Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Aimee Grace (ANC 6B07) has worked for a year and a half on concepts for a new triangle park in Southeast, together with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), representatives from Potomac Gardens, Hopkins Apartments and members of the community. After months of planning, community discussion and feedback, the project is now nearing reality.
On Monday, Grace shared the initial concepts for the renovation of two Potomac Avenue SE triangle parks. Grace credits community advocacy for the $500,000 has been earmarked for the project in the District Council’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
The goal of the project is to create a positive community space for all residents of the community while addressing safety concerns. The group working on the project hopes the community can determine a final design by January 2018, when the next community meeting is expected to take place. After that, contracting and construction can begin with park completion expected by summer 2018.
Now, the Commissioner and DPR seek community input in order to determine a final design.
At a community meeting DPR facilitated about the parks, the agency clarified that there are two potential park locations. The first is Reservation 253, the triangle park at the intersection of 12th St SE/K St SE/Potomac Ave SE, which is under the control of DPR. Reservation 254, the triangle park at the intersection of 13th St SE/I St SE/Potomac Ave SE, is under the control of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). DPR has reached out to DDOT to determine what possibilities exist for that property.
Feedback Collected to Date
At that meeting, Commissioner Grace summarized community feedback from a wide variety of sources from August 2016 to January 2017. Grace worked with DPR to present initial designs presented at the meeting, with the goal of maximizing space within budget limitations, but still ensuring that key features wanted by the community could be included.
Responses indicated that the main desired features for the park included:
- Playground/kids play area
- BBQ grills
- Chess/Checker tables
- Splash pad
- Community garden
- Outdoor art
- Outdoor fitness
- Commercial space
- Police substation
- Dog park
District agencies expressed concern about two of the desired features. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said that it might be harder to police events in the park that use the grills at night, when the park is closed. DPR said that a dog park is expensive and requires a great deal of space. They said that since a dog park is expected to be completed at the Virginia Ave park in mid-2018, they would prefer to focus resources for a dog park on that one project.
The community expressed preference for Concept B on Reservation 253 (at 12th/K/Potomac). That plan includes a welcome sign/artwork, splash pad/hardscape, chess/checker tables and a community flower garden- with wheelchair access).
For Reservation 254 (at 13th/I/Potomac), the community favored Revised Concept A, but with the addition of outdoor fitness equipment, and perhaps a rearrangement so that both the kids’ play area and the chess/checker tables share some of the tree shade. The plan also calls for wheelchair access.
Your Feedback Wanted
Commissioner Grace has asked for community feedback. Please view the different concept drawings for Reservation 253 (at 12th/K/Potomac Ave SE) and those for Reservation 254 (at 13th/I/Potomac Avenue SE). Then, fill out your comments/preferences at the brief online survey here. If you would like more information, would like to be added to Commissioner Grace’s newsletter list, or are interested in having Commissioner Grace or one of the community members speak to a group of neighbors, please contact Grace via email at 6B07@anc.dc.gov.
The next community meeting with another opportunity for feedback will take place in early-mid January 2018, and will be noticed widely.