Soldiers’ Home Fence Getting Some TLC & Inaugural Friends of the Home Meeting Off to a Great Start

AFRH fence along Park Place, NW

If you happen to be near the Armed Forces Retirement Home’s (AFRH) fence along Park Place today from 1-4 p.m. you should see it getting some TLC. Greater DC Cares has chosen Veterans Day to help the AFRH fix up the fence. According to Adam Castle, the Greater Columbia Heights/Petworth Community Coordinator, DC Cares will have between 60 and 100 volunteers painting the perimeter fence this afternoon.

Considering how much fence there is at the Soldiers’ Home, I’m sure 100 volunteers will be able to make some good progress. I’m also equally sure that there will be plenty of fence remaining for a future project … which brings me to my next topic … the kick off of a Friends of the AFRH Group.

Last night a group of approximately 20 community members met to discuss the formation of a Friends of the AFRH group. The meeting included representatives from Park View, Petworth, Bloomingdale, and the AFRH (headed by Chief Operating Officer Steven G. McManus).

The tenor of the meeting was tremendously positive, with both the AFRH and community members actively participating in coming up with ways to get the communities to increase their interaction with each other. While the beginning of the meeting focused on basic introductions, setting the tone of the meeting, and establishing the work that is required to set up a  non-profit, the majority of the meeting looked for opportunities to partner with the Home. Some ideas that were batted about included:

  • Have art exhibits at the Petworth library of work by AFRH residents;
  • Assist the AFRH in painting the fences, clearing brush, and roadside plantings;
  • Create opportunities for AFRH residents to participate in neighborhood events; and,
  • Create opportunities for the surrounding residents to participate in AFRH events

Future meetings will help to better define the best ways to build a stronger relationship between the AFRH and the surrounding neighborhoods. The hard work of establishing the group is also needed … but for an inaugural meeting, it was as productive and mutually respectful as anyone could have hoped for.

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