Posted tagged ‘children’

Trolley Turnaround Park Opens (11th & Monroe) — Ribbon Cutting to Come

February 20, 2012

Visitors on the first full day after the park was opened included Commissioner Aquiline (1A05) with her family

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.

Basic layout of the renovated park, as presented in early 2010

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.

The hardscape areas at the park now include bands of dark brick, which indicate where the original streetcar tracks once were

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.

Medallions modeled after Capitol Transit tokens are incorporated into the new design

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.


Christmas Carolers to Visit Houses Between Otis Place to Rock Creek Church Road Tonight

December 22, 2011

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.



3rd Annual Santa’s Workshop This Saturday (12/10) and Next (12/17)

December 7, 2011

Here’s an opportunity to volunteer and help area children and families have a happier holiday. The third annual Park View Kids Zone’s Santa’s Workshop. Full details follow:

Join Park View Kids Zone for our third annual Santa’s Workshop this Saturday December 10th and Saturday December 17th at Bruce Monroe at Park View from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. All Park View neighbors of all ages are welcome to come! We will have holiday crafts, lots of holiday food and each child will get to “shop” in Santa’s Workshop! Each year we set up a free store for the kids to shop for a present for their parents and we gift wrap it as if they were at a nice department store. We want the kids to have the opportunity to give a gift to their family at Christmas. It will be a fun day for all and a great time to celebrate the Holiday’s with some of your youngest neighbors.

We are in need of donations for this event. We need gift items for our parent store. These items do not have to be new! We are looking for small items such as picture frames, necklaces, earrings, unused small bath items (like from a hotel), household accessories, kitchen gadgets, tie’s, purses, note cards, etc. We could use gift wrap, bags, tape, ribbon, bows and tissue paper as well.

We need some neighbors to commit to one or both of the days to help us with food and drinks. Christmas cookies, veggie and fruit trays, chips, finger sandwiches or wraps, chex mix, nuts, candies, hot coco, juice boxes, Christmas paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware and cups are all items we need to pull this off on the 10th and the 17th. Maybe you have some grandma’s who would be thrilled to bake up some holiday goodies for the kids? If you would like to help with this fun program or would like more information please contact Mrs. Angela at Ang.Strange @ Gmail.Com or 615-496-0834. Happy Holidays Park View!!


Update on Bruce Monroe @ Park View Playground

August 19, 2011

D.C. Public Schools open on Monday August 22, 2011, and it looks like the kindergartners at the Park View School won’t have to do without a playground as previously thought. A month ago it looked like the small playground at the southeast corner of the school would be out of service until October. The equipment was in need of repair and no money for new parts had been identified.

In the past month, luckily, the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) was able to find the money to replace the playground and has been actively working to get the playground up and running. Below are some photos of the new playground equipment as the site nears completion.

New playground equipment at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School

Another view of the playground equipment at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School


School’s Tot Lot Dismantled, New Wall Being Constructed

August 8, 2011

Workers have made quick work at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School’s tot lot. When I checked it out on Sunday the play equipment was completely dismantled and a crew was on site digging a trench behind the existing wall. I asked what the trench was for and was  told that they plan to build a new higher wall behind the existing one. Judging from the cinder blocks (below), it looks like the wall will achieve their aim but will not be inspired.

Textured cinder blocks on site for the school's new wall


Park View Tot Lot Off Limits

July 22, 2011

Cordoned off tot lot at the school

The tot lot at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School has been cordoned off due to disrepair. I’ve been informed that the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) is looking for the parts to repair the play equipment.

There is a possibility that OPEFM will not have any spare parts on hand and that they’ll need to wait until October when the next Fiscal Year starts. If this happens, the school will need to use the equipment at the neighboring Park View Recreation Center.

The school’s tot lot is located on the northwest corner of Warder Street and Newton Place and is largely used by the school’s youngest children.


Second Park View Field Renovation Meeting is Tonight @ Park View Rec Center, 6:30 p.m.

June 9, 2011

Then second meeting between the neighborhood and DPR concerning the renovation of the Park View athletic field is tonight at 6:30 p.m. Details can be found by clicking on the flier to the right.

Readers may recall that at the first DPR meeting on May 5, 2011, the planners presented three initial plans for community comment to better help them determine how to renovate the athletic field. Concept two, which eliminate all of the green space in favor of two basketball courts and a tennis court received the least support.

There was a lot of support for both concepts one and three. Based on this, the planners have reworked both of those concepts incorporating additional comments they received at the first meeting, via email, and from this blog. I’m very excited to see how the plans have changed as a result.

To help me better understand what activities need to be supported on the athletic field I decided to play with the plans myself. Taking into account the entire site, and presuming that the DPR and school sites could be united with indoor recreation activities being included at the school when it’s not in session, below is what I came up with.
In this fantasy version, a regulation basketball court replaces the current recreation structure (which originally replaced a tennis court). The children’s pool is also replaced by a spray park that could support a wider range of ages. This plan also provides room for some landscaping on the Warder Street side of the basketball court and a sod area between the spray park and the old field house. Lastly, I’ve included three additional trees since I feel trees are important and Warder is in serious need of trees. In this plan the basketball court does encroach upon Otis Place to about the middle of the street.

What was important to me in performing this exercise was the realization that though small, if designed well everything the recreation center currently supports can continue to be supported without a loss of the expansive athletic field if the functions of the current building can be shifted to the neighboring school in some manner. This is something that DPR is currently planning to do at sites like Raymond.


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