Archive for February 2018

Love to Garden and Volunteer? Plots Available at the Armed Forces Retirement Home

February 27, 2018

The garden at the Armed Forces Retirement Home provides Residents and individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods an opportunity to garden, build friendships, and have fun. The Friends of the Soldiers Home manages the garden in partnership with the AFRH.

Joining the garden entails a volunteer commitment of two hours per month and annual dues of $25 for a 200 square foot plot or $35 for 400 square feet (for experienced gardeners, subject to availability). Plots are for growing annual flowers and vegetables for household use.

Volunteer duties include helping AFRH Residents to garden and helping with events for the Residents as well as mowing, weeding, and mulching the common areas of the garden.

For more information contact Sarah Bohl at sarahtrelle(at)gmail(dot)com

Save the Date: Community Meeting on March 10th to Discuss 1125 Spring Rd. Benefits

February 23, 2018

Working drawing of 1125 Spring Road proposal.

ANC 1A and ANC 4C will be hosting a joint meeting on Saturday, March 10 at Raymond Recreation in the large upstairs meeting room from 1:30-3:30 pm on the Community Benefits Agreement for 1125 Spring Road NW (the redevelopment of the former Hebrew Home and Robeson School site).

During this meeting, we will discuss the various community benefits that have been brought up during past community conversations (including the 3 meetings hosted by the development team in December and January 2018) AND any new ideas in order to get residents’ and other stakeholders’ input on what the final version of community benefits will be proposed to the development team. Please keep in mind that certain key components of the development itself (# of housing units, # parking spaces on site, etc.) cannot be altered through this process. Rather this process is about additional community benefits that we will ask the development team to provide, including but not limited to, on-site community amenities such as park space or infrastructure improvements nearby.


Please note that the development team will be holding a separate meeting in late March/early, early April on the final draft community benefits agreement (drafted between the ANC’s and the Team) as well. The date and time of that meeting will be finalized and announced soon.

The goal of both of these meetings is to ensure that the community receives multiple opportunities to provide feedback before the ANC’s look to pass resolutions regarding the community benefits agreement(s) at our April 11th meetings.

If you have any ideas you’d like to share on community benefits prior to the meeting (or in addition to), please send those to either Commissioner Bennett Hilley (Petworth/Ward 4 area) or Commissioner Kent Boese (Columbia Heights/Ward 1 area).

CulturalDC SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery Coming to Bruce Monroe Park

February 21, 2018

District Bridge‘s Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street program has partnered with CulturalDC to host CulturalDC’s SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery at the Bruce Monroe Park from March 3rd to April 13th. It will feature Noa Heyne’s Posthumus Adaptations! The Mobile Art Gallery is a retrofitted 40 ft. shipping container that moves to different locations across the District, with a new exhibit and free public programming in each neighborhood it visits.

There is only one installation in each Ward so this is a unique opportunity with the Georgia Avenue community! You can check out a short video of the earlier installations at The Yards, Smithsonian National Zoo, and Union Market below.

CulturalDC is also looking for volunteers who are interested in contemporary art and can assist with engaging with visitors of the gallery, relaying gallery rules, and answering any questions visitors may have. Shifts in the Mobile Art Gallery will range from 4-6 hours Wednesdays-Sundays. If you are interested in volunteering with CulturalDC, please email Lizzy Barringer at Space4(at)culturaldc(dot)org.

Next Park View Cleanup’s on March 3rd

February 20, 2018

Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., Saturday March 3rd at the corner of Georgia and Kenyon.

Immediately following, volunteers will meet at Colony Club for a complimentary drink. This is Georgia Avenue Thrive’s latest neighborhood get-together, a great opportunity to connect with neighbors.

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of Thrive’s cleanups, they’ll debut their new, fancy trash-pickers, and professional-grade gloves.

Come Joing the Community Dialogue with MPD Cheif Peter Newsham This Saturday February 10th

February 7, 2018

On Saturday, Feburary 10th, there is an excellent opportunity to engage and speak with Police Cheif Peter Newsham on issues concerning public safety in Park View. The following details were shared on the Park View listserv. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Park View UNC’s Public Safety Working Group and ANC1A Cordially Invite you to

A Community Dialogue with MPD Chief Peter Newsham
and other guests
on Public Safety in Park View

This Saturday, February 10th from 10:15-noon
Park View Rec Center, 693 Otis Pl. NW (Entrance on Warder St.) 

Please join your neighbors for a dialogue with Peter Newsham, Chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, regarding public safety in our neighborhood. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office have also been invited to participate.

The meeting will include brief presentations from members of the Park View Public Safety Working Group highlighting areas of concern for our community, followed by a dialogue with Chief Newsham and other guests. All Park View residents are welcome to attend and ask questions.

Many neighbors are likely aware that 6 shootings have taken place in Park View since December 20th. This meeting will be a chance for in-depth discussion of how the community and MPD can work together to make our neighborhood safe for all. It will cover both recent incidents and longstanding community concerns.

We hope to see you on Saturday! If you are interested in becoming part of the Park View UNC’s Public Safety Working Group, please email elanor(dot)starmer(at)gmail(dot)com or

MPD’s Third District Has Successful Coat Drive, Still Time to Donate!

