The Park View Recreation Center has started a small garden for the community youth. With all the community gardens in the area, I’m pleased to see that the Rec Center has installed some raised beds for the children. They are located between the fences on the Princeton Place side of the property.
Archive for the ‘Community Involvement’ category
This weekend marks the start of both the Petworth and Columbia Heights Marketplaces 2013 seasons.
The Petworth Community Market kicks off this Friday, May 3rd, from 4 – 8 p.m. According to an announcement by the market — you can snag fresh fruits, local vegetables, eggs and more! They will be reintroducing their SNAP and WIC programs plus the vendors take credit cards! They’ll have music, a cooking demo by Chez Billy’s Chef Brendan and friendly neighbors to boot.
The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace starts the season this Saturday, May 4th, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. According to their Website, the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace launched as a vehicle to bring local, sustainably grown food and art made by local artists to the people of Columbia Heights.
Their vibrant farmers market, Festibucks matching incentives program that helps low-income residents get more food with their nutrition benefits, and their urban agriculture educational work are promoting the health of Columbia Heights and its people.
Both markets are great assets to the area that you’ll want to visit repeatedly this season.
Guest post by Sarah Sorscher
A few neighbors celebrated Earth Day by giving back to the community at the newly renovated Park View Park. At the Earth Day Park and Community Cleanup on Saturday April 20th, neighbors joined volunteers from the Event Promotion firm, PMG, to weed and clear the area between the high and short fences separating the Park View Park multipurpose field from Princeton Place. PMG volunteers had traveled from as far as Florida to attend the Earth Day Broccoli Festival. They took time from a busy weekend of sightseeing and festival work to make a positive contribution to our community. Thanks PMG!
Committed neighbors who came to the park for the event and loaned tools had a big impact, as did the kids who pitched in and made an adult-sized difference.
The event was sponsored by the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition and Friends of Park View Park. Organizers hope to continue to hold monthly gardening events at the park throughout the summer.
Below are some additional photos from the event.
With the warm weather, the community garden season is about to begin. In addition to both Wangari and the Bruce Monroe gardens, gardening at the Old Soldiers’ Home is about to begin.
A week ago, equipment was brought in to begin the process of preparing the AFRH garden plots near the intersection of Park Place and Rock Creek Church Road. They are scheduled to be done today so that gardening can begin.
Among the reasons I’m so excited by the start of gardening season are that it is a restful activity similar to going to the country (even though you’re still in the city) and that last year we had a significant amount of surplus produce that we donated to the Senior Wellness Center. I’m hoping this year is as successful.
Recently, I learned about a great collection of historic photographs housed at Catholic University — The Terence Vincent Powderly collection. It has many great images of the Petworth/Park View/Soldiers’ Home area from the late 1910′s. In perusing the collection, I found three from June 5, 1917, that document war registration at the Park View School at the start of World War I. Thus far, these are the only photographs I am aware of that show this event as it occurred in residential Washington.
According to Wikipedia, The Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act authorized the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into World War I through conscription. It was envisioned in December 1916 and brought to President Woodrow Wilson’s attention shortly after the break in relations with Germany in February 1917.
At the time of World War I, the U.S. Army was small compared with the mobilized armies of the European powers. As late as 1914, the federal army was under 100,000, while the National Guard (the organized militias of the states) numbered around 115,000. The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized the growth of the army to 165,000 and the National Guard to 450,000 by 1921, but by 1917 the federal army had only expanded to around 121,000, with the National Guard numbering 181,000.
To accomplish war registration in the District of Columbia, the city was divided into 41 districts. Using the eleven existing police precincts, each was further subdivided with a registration station in each district (see map below). Forty schools and one factory were selected as registration stations — with Park View School servicing Precinct No. 10E. It is this station that Powderly photographed on registration day.
By all accounts, registration day occurred in an orderly and patriotic fashion in Washington. Dozens of community celebrations were held during the day by the various citizens’ association of the District, which reached a climax at the large celebration at the Sylvan Theater in the Monument grounds in the afternoon.
By the end of the day, it was reported that 32,327 District men had enrolled as liable to conscription for war service. Additionally, the District carried off the honor of being the first territorial unit in the country to report its registration returns to the War Department … and along with Delaware and Vermont, the among the first to have completed and filed official war registration reports by June 7, 1917.
Knowing that we have a lot of community gardeners in Park View, I wanted to pass the following information that was sent out on the Columbia Heights listserv yesterday.
“The Bruce Monroe Community Garden (Georgia Ave & Columbia Rd NW) has open garden plots for the 2013 season (March – November). Single plots rent for $30/year and each person/family unit can reserve up to two plots for $60/year. There are also shared garden plots which are free; they are planted in community with other gardeners and each can share in the harvest.
Email brucemonroegarden (at) gmail.com if interested for more information or to reserve a plot.”
As I announced last week, Park View Recreation Center hosted a ribbon cutting on Saturday, March 23rd, to celebrate the completion of renovations in the main building. Mayor Gray, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, Director Aguirre, and ANC Commissioner Boese were among the speakers at the event. Ward 4 Councilmember Bowser also stopped by briefly near the end of the event.
Video of the event was taken and will be released after editing. I’ll be sure to post it when its available. In the mean time, enjoy these photos from the event. (I’d like to thank the Mayor’s office for sharing many of these photographs with me).
Yesterday, the new Friends of the Soldiers Home Website announced the Soldiers’ Home Garden Project would have a second season. According to the announcement space is limited. The number of volunteers will be determined by the number of AFRH residents interested in gardening.
Last year’s gardening experience was unbelievable. Not only was working with the retired soldiers rewarding, but being on the grounds of the AFRH was very Zen-like. It was very easy to forget that one was still in the middle of a major urban environment.
Lastly — and as stated on the Friends Website — whether you would be new to the program or returning from last year, you must express an interest by e-mailing Carrie Green by no later than Wednesday, March 27 at gardenerofsoldiers @ gmail.com Carrie is the coordinator of the garden project for Friends of the Soldiers Home. Additional details are located on the Friends Website.
If you’ve been looking for some community garden space in the neighborhood but haven’t found any yet, you may want to check out Wangari Gardens this weekend. It also sounds like a great opportunity to meet neighbors and have some fun. Details in the flyer below.
The Sunday Washington Post Magazine featured the Friends of the Soldiers Home group — and by extension the Armed Forced Retirement Home and Park View community — in Emily Wax’s article Can Soldiers’ Home residents and urban gentrifiers overcome barbed wire? I found it to be a great read and the feature includes a number of videos and side articles. It’s amazing to see what this group has done since Park View resident John Hughes first set up a meeting to discuss the possibilities of a partnership between the surrounding neighborhoods and the AFRH in November 2011.
Below are the video’s associated with the full article:
Community outreach at the Home — The group “Friends of the Soldiers’ Home” volunteers at the Home by helping with bingo nights, happy hour events and other festivities. (video by Whitney Shefte/ The Washington Post — March 1, 2013)
A gem for the nation — John Hughes, president of the community group “Friends of the Soldiers’ home” encourages people to get to know the Home in the same way they know about other national landmarks. (video by Whitney Shefte/ The Washington Post — March 1, 2013)
History of the Home –The Armed Forces Retirement Home in northwest Washington, D.C., opened in 1851. (video by Whitney Shefte/ The Washington Post — March 1, 2013)
And finally …
Park View of the Past –The Armed Forces Retirement Home grounds in northwest Washington, D.C., used to be open to the public. (video by Whitney Shefte/ The Washington Post — March 1, 2013)