Archive for the ‘Sports leisure and entertainment’ category

Athletic Fields at Park View Rec Center and Tubman Elementary School Fail Annual G-MAX Safety Tests

June 25, 2019

Park View Soccer Field is closed until repairs can be made to improve its safety.

On June 20th, the Department of General Services (DGS) sent out notice that they had begun their annual shock attenuation, or G-MAX testing, of the District’s 54 synthetic turf fields. As of last week, 13 fields had failed their G-MAX test out of 30 tested so far. Seven of the fields are in need of additional infill in order to return to compliance, however, six fields — including the athletic fields at Park View Recreation Center and Harriet Tubman Elementary School — will require more extensive repair.

All 13 fields were taken off-line immediately in order that the necessary adjustments and repairs could be made.  The extensive repair work could take up to two weeks; fields needing additional infill will require 1-2 days.

Below is the list DGS provided showing the fields that need to be repaired.

In speaking directly with DGS, I learned that they were scheduled to be on site at the Park View field on June 24th to inspect the field and assess the appropriate measures to repair the field and reopen it for community use.

You can read more about G-MAX and the testing at the DGS G-MAX webpage which includes the individual reports.

DDOT to Begin Work on New Bioretention Facility at Park Road Park Today

March 11, 2019

Work is scheduled to begin on March 11th for a new bioretention area at the Park Road Park.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to begin work today on a new bioretention facility at the western corner of the Park Road Park located at Park Road, Sherman Avenue, and New Hampshire Avenue. The work is part of the LeDroit Park Green Infrastructure Project. The purpose of the bioretention facilities is to filter pollutants and sediment from runoff.

Parking will be restricted during construction from 7 am to 5 pm.

Construction is expected to take approximately 4 weeks to complete, dependent on weather. In total, the bioretention area will be 1,567 sq. ft. in size.

Throughout the construction area, at least one lane of traffic will be open per direction. Curbside parking will be restricted at the site during construction hours which are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Below are some construction drawing details shared from DDOT.

DGS to Repair Basketball Courts at Bruce Monroe Site Beginning February 26th

February 23, 2019


Maintenance of the basketball courts at the Bruce Monroe site has been an ongoing issue for at least a year, and as you can see from the photos above and below one of the courts in particular is completely unusable.

To address this, beginning on Tuesday, February 26th, the Department of General Services will be taking the basketball courts off-line for approximately four weeks in order to repair them. DGS’s contractor will install protective fencing around the work areas while work is in progress.

DGS does not anticipate that other area of the site will be affected during this work.

Civil War Walking Tour of Fort Totten Happening on Saturday, 11 am

February 8, 2019

Tomorrow, February 9th, you can join join the Civil War Defenses of Washington for a tour of Fort Totten, one of 68 major forts that encircled Washington DC during the Civil War. The tour begins a 11:00 a.m. The fort saw action during the Battle of Fort Stevens in July 1864 and is one of 17 sites preserved and managed by the National Park Service.

Ranger Steve T. Phan, a Civil War expert, will guide visitors in and around the historic earthen fort, including recently discovered remnants thought to be lost during the post-war era. The walk will be 1.5 miles and conducted over paved sidewalks, dirt paths, and grass.

Meet Ranger Steve at the entrance to the Fort Totten Metro Station on Saturday, February 9th at 11:00 a.m. Visitors will be guided back to the metro station at the conclusion of the tour.

For more information on the Fort Totten tour, click here. For more information on Fort Totten, please visit the CWDW Website here.

Below is a photo of Fort Totten today as well as several from the Civil War era.

Fort Totten today

Are There Alternative Sites if WMATA Sells the 11th and Park Dog Park

January 25, 2019

WMATA put their site at 11th and Park Street, NW, on the open market in early January, 2019.

For much of 2018, intense focus has been on the parcel of land owned by WMATA at 11th and Park Road and used as an unofficial dog park since 2009. After many attempts by residents to convert the site into a permanent dog park, WMATA indicated that it was considering selling the parcel. In response, Ward 1 Councilmember Nadeau secured $1.5M into the District budget to purchase the property for the specific use as a dog park, but the amount fell short of WMATA’s estimate of $2.1M.

In early January 2019, WMATA officially put the land on the open market, and while the District is still welcome to put a bid on the property, all bidders are welcome to put their best offer forward. The issue of the dog park’s sale was discussed at the January 9, 2019, meeting of ANC1A and Councilmember Nadeau was there to answer questions. She stated clearly that any support from the ANC requesting Mayor Bowser to put forth a fair price offer to purchase the site would be helpful. Nadeau also shared that she had informed the Mayor not to get into a bidding war or to buy the property at any cost. By a split vote, the ANC voted to send notice to the Mayor requesting that she make a fair market offer for the property.

