Archive for the ‘Department of Parks and Recreation’ category

Overview from DPR Basketball Meeting (Tournament is On) and Thoughts on DPR

March 9, 2018

On Wednesday March 7th, representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation met with neighbors to discuss the annual Ty Hop Basketball Tournament. The basketball tournament has been held at the rec center since 2002, with no tournament in 2016. It was clear from the start that DPR is committed to continuing the tournament, but are open to feedback on days of the week, times, and length of the tournament (six weeks instead of 8 weeks?). Unlike years past, this year they are focusing the tournament for ages 15 years and younger instead of ages 24-40.

DPR has stated that they will organize a follow up meeting in 3-4 weeks to continue to work with the community on additional details for the tournament.

As in years past, the meeting centered on the need for a public safety plan in the community and concerns about gun violence. This is something that all in attendance who spoke up stressed — whether they were in favor of the tournament or not. Disappointingly, while MPD officers attended the meeting, they largely observed and offered very little, event when asked directly for their input.

The meeting, which began at 7 pm and wrapped up around 8:30 or so, was at times heated and emotional — with some citing the tournament as a valuable experience that helps bring people together and break down racism and bias — to others expressing concern that directly or indirectly gun violence has occurred around and near the rec center during tournament times and that no one should have to teach their children to duck and cover — and others still expressing that the tournament has a long history in the neighborhood and that those who have moved to the neighborhood need to accept that this is part of the community and to not push it out.

In my opinion, DPR can do a better job when it comes to working with the community to organize events. Here are three areas where I believe DPR has dropped the ball.

  1. An annual basketball tournament is fine and should be a community building event, however DPR continues to strike me as focusing only on being responsible for what happens on their property and relying on the community or MPD to control what occurs off their property. Technically, this may be where the responsibilities are, but we need to have a collaborative and integrated public safety approach for events that draw larger numbers of participants for longer periods of time. This is no different than other large events in the city whether it be the Funk Parade or a city festival.
  2. DPR repeatedly stated the longevity of the tournament as its justification for its continuation. As the tournament continues to have a large number of participants I can agree a basketball tournament still has value. However, the neighborhood has also changed a lot since 2002 when the tournament first began. Park View is far more diverse with many young families that equally value other activities. DPR needs to change and adapt along with the community — meaning that basketball should no longer be the only event at the Rec Center. Today the Rec Center needs to do this with a diverse summer program of actives. I don’t see DPR taking the lead on this.
  3. DPR needs to listen. Neighbors do advocate for activities they would like to see at the Rec Center in addition to what is offered now. For the past couple of years parents have repeatedly asked for the small children’s pool to open earlier on Saturday, and I sent Directer Anderson a letter to that effect from ANC1A last year. Similarly, when former Mayor Fenty and Councilember Graham first proposed to renovate Park View Rec Center’s baseball field with a new artificial turf baseball field in 2010, I pointed out that no one in the neighborhood played baseball and led neighbors to push for neighborhood servicing improvements which were delivered in 2012. DPR’s failure to listen before they make decisions sets up a contentious and divisive process before their first conversations with the community even occur. This needs to stop.

Ultimately we need a DPR that is a true community partner. One that is responsive, one that is engaged, and one that values the diverse and ever changing needs of every neighborhood.

New Fashion Tailoring Program at Park View Recreation Center

January 17, 2018

Park View Field House at the Recreation Center

I’ve been informed that the Park View Recreation Center now has a tailoring program, located in the Field House building. The program is Tuesday through Thursday, 1-7 pm. The program is free.

Below is an overview of the program for anyone interested in participating.

Fashion Tailoring Program
(Free Community Program (for adults and teens))

Schedule
Tuesday 1:00-7:00pm
Wednesday 1:00-7:00pm
Thursday 1:00-7:00pm

Instructor: Jhaz Phifer
Location: Park View Recreation (Field House) 693 Otis Place NW Washington DC 20009

Curriculum

  • Basic Tailoring and Alterations
  • Hat making

For all your basic tailoring and alterations feel free to bring items to the center (field house).

Contact
Jhaz the Tailor
202-609-2217

Park View Movie Night Scheduled for September 16th!

September 12, 2017

UPDATED: The time and choice of movies have been updated as of 9/12 @ 3 pm.

To close out the summer, DPR has scheduled a Movie Night at the Park View Recreation Center on Saturday, September 16, beginning at 7 pm.

It will be a viewers choice with the following selections;

  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

We Need the Park View Pool Open Earlier on Weekends

July 6, 2017

An issue I’ve been watching closely this summer is the hours of operation for DPR pools and spray parks. For years, neighbors have wanted the pool at the Park View Recreation Center to open earlier on Saturday and Sunday, perhaps around 9:30 or 10 am. It currently opens at Noon on weekends.

While past attempts have been unsuccessful, I think the time is right to push for this change again. Starting on June 30th, DPR decided to extend hours when its its spray parks would be open from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. While this is great, it doesn’t really help Park View. Never-the-less, as DPR seems to currently be open to changing service hours for spray parks, its time to push for the same consideration for local pools too.

The Walk-to-Learn-to-Swim pool at Park View Recreation Center.

Council Asks DGS to Study & Recommend Options for Community Use of Schools

January 25, 2017

school-use-billOn January 10, 2017, Councilmember Charles Allen — along with Councilmembers Robert White, Anita Bonds, and DAvid Grosso — introduced a bill to require the Department of General Services (DGS) to convene a task force to identify barriers to and develop recommendations for community use of public school facilities and ot submit those recommendations to the Council. The Task Force must transmit a report of its work and findings to the Council by March 1, 2018.

In reading through the bill, some of the items requested of DGS includes identifying existing barriers to community use of school buildings, determining costs for community use of school buildings, and developing recommendations for a District-wide policy to allow for community use of school buildings. The report’s focus is to be on policies and practices for increasing community use of school facilities for both organized and casual recreation, with an emphasis on promoting healthy activity.

While I’m encourage by this effort and can support its goals, I don’t feel it is going far enough. Based on messages I’ve read on area listservs over the last few years, this appears to be in response — in part — to residents seeking access to swimming pools (such as the one at Dunbar High School), gymnasiums, and other recreation focused areas of new and existing schools. I think such an approach is too narrow and presumes a definition of recreation that is physical in nature. For me, recreation needs to be defined more liberally and broadly, and increasing community access to school facilities for any purpose that builds a stronger community out to be the goal.

One issue that is particularly lacking in many neighborhoods is available community meeting space, where neighbors can come together over local issues and get to know each other as part of the process.  With this in mind, I’ll be reviewing the types of spaces available in some of our area schools, and coming up with a list of recommendations to be considered by the task force as they work on their report for the Council.

 

Admiring the New Plantings at the Park View Rec Center

April 29, 2016

I wanted to acknowledge some of what the United Neighborhood Coalition accomplished during their UNC Earth Day event last Saturday. Despite the rain,  they were able to pick up a lot of trash and helped spruce up the Rec Center with flowers. The photos below show how nice the entrance to the rec center looks even with the rainy weather.

Park View Earth Day

Park View Earth Day 2

Park View Field House Renovation Nearly Finished

August 7, 2015

This will probably be the final update on the Park View Field House at the recreation center before the project is completed. It is essentially completed now, and the majority of punch list items are expected to be completed by Wednesday, August 12, 2015, including removal of the temporary construction fence.

Below are photos of the (nearly) finished project.

Park View Field House

IMG_1158

IMG_1156

Park View rec center interior

IMG_1144


%d bloggers like this: