The third annual Spring Fling on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home is this Saturday. The annual event has become a popular local way of enjoying the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, meeting neighbors, and welcoming in spring. Last years event was attended by over 800 residents. You can read more about last year’s event on the Friends of the Soldiers Home Website.
Archive for the ‘Sports leisure and entertainment’ category
The restoration of the old field house at Park View Recreation Center is coming along nicely. Among the many changes people will notice is that the porch is being opened up as it originally was and the areas that had been cut out of the original brick wall are being reconfigured to their original door and window openings. I was surprised to see the original supporting posts for the porch roof were buried withing the wall when the porch was enclosed. The entire project is aiming for a completion date of July 31st, 2015.
Over the years, I’ve given a lot of thought to D.C.’s parks, playgrounds, and green spaces. Perhaps this is partially due to how little accessible green space we currently have in Park View. As vast amounts of land just aren’t going to become available anytime soon, its easier to think about how current parkland could be improved to increase their value to the community without decreasing their usefulness.
The Park View Recreation Center is an obvious site where — though it is greatly improved — there is still room for additional improvement. Fortunately, the small field house is currently being renovated which should add much needed space for community meetings, birthday parties, or any other community event without impacting the Rec Center’s programs.
With regards to our smaller park areas, amenities should be in scale with their sites, add beauty to the community, and enhance or encourage activities that already exist. For an example, just over a year ago I suggested that the small park area at Kenyon and Georgia Avenue would be an ideal place for Washington’s original von Steuben memorial (either the original or a replica). The site is part of what was once Schuetzen Park, the original site of the memorial. It is also a small site well suited to a small public sculpture.
In the same spirit, a small work of art would also be well suited to the small triangle park at Rock Creek Church Road and Park Place (aka Reserve 321-A). Having observed people use this park for years, I’ve seen two primary activities there — young adults playing catch and dog owners playing with their companions or just taking them for a walk. Keeping this in mind, a sculpture on the site would need to be small, out of the way, and ideally useful. One idea could be a small fountain.
In thinking about fountain types, I think the Fountain of Three Graces in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, offers a good example of the characteristics that such a fountain in our area could embrace. Its relatively simple, it has no front or back being instead in the round, the water catch basins are at ground level, and it includes lighting to illuminate the fountain at night. Why I’m particularly drawn to the fountain idea, and one with ground level catch basins, goes back to all the dog owners I see using the park. If it is possible to install such an amenity, it would be nice if the fountain could double as a place where dogs could get a drink of water, especially in the hot summer weather.
Many of our smaller parks serve a variety of needs, but at most have infrastructure limited to sidewalks and street lights. This seems like a missed opportunity, and one that should be fully developed with community input. Whether a fountain here, or a sculpture there, or something entirely different, D.C. needs a master plan for parks and public spaces beyond what is strictly maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Design and placement aside, the image below shows how such a fountain could look:
The Friends of the Soldiers Home has schedule their third annual Spring Fling for May 2nd this year. You can get a flavor of some of the activity that will be scheduled by viewing the photos from last year’s event. The flyer is below:
At last night’s meeting of ANC 1A, Commissioner Rashida Brown introduced a letter of support for an apiary (aka the place where honeybees are kept) to be added to the Bruce Monroe Community Garden. Support for the apiary was unanimous. According to the presentation, the garden will begin with one hive, which is approximately 12 x 24 x 24 feet which will have a locked fence around it. Signage will also be posted in English and Spanish.
There are currently around 20 apiaries in Washington, with local examples as near as Wangari Garden and the Twin Oaks Community Garden. Below is a diagram indicates the two locations where the apiary may be located at the garden.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll DC Marathon and ½ Marathon will take place this Saturday, March 14. The race begins on Constitution Avenue, NW at 14th Street and finishes in Lot 7 of the RFK Stadium Grounds. The race begins at 7:30 a.m., travels north along Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway before traveling east on Columbia Road and Harvard Street, NW. It then travels south on North Capitol Street before heading east again on K Street, NE. The race will create rolling road closures, so make alternate travel plans, take Metro, or refer to the race course map prior to heading out. For more information or road closure information, you can find more information at the Marathon Web site.
I continue to be interested in the various playground improvements happening around D.C. We’ve made great progress with improvements at Park View Recreation Center over the past seven years and hopefully will continue to see move improvements there over the years to come. Due in part to the work still left undone at Park View, I like to compare it to other smaller playgrounds to see how it compares.
On January 27, 2015, I checked out the presentation for the playground improvements at the Kalorama Playground. Interestingly, Kalorama is about a 3 acre site compared to the 1.5 acres at Park View. With this in mind, I was immediately struck by how the larger Kalorama site has one primary building constructed between 1947 and 1949 that is larger that Park View’s original field house but much smaller than the primary recreation building at Park View. With the emphasis at Kalorama on outdoor playground use rather than interior recreation center use, I again question if the smaller Park View site is overbuilt. I definitely believe that the buildings are not efficiently configured creating a lot of wasted space between them.
But back to Kalorama. In reviewing the Department of General Services Web site that includes the slide deck from the January 27th meeting, the overall project will address the site-work deficiencies from previous projects as well as address the erosion and water run off issues. The scope of work includes the following:
- Tree Protection and Remediation
- Storm-water Management Improvement
- Landscaping Improvement
- Hardscaping Improvement
The focus of the January presentation was on the playground areas near the recreation building and along Columbia Road.
As with the renovations that occurred at Park View, the team working on the upgrades to the playground area presented several options for community members to get feedback on what neighbors would like to see in the areas. Below are a few images from the slide deck to give an idea of what is being considered, although it is too early in the process to know what the final plan will look like. The full slide deck should be reviewed for other design ideas.