Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friends of McMillan Park: Walkers circle McMillan Park to save it

From: Erin Fairbanks <erinwhite@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:02 PM
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Walkers Circle McMillan Park to Save It

Friends of McMillan Park

FOR RELEASE: November 19, 2013
CONTACT:          Erin Fairbanks, erinwhite@yahoo.com, 240-506-6777

Walkers Circle McMillan Park to Save It

A diverse group of more than 50 walkers circled McMillan Park on Saturday to demonstrate their support for saving McMillan as a public park and stopping the Gray Administration's proposed plans to destroy the historic landmark Olmsted Park and replace it with a Tyson’s Corner-like suburban office park development.  In comfortable shoes and casual, warm weather clothes, the marchers, organized by Friends of McMillan Park (FOM), started at the popular Big Bear Cafe, walked up through Bloomingdale around McMillan Park, and ended up at St George’s Episcopal Church where the Mayor's development consultants, Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) were holding an open house event to tout the latest version of their destructive, unwanted development plans.
“It was great to join my neighbors from around McMillan and other communities across the District to show our support for saving McMillan as a park,” said Gwen Southerland. “This shows Mayor Gray, Councilmember McDuffie, and all our elected officials the opposition to the Administration's plan that would destroy virtually all of the historic elements of McMillan Park, especially its majestic underground filtration caverns.  We want a new inclusive plan for restoration of McMillan Park based on transparency and open competition rather than the current sole-source sweetheart deal with the Mayor's political cronies.”
The protesters chanted “Save McMillan Park” and “Save Our Park from The Corporate Sharks” and carried a banner that said “Hey, Harriet Tregoning! This is Our City and We Demand Better Planning!” referring to the Director of the DC Office of Planning.  At the VMP open house, the numbers of FOM and supporters overwhelmed the number of attendees who support the Mayor's destructive plan.   The VMP materials included a hand-out, FACT VS. FICTION, that did not expose any “fiction” - including the FACT that the Administration's plan would destroy all the existing historic underground water filtration cells.
Friends of McMillan Park is calling for an international design competition to identify world-class solutions to the unique preservation and adaptive re-use challenges that McMillan Park presents. 

1 comment:

PaulMinor said...

FOM would be much more credible if they stopped misleading people with inaccurate information. I attended the open house on Saturday, and plans clearly state that two underground cells will be preserved. If this is not enough for you - than fine - but why lie? I for one am starting to feel like FOM has a larger agenda that has less to do with simply protecting this community and I don't like their tactics. While there were quite a few people at the open house with the Friends of McMillan Park group, the reference above to the other people being supporters is exactly the problem. It wasn't supporters vs opponents. It was people with an agenda vs. people from the community who just really wanted to learn about the plans. I also talked to a man who had no idea why he was walking with FOM. He said he wants a park. Seems to me like VMP is going to build a park. If we leave this to FOM, we may get stuck with a fenced up landmark.