Yesterday, January 15th, the Hillcrest Children & Family Center Kicked off a year of celebrating their 200th Anniversary. Hillcrest was originally called the Washington City Orphan Asylum and founded with the help of First Lady Dolly Madison. I was honored to MC the event which was held at the Octagon House. I’ve included a link to the video for anyone interested in watching the event.
Posted tagged ‘children’
Thanks to a neighbor who brought this to my attention, I’m sharing a PBS Newshour article that was published on July 16th titled Why summer is the hungriest season for some U.S. kids. The article focuses on children who rely on free and reduced-price meals when school is in session and how the summer — when schools aren’t in session — become a time of great risk for many of these children in terms of hunger.
According to the article, “this year the problem is expected to be particularly severe after recent reductions in the Food Stamp program in late 2013 left many families skipping meals or buying low-cost junk food at the grocery store to make up the difference.”
To assist hungry children during the summer months, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 200 feeding sites throughout Washington, including the one at the Park View Recreation Center. These sites offer free, healthy meals between June and August.
I’m happy to see that our Rec Center is participating in such an important and meaningful manner to the future of so many local children. I encourage folks to read the full article to learn more about this program and see more photos of it in action at Park View Rec Center.
Here’s an event that will help break in the newly renovated Park View Recreation Center. This Saturday, March 30, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. the Park View Kids Zone will have a moon bounce, snow cones, face painting, relay games, kickball, tug of war, and and egg hunt for the kids. They will also have a spades, uno, and dominos area set up for the older folks and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament happening for high school teens & adults, male and females are welcome to play! Teams need to register by 2 p.m. on Saturday at the sign up table! There will also be food and drinks for everyone! The entire neighborhood is invited to come out!
The days schedule will be as followed:
- 1 p.m.: Moon Bounce, food, free play, face painting, card games, and music throughout the day!
- 2 p.m: 3 on 3 Basketball tournament & Free Throw Contest will start and go until 4 p.m.! Relay games and tug of war will start!
- 3 p.m.: Neighborhood Kickball Game (All ages)
- 3:30 p.m.: Egg Hunt for kids will start
- 4 p.m.: Announce winners of 3 on 3 Basketball tournament! Event ends.
Not one to be daunted by the renovations at the Park View Recreation Center that have closed the park, Angela Strange and her Park View Kids Zone held their annual cook out and Easter Egg hunt at the Raymond Recreation Center this year. Assisting her were the Young Professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League.
After the cook out, both the children and adults enjoyed a few games of tug of war before the Easter egg hunt began. I was happy to see a few of the oldest kids actually scooping up eggs and then turning them over to the youngest kids that weren’t able to fill their bags as easily as many of the elementary-aged kids could.
After the egg hunt, the day rounded out with a game of kick ball.
After many, many false starts, twists, and turns, the renovation and redesign of the open spaces at the Park View Recreation Center has finally begun. The current project was initially proposed in the late summer of 2009 and is only now moving forward. While there were many reasons for the on-again, off-again planning of this project, for many who live in the community it was seen as yet one more broken promise with little to no real intent to actually accomplish anything at Park View.
Fortunately, there were those in the community that were not willing to let this project fade into oblivion and kept the ball rolling by consistently working with Councilmember Graham and DPR Director Aguirre.
Below are some images of the work in progress, which started this week. You can also read more about the project and see the plan by going here.
The long awaited reopening of the park at 11th and Monroe Streets, NW, finally happened on Friday, February 17, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. An official ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for March 3rd. Additional details on that are still coming. The groundbreaking for the park’s renovation occurred on August 15, putting the duration of the work at six months from start to finish.
Planning for the current iteration of the park, commonly referred to as Trolley Turnaround Park (though the original trolley design is actually a trolley loop) was in the works well before it was presented to ANC 1A in April 2010. The surrounding community has been particularly vigilant in seeing this project through. Much of this attention has to do with how long the project has taken to complete and the past renovations, upkeep, and oversight of the property.
An indication of just how important this park is to the community occurred on January 28, 2012, when the park appeared to be complete but a contractor neglected to lock the gates. The park was full of parents and their children. Upon notification, DPR immediately locked the park gates. Indeed, the work was complete, but the site had not yet been inspected by DPR’s safety officer to ensure that play equipment and areas were installed properly and safely. That early taste of the new park lead to frustrated emails on the Columbia Heights listserv over the following weeks.
Some on the community concern over the park’s renovations has more to do with the park’s history than with the current project. Efforts to improve the property can be found as far back as 1990, when the neighbors organized to clean the property and the ANC considered names for the park. As the property deteriorated, the park was again reclaimed around 1998 with play equipment and a maintenance agreement signed by DPR. Again, the property deteriorated and complaints of broken glass, dog and human feces, and broken bottles increased until the park was again renovated in 2002 after neighbors enlisted Councilmember Graham’s support.
And now, ten years later, the park has again been renovated to improve its ability to serve the community, update the play area, and address concerns with its access. While time will tell if this is a more permanent solution than past efforts, it is clear that this renovation is far more interesting than what has gone before. The design incorporates many references to the park’s original use by streetcars and uses those elements to provide an education component.
Some of the historical details included in the design are different colored bricks showing where the original streetcar rails were located, the inclusion of medallions on the surrounding fence inspired by Capitol Transit Company tokens, and a historical photograph of the Silver Sightseer located at the Monroe Street entrance. In addition to this, there is an outright educational panel located just inside the 11th Street entrance. A copy of that panel is below.
I’ve been informed that the children from the Park View Kids Zone will be out and about caroling tonight (12/22). According to the organizer — Angela Strange — they will start about 7 p.m.
The plan is to begin on the east side of the 3500 block of Ward Street and travel down to the 600 block of Otis Place. From there they will travel north on Park Place to the 600 block of Princeton Place, head north on Warder to the 600 block of Quebec Place and end on Rock Creek Church Road around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
If you are home and hear the carolers, consider opening your doors and giving them an audience. Of course, I understand you are also welcome to join them.