Program Revamps DC Community Parks
Washington—Mayor Vincent C. Gray and local government officials cut the ribbon, opening Noyes Park in the Brookland neighborhood of northeast Washington, D.C. on Friday, July 19. The park was revitalized as part of the “Play DC Initiative.”
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) plans to revitalize 32 parks in partnership with the Department of General Services according to Department of Parks and Recreation Director Jesús Aguirre. Noyes Park was a vacant 1.2 acre field of grass, now transformed into a space with a playground, walking path, community garden, and adult fitness structure. The park is what Aguirre called, “multigenerational,” with elements that appeal to community members of different ages.
“The community has long asked for a vibrant space,” said Katie Rehwaldt, Department of Parks and Recreation manager of Park Partners and Community Engagement. Construction on the project started roughly one year ago, however, the community planning of the project took some time to complete. Brookland community members shared with planners what they would like to see in the park, according to Rehwaldt.
On the hot Saturday afternoon following the grand opening of the park, Cynthia Anderson brought her two grandsons Jeremiah and Ezra to play at the park.
“It’s real nice, convenient and close by,” said Mrs. Anderson, a member of the Brookland community for 29 years.
Jeremiah and Ezra discovered that they could turn on the spout at the base of the drinking fountain, releasing water they could use to cool themselves on the hot afternoon.
“It’s nice to see things coming along in the city,” said Stacey Ouzts an accountant and resident of the Brookland neighborhood for 13 years. Ms. Ouztz visited the park with her son Alexander. “It’s much better than what they had before.”
Play DC, the District’s Master Plan initiative implements DPR’s “Move—Grow—Be Green” goals that invite District residents to be active in recreation and physical fitness, to support their personal development through enrichment programs and cultural activities, and to be stewards of the environment, connecting to the natural world, according to the DPR website.