Considering these events, there is a good chance that the property may be sold to a private developer. Having been asked on several occasions what options may exist for a dog park other than the current site at 11th and Park, I’ve decided to list the top 5 sites that immediately come to mind or have been mentioned to me.

It is important to keep in mind for comparison that the 11th and Park site is approximately 8,046 sq. ft. of raw space, but if developed into an official dog park the usable land area is approximately 6,500 sq. ft. due to the WMATA infrastructure that needs to be maintained.

District Owned Properties

Option 1

In any discussion of alternative Dog Park sites, the Park Road Park is commonly referenced. As a triangle park in DPR’s inventory it really isn’t land that will be  developed — which is a good thing. Its already owned by the District and it has approximately 8,505 sq. ft. of usable land which are also pluses. However, it is also used for neighborhood block parties and events from the Park Road Community Church every now and then. Additionally, neighbors have been and are likely still opposed to the site being dedicated entirely to a dog park rather than open to multiple uses.

Option 2

Of the sites in this brief survey this is the one that excites me the most. While it is a quirky site locate to the northeast of Raymond Elementary and Raymond Recreation Center, it is district owned land that really has no other use. Like the Park Road Park, it is currently owned by the District and it has 8,439.6 sq. ft. of space. I like that it is next to a staffed DPR facility which could help with maintenance. I’ve also noted that some neighbors already use the front lawns of Raymond for their dogs and it might be nice to actually create official facilities here. On the down side, it is located in ANC4C and Ward 4, though just over the boarder, and would require cross-community collaboration. That said, it would create a dog park on District land that has no other real use. This is as close to a win-win as any alternative site can get.

Privately Owned Properties

All privately owned properties have the added complexity of requiring the sale of land, which the owners may not be interested in doing. The next three are listed here again in an attempt to show sites that could work, but may not actually be available.

Option 3

I’ve been fascinated by this double alley lot for a while. It is at the west end of the block bordered by Sherman, Lamont, Georgia, and Kenyon. The lots themselves are surrounded on all four sides by alleys. The site is smaller, being 6,051 sq. ft., and was likely originally a stable (existing buildings) for horses. Alley lots are hard to develop despite how they are zoned. Because of this, I’ve long felt that the District should buy this to add to DPR’s portfolio, and if not for a dog park perhaps for a community garden. It clearly has neighborhood potential in a number of ways.

Option 4

The vacant parcel on the north side of Girard Street (between 13th and 14th streets) is another possibility. It is 7,463.9 sq. ft. in size. The property was the home of Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff until a fire gutted the house in May 2012 leading to the property being cleared and vacant. The property is currently behind on its property taxes, so perhaps there would be interest in selling it to the District for a public purpose.

Option 5

This last one is a bit of a stretch. While it has 7,483.5 sq. ft. of useable land, it is zoned RA-2 making it more desirable for housing due to the higher density allowed. That would also translate into a higher asking price which is part of the issue with the WMATA site — which is Zoned MU-4. It is also owned by Trinity Property Holding Corporation of Washington (Trinity AME Church) along with the nearby parking lots, originally purchased for the goal of housing.

While these sites could be used to create a permanent dog park in the Columbia Heights community, there may be others. Do you have a suggestion to add to this list? Are there sites I have missed? And, if the District is able to buy the 11th and Park WMATA property, do you think they should pursue any of these sites for other uses?

Holiday Lighting Event Scheduled for Park View/Petworth This Friday on Georgia Avenue

December 4, 2018

Last Friday, District Bridges hosted their annual tree lighting at the Columbia Heights plaza. This year, as part of their effort with the Georgia Avenue Main Street, they will be hosting an event on Georgia Avenue (see flyer to the right).

This Friday, December 7th, a holiday lighting event is schedule for Georgia Avenue. The event will begin at 6:30 pm and is at the corner of Rock Creek Church Rd and New Hampshire Avenue, outside the old Sweet Mango.

Last night I caught up briefly with District Bridges’ Jennifer Kuiper who was with volunteers from Howard University wrapping up a day decorating the building in advance of Friday. The photos below give an idea of what to expect.

Jennifer Kuiper going over logistics with a Howard University volunteer.

The old Sweet Mango decked out for the holidays.

Mark Your Calendars — Annual Tree Lighting in Columbia Heights and Park View Are Here

November 26, 2018

The annual District Bridges Tree Lighting in Columbia Heights is here! On Friday, November 30th, at 6:30 pm, District Bridges is hosting the community event at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza for the annual Columbia Heights Tree Lighting Extravaganza. Merry makers will enjoy complimentary cocoa, candy canes, and carols. This is a great event for the entire family.

AND this year, District Bridges will be hosting a holiday event on December 7th at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Rock Creek Church Rd, outside the old Sweet Mango. Its great to see District Bridges spreading the cheer to Park View this year.


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