Monday, March 30, 2009

a new "world class" park in the neighborhood?

Gage Eckington Re-use Plans
Mayor Adrian Fenty attended the Tuesday, March 24 LeDroit Park Civic Association meeting to discuss the city’s idea for the former Gage Eckington school site. He informed the community that the city had pursued the previous short-term plan which was now dead. That plan called for the Department of Environment, Senior Wellness Center and Common Good City Farm to occupy the site. The cost of retrofitting the building to accommodate the tenants was very high and the city determined it could not make this work.

The city is proposing a new plan: They proposed to demolish the Gage Eckington building and replace it with a “world class neighborhood park for residents of all ages to use.” Park ideas include playgrounds for children, the Common Good City Farm, fields, sitting areas and open green space. The city estimated that demolition and site preparation could start June 1, 2009 and be completed by September. The park construction would then begin and could be completed by June, 2010.

The Mayor emphasized that he would take the guidance of the community. If it decided to proceed with the park, the city would commit to the proposed timeline. If it decided to reject the park idea, the building would remain vacant until a long-term plan was reached (3-5 years).

The attendees (50-65) at the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of the mayor’s proposal (only a handful opposed), given that the alternative is to have the building vacant until a long–term use is found (3-5 years). The long term use would certainly involve demolition anyway as the City is committed to this action.

The community will begin meetings with the city to design the park with a demolition slated for June 1 2009 and a final park to be created by June 2010. Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday evenings at 7pm starting April 8th. The first meeting is 4/8 at 7pm at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (2nd and Rhode Island).

Howard University Day of Service in LeDroit Park – Sat. April 18th
To celebrate the inauguration of University President Sidney Ribeau, join students and volunteers throughout the community for a neighborhood beautification and clean up. The University will also be hosting and information fair, barbecue, parade and entertainment in the Anna J. Cooper Circle at 3rd & T Streets NW. Events run from about 9am – 2pm. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
April is a busy month in the community.

Common Good Farm - Green Tomorrows informational meeting
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
at Florida Avenue Baptist Church
This is a gardening program open to low-income families and individuals. In exchange for 2
or more hours per week of fun, instructional hands-on work on the farm, you will receive a bag of fresh farm fruits and vegetables each week. For more information, contact 202-330-5945.

Gage Eckington Re-use Kickoff Meeting
Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 p.m.
at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, (2nd and Rhode Island Ave)
All are invited to this meeting with city officials to discuss ideas for a park and green space at the former Gage Eckington School site.

Common Good City Farm Work Day and Tree Planting
Saturday, April 11, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
3rd and V Streets NW

Monthly Safety Walk
Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Meet at Anna J. Cooper Circle
We’ll be joined by MPD and Howard University patrolmen

Gage Eckington Re-use Design Meeting
Wednesday, April 15, 7:00 p.m.
St. George’s Church (2nd and U streets)
All are invited to this meeting with city officials to discuss ideas for a park and green space at the former Gage Eckington School site.

Common Good City Farm Container Garden Workshop & Work Day
Saturday, April 18
3rd and V Streets NW

Howard University / Ledroit Park Beautification Day
Saturday, April 18
Throughout Ledroit Park & at Anna J Cooper Circle


Anonymous said...

As a resident of the neighborhood, I see this as an exciting turn. Hopefully a small dog park can be added to the mix as well.

Anonymous said...

Second regarding the dog park!

Brandon said...

Third! They are so beneficial for urban neighborhoods!

Anonymous said...

Just FYI -- the information in this blog entry is from Jeff Herron, President, LeDroit Park Civic Association. -- Scott Roberts.