Thursday, December 29, 2016

Design Concepts for Buzzard Point Park

Earlier this month, the National Park Service hosted a public meeting at the Southwest branch library to discuss plans for the former Buzzard Point Marina property at the tip of Buzzard Point, adjacent to the planned Peninsula 88 condos. The marina closed earlier this year and NPS has been trying to decide how to reuse the park, which will become a much-needed open space refuge as the rest of the peninsula is redeveloped over the next several years. Buzzard Point Park has 3.4 acres of land area with 1,500 SF of shoreline. The park is an irregular shape which ranges in width from 50 to 200 feet. 

Based on public input from a meeting held in July, below is the general design concept for Buzzard Point Park as described by the National Park Service: 
Inspired by the native marshland that historically softened the transition between land and water, the design concept for Buzzard Point Park seeks to restore the natural beauty of the site. Located in a busy urban area, Buzzard Point Park will become a place where residents can stroll down a shoreline promenade lined with trees and marsh grasses, muffling the sounds of the city. The waterfront, once inaccessible, will be transformed into a peaceful retreat for both recreation and relaxation. 
The design begins with the shoreline. In sharp contrast to the hard lines traditionally used in waterfront parks, this concept uses soft edges and organic shapes defined by native marsh plantings. This holistic approach provides shoreline stability and flood protection, while making the waterfront accessible. To enhance this experience, a kayak share program is proposed to allow residents a new way to engage with the waterfront. 
Along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail are a series of Recreational Pods (Rec Pods) offering a variety of play, education, and interpretive opportunities. These spaces are intended to be more multi-functional to meet a variety of recreational needs. Each space can be designed to meet a specific need such as a play area, a splash pad, rest stop, fitness station, public art display, or a simple open lawn area. Visitors seeking active recreation will be able to use the continuation of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, linking to the existing trail ending at Diamond Teague Park. 
Marsh Rec Pod concept

Tower Rec Pod concept

Two design concepts were revealed during the presentation. Common to both concepts are water-based activities with a natural shoreline and a waterfront trail in a unique park setting. The existing Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) building would be repurposed to contain restroom facilities, a kayak launch, and other park support amenities. A small parking lot would be located at the north end of the park near the ECC building. Neither of the concepts include a marina, although some people requested one be included at the public meeting. 

Concept 1 creates a large open lawn and two trails – a 20-foot wide multi-use extension of the Anacostia Riverfront Trail and a 10-foot wide pedestrian promenade closer to the water. A landscaped buffer area would be located on the west side of the park, connecting the lawn area with an arrival plaza along 1st Street. 

Concept 2 also includes a pedestrian promenade, but the Anacostia Riverfront Trail would be located on the river itself with overlooks, leaving more space on the land side for a heavily forested tree canopy and steps leading to the water.

Floating Anacostia River Trail from Concept 2
For more information about the concepts, check out the NPS’ project website. The public comment period will run through January 27, 2017, after which the concept plans may be revised. Then, the final concept plans will be developed and will be vetted during the NEPA process. As funding becomes available to build the park, it will likely be completed in phases.

Renderings courtesy of NPS


AMK said...

Concept 2 seems really cool with the Anacostia River Trail suspended over the river, although I assume that would be more expensive.

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