,” Wells told the crowd. “What we know if activating the public spaces creates safer spaces, creates excitement, creates more business.”
The parklet will stay open until October, and will serve as host for weekly activities put on by Golden Triangle.
From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.
The spring equinox may have come and gone back on March 20 but the recent spate of days in the 80s and upper-70s has unofficially confirmed that spring has arrived. Hopefully it’s not raining while you’re reading this, as that can be and has been an unfortunate component of spring in the city.
But that rain and these temperatures have allowed for the beauteous growth of the trees and flowers in our parks. So before any dark clouds come back, head outside and take a swing around the neighborhood.
Places to Enjoy Nature
- Meridian Hill Park — one of our largest parks, this is a great place to just wander around on a sunny afternoon.
- Logan Circle — a shady, quiet park to relax with friends, have a picnic or take a nap.
- Dupont Circle — is it more about relaxing or about people watching? Who says you can’t do both? This may be the most popular/best known of all the parks/circles in DC.
- Thomas Circle — there isn’t much nature to take in here, but come by on any weekday and you’ll see the base of the statue covered with office workers taking in the sun.
- Spanish Steps — a great gem tucked away where 22nd Street should be between Decatur Place and S Street. The Spanish Steps were built in 1911 and stand today as a testament to some of DC’s more beautiful city planning.
Places to Play
- Shaw Dog Park — the larger Dog Park in the area. The location may not be as convenient as the S Street Dog Park, but if you’re looking for a big space where your dog can get in some good running, this is your place.
- S Street Dog Park — the more centrally located Dog Park. It may not be as big as the above site, but the turf and the address make this a great spot for playing and socializing (for both humans and dogs).
- Stead Park — a local favorite, this is a great place to bring the kids or for organized sports.
- Cardozo Playground — located next to the Shaw Dog Park, Cardozo features both a skate park and a large field for team sports.
- Rock Creek Park — there’s no way to avoid this behemoth in a list like this. Rock Creek Park is a great park for both taking in nature and engaging in any sort of play or exercise.
Let us know which is your favorite place to enjoy Spring around the neighborhood?
Borderstanians, I received this comment from Lisa of Borderstan in response to a posting on a mapping tool, the DC Citizen Atlas, which I highlighted here on this blog. I will let Lisa explain how you can find playspaces for kids using a mapping tool created by a DC-based non-profit, KaBOOM!
Any parents on this blog looking to find great places for kids to play? I live in Borderstan and thought I’d share a cool program with everyone: Its called the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. I work for a DC based national non-profit called KaBOOM! We work to make sure kids nationwide have a great place to play within walking distance of their home… by empowering communities and corporations to take action and support and build playgrounds and recreation areas.
Essentially, KaBOOM! created Playspace Finder to be an online, user-generated national database of outdoor places for kids to play. It is also available as a widget for those of you with blogs.
The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder is an amazing online tool that allows people to enter, search, and rate playspaces in their communities. It is a free, searchable directory that helps parents, community members and kids to locate playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields, and even ice rinks across America. It can also be used to alert local communities about recreational areas that need a little help.
Right now, more than 10,000 playspaces have been entered on our website and we’re looking to really turn DC into a leader by making sure that we have all of DC’s playgrounds included (which we do not right now–please help us out with this) and also make sure that folks in DC are using this program as a resource, since we are based here.
Anyone can add a playspace to the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. With step-by-step instructions and a Playspace Finder worksheet, its pretty easy for you to upload photos, include details about the playspace and submit your thoughts on the space’s overall “play value.” The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder is a great and easy way to get your kids outside to play, help visitors and new residents in your community locate nearby playgrounds, and create positive changes in the state of play in your neighborhood.
Ultimately, our hope is that we will use the data we collect in the Playspace Finder to help us audit the quality and quantity of, and access to, play nationwide. We’ve already seen it work in some communities–in Tucson, Arizona, for example, city leaders recognized, via their audit of playgrounds with the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, a disparity in access to playgrounds across their community.
In order to address this deficit, the City formed an explicit partnership with the Tucson Unified School District whereby identified school playgrounds would remain open after school hours, on weekends and during summer months. The new program will begin with 12 elementary school playgrounds and the hope is that all of the school playgrounds will open as neighborhood parks in the future.
Please check out this great resource and pass it on!
P.S. – We also have a program set up for school-age kids who are looking for community service credit to work with us, and help us populate the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. Visit our Web site to find out how to volunteer.
I am going to try and find out if the park will be enclosed on all four sides so that we don’t have to worry about our dogs running out into traffic.
This message is from Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans on Logan Circle News on Yahoo! Groups:
I am pleased to announce construction has began on the new dog park near Shaw Jr. High School site – and at my request the project has been expanded to 15,000 square feet. On a walk-thru the community in September, Mayor Adrian Fenty promised the Shaw/Logan neighborhoods this much needed urban amenity, which was originally slated to be 10,000 square feet. Working with the Department of Parks and Recreation, after numerous requests from constituents in these Ward 2 neighborhoods, I asked for and secured the larger area. The dog park which will be located on the soccer fields near 11th & R is eagerly awaited. The park will open in the near future–stay tuned for the ribbon-cutting date and time! – Jack