February 6, 2018

This year, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District organized a coat drive that resulted in 140 articles of clothing, including gloves, mitts, shoes, and coats which were distributed to those in need and to residents in Faircliff, Urban Village, and Park Morton. The inspiration for the coat drive was Third District Officer Barry Eastman who was killed in a car crash in September 2017. Officer Eastman worked the midnight shift and he would distribute coats to the homeless or those in need, largely unknown to anyone other than his coworkers on the midnight shift. When he passed officers he worked with explained what he did to others at MPD. This year, the Officers of the Third District organized the Winter Coat & Blanket Drive for the Homeless to honor the memory of Officer Eastman. Donations are being accepted until February 28, 2018 (details here).

(Residents with new winter coats at Urban Village.)

Community Discusses Future of 11th and Park Rd Dog Park

February 1, 2018

Commissioner Angelica Castañon getting the meeting started. Seated l. to r. John Henderson, Lori Robertson, and Eric Gronning.

Last night supporters of keeping the WMATA property as a permanent dog park met at Raymond Recreation Center to discuss recent news that Metro is considering selling the property and what that may mean for the community. The meeting was organized by newly elected ANC1A06 Commissioner Angelica Castañon. ANC1A Chair and Ward 1 Council candidate Kent Boese and ANC1A Secretary Zach Rybarczyk also attended.

Commissioner Castañon made opening remarks and introduced Councilmember Nadeau as the first speaker. Nadeau stated that she has been working with the residents and 11th and Bark to improve the site over the years, and that she met with the Mayor and has asked for funds to be included in the budget. She stated that she “wants to help, is helping” and has met with Councilmember and Metro Board member Jack Evans, who thinks that purchasing the property is doable. Nadeau was unable to stay for the entire meeting, but noted that John Hillegass from her office was in attendance and could answer any additional questions.

John Henderson of Green Spaces DC was the next to speak, gave an overview of what role Green Spaces DC plays in the community, and emphasized the importance of green spaces in Columbia Heights in particular. Using the boundaries of Spring Rd. (north), New Hampshire and Sherman aves. (east), Harvard (south), and 16th Street (west), Henderson noted the neighborhood only has 2.75 acres of green space, including the civic plaza. He also noted that the DPR master plan calls for 12.9 acres of green space per 1,000 people. This illustrated how important the dog park property is for the growing Columbia Heights community.

Patrick Flynn of Patrick’s Pet Care was the next speaker.  He related his experiences, beginning on 2010 when he moved to the neighborhood. As a former ANC1A Commissioner, he shared his efforts with Councilmember Jim Graham — who originally helped open the property to the community when he was on the WMATA Board — and the red tape and challenges that exist with WMATA’s ownership. He even offered to lease the property from WMATA for $5,000, which ultimately didn’t come to fruition.

Wrapping up the presentations were 11th and Bark Board Members Lori Robertson and Eric Gronning. They also shared their experiences with forming a non-profit and efforts to lease the property from WMATA. They began with DPR to see if the city could gain control and allow them to raise money for maintaining the property as a Park Partner, but this route closed when the Department of General Services balked as there was no precedent for the arrangement under consideration. They next focused on negotiating directly with WMATA, with discussion progressing to the point where drawings of what an official dog park would look like (see below).

(11th and Barks concept of what an improved dog park could look like.)

11th and Bark learned in December that WMATA was no longer interested in leasing the property, as they had an unsolicited offer to purchase the property. This is the event that lead to the current situation and meeting as residents are concerned about what this could mean for the community.

In a communication WMATA sent to Councilmember Nadeau and shared with ANC1A and 11th and Bark members just prior to the meeting, they had the following to say, in part:

When Metro receives an unsolicited offer for a property, it first determines if the offer is reasonable and also if the Authority has a long-term operating need for the property.  If there is no long-term operating need for the property and WMATA desires to sell the property, the next step is for Metro to send a letter of notification to the jurisdiction in which the property is located (in this case, the District of Columbia) to first give the local jurisdiction an opportunity to purchase the property at fair market value.  Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations require Metro to receive fair market value for any disposition of properties such as the one at 11th & Park.  If an offer is accepted by Metro, FTA must also concur with the disposition of the property.

During the community discussion following the overview presentation, Lori Robertson shared that they had met with Jack Evans in the past, and indicated that the property could be valued at $1M. Commissioner Boese shared that the property could be as much as $2M based on experts he had consulted — but that this shouldn’t be considered a lot of money when who looks at how much the District invests in other parks and green spaces in the District — especially if the 11th and Bark group is planning to take on the costs of improving and maintaining the site.

Boese also shared his advice on who the budget process works and the importance of testifying before the relevant Council budget oversight hearings. While it would be helpful to have funding identified in the Mayor’s budget, due to the nature of budget oversight hearings it will be important for the community to be involved and advocate for this cause regardless of whether funding is in the budget or not.

Boese and Castañon also plan to draft a resolution supporting the purchase of the property which will be considered at the February 14, 2018, meeting of ANC1A.

The meeting closed with an overview on the ways neighbors can get involved and advocate for the park, as well as commitments to organized and Earth Day clean up of the dog park and a repeat of the Marty Paws event this year.

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