Monday, November 29, 2010

Southwest Will Get New Children's Playground

It looks like the effort to bring a centrally-located children's playground to SW has paid off and one is now planned for the park space adjacent to the Southwest Branch Library at 3rd & I Streets. If you recall back in April, I caught some flack from commenters after expressing my opinion (which I rarely do on this blog) about one of the proposed locations for a playground - the District-owned northeast parcel of Waterfront Station. I'm glad the selected location for the park is not on this parcel, which will cause less angst (and unnecessary expense) when the District eventually decides to allow developers to build housing and ground-floor retail on the site, and a new location for the playground would need to be found. Below is an excerpt from an email sent today by ANC 6D Chair Ron McBee describing the new park effort:

The Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC) is working with parents and friends to establish a small person play park in the DPR/DCPL property adjacent to the SW Library Branch. This has been a long time coming and I am very glad to see us seeking a partnership with KaBOOM to make this vision a reality in our community. I, for one, see the need for more playgrounds in our area and hopefully this will be the first to come. Many people have been working separately, in small groups, and finally together to make this happen, including Tommy Wells' Office and the Friends of the SW Library, who have volunteered to help maintain the park. I will be pushing to make this a reality for our young members of the community. I hope you will join "the team" of 100 volunteer members needed to build the park.

If you have questions, please feel free to email me or call our ANC 6D office at 202-554-1795 to reach me but better yet call Rev. Ruth Hamilton at 202-641-8221 or email her at rwh@westminsterdc.org. Ruth is the Chair of the CBCC and is working directly with KaBOOM and the community to implement the grant application.

According to the project website, there are currently 14 volunteer members (myself included) and $5,000 has been donated so far, which is 10% of the $50,000 needed to build the park. The goal is to build the park by this time next year - November 29, 2011.

Update: If you want to make a donation specifically to this project, contact Rev. Ruth Hamilton (her contact info is above). Don't try to make a donation through KaBOOM's website - I found out they currently don't have the ability to carve out online donations to specific projects.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's great! I see plenty of kids at the library during the after school hours and a playground will be a super complement to that.

Anonymous said...

Great!
Sounds like a convenient place to loiter shoplift etc. from
I will be putting money and effort (along with several others ) into ending this

PostIt said...

@Anonymous #2
So because people might loiter or shoplift, that's a reason to oppose this?

Wouldn't that mean every single business is an opportunity for someone loiter or shoplift? Should we be pushing back on those too? What exactly is your point?

Please put your money and effort somewhere else...

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous # 2 - What kind of neighborhood doesn't have a playground for kids? Why would you oppose something for children? Is it because you don't like the kids in Southwest? If you didn't want to live around poor people and around people of color, you shouldn't have moved into the city. Don't deny the kids of our neighborhood a needed amenity because of your issues.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to look at the litter and damage done to the library park and take it as evidence of a community that doesn't care for it's children or, indeed, for itself, but that is too harsh and lets "the bad guys" win.

There are plenty of low-income kids in that neighborhood who are desperate for a clean, safe place to play. For many of them, the library is one of the few havens of order in their lives.

Don't let the bad kids, and there are plenty of them, discourage you from reaching out to the good ones. They are worth saving, and we are winning the war to make Southwest a better community even when we lose the occasional battle.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful idea for the kids... but lock it up from the hoodrats after dark.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how a playground is any more invitation to loiter or shoplift than the current open space next to the library.

I kind of liked that little park next to the library and its solitude, and the prospect of noisy children disrupting the block as well as potentially library patrons inside, isn't very appealing to me. But I do like the idea of a neighborhood playground.