by Borderstan.com October 8, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,417 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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by Borderstan.com October 2, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,141 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"

The proposed changes to Stead Park will be presented to the public on Wednesday night. (Courtesy Friends of Stead Park)

A meeting on the recently proposed design changes to Stead Park will take place on Wednesday, October 3 at 7 pm at the DC Jewish Community Center (16th and Q Streets NW). The Stead Park Recreation Center and field are a 1.5-acre facility located at 1625 P Street NW.

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

For the past nine months, Friends of Stead Park, an organization that works with a private trust and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to run the park, worked to upgrade the field at Stead Park. According to Jeff Garigliano, treasurer of Friends of Stead Park, the space is in need of some “desperate love.”

“The grass is patchy at best and the fence (16-feet high, falling over in spots) cuts the field off from the rest of the park,” said Garigliano in a guest post for Borderstan. “The site looks like a minimum security prison. Because of these factors, it usually sits empty on weekdays. Adult sports leagues use the field many weeknights and weekends, but there’s not much there for anyone else — no shade, no place to sit.”

However, not all members of the community are as open to the change. 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.

"Stead Park"

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

According to Garigliano, Friends of Stead Park spent several months reaching out to neighborhood groups (parent listservs, the PTA organizations at Ross and Garrison, day care centers, 17th Street NW businesses and leaders of the sports leagues) to gauge the wants and needs of local residents for the space.

Wednesday night’s meeting is a chance for community members to come and see the result of the integrated plan, and for residents to add further suggestions.

And for those who can’t make it to the meeting, Garigliano openly invites questions and comments. He can be reached at jeff.garigliano[AT]gmail.com.

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by Borderstan.com September 25, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,060 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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by Borderstan.com March 6, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

Stonewall, bocce, Logan, Circle, DC

The Stonewall Bocce League will play games on Thursdays from March 29 through May 24 in Logan Circle. (Courtesy Stonewall Bocce)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[at]borderstan.com.

Thanks to global warming making this the third warmest winter in DC history, the warm rays and the spring activities are coming back soon. Not too many better ways to start it out then some authentic outdoor bocce right in the middle of Borderstan. Registration has just opened up for the Stonewall Bocce League in Logan Circle. Just because you aren’t playing kickball doesn’t mean you have to miss out on an outdoor league that involves throwing balls, drinking and casual fun.

Here are some of the details. Borderstan asked Eric Schwarz of Stonewall Bocce about the fact that the games are actually played in Logan Circle.

“We play in Logan Circle and have plenty of room. It is a lot bigger than it seems. In fact, we have about six games going at one time and use only one-quarter of the circle. The league is expected to grow slightly this season and we’re confident we’ll still have plenty of space.
Getting permission from Park Service was a process that started early and required a lot of back and forth emails, but somehow, we managed,” said Schwarz.

Not familiar with the Stonewall Bocce League? It is an “LGBTQ & Ally community-based, non-profit sports league that strives to raise funds for local non-profit organizations. Our league values each player for who they are and what they bring to the league’s community,” according to the organization. Last year, the league raised $2,000 for local LGBTQ charities.

The league is at night so they use glow-in-the-dark balls… clever. Check it out, enjoy the weather, and pick a clever, yet dirty team name.

League Details

  • Game Days: Thursdays
  • Times: Games start at 6:30 pm
  • Location: Logan Circle, one block east of 14th and P Streets NW.
  • Spring 2012 Dates: March 29 through May 24
  • Playoff Game Dates: May 19 and May 24
  • Teams Sizes: 6 to 10 players; 8 players recommended
  • Returning Player Early Registration: Monday March 5 through Wednesday, March 7 ($35)
  • New Player Early Registration: Thursday, March 8 through Friday, March 9 ($40)
  • Open Registration: Saturday March 10 through Wednesday, March 14 ($45)
  • How to become a team? When players sign up, they should choose a group to join or create a group. When a group reaches 6 players (paid and approved), the group will be promoted to team status. The first 18 groups to get 6 players become teams in the season. Groups that do not advance to the 18 teams will be placed in free agent status for selection.

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