In the mayor’s recent budget request for DC, $2 million dollars has been earmarked for improvements at the popular Petworth Park and Recreation Center (8th and Taylor Streets NW). The park is heavily used by the community, from kids having a great time in the spray park in the summer and playing on the playground almost year round, while the grassy area is used for soccer and other outdoor activities, including the summertime Petworth Jazz Project. Here’s what that money could bring…
According to the DC Department of Public Recreation, the $2 million set aside in the mayor's budget for Petworth Recreation Center is intended for the installation of a new ground surface and equipment in the spray park, as well as new playground equipment and updates to the basketball court. There are currently no drawings, plans or designs as yet, since funding has not been finalized.
Friends of Petworth Park, the volunteer resident group that works with DPR on managing and overseeing the park, is elated at the news that the park will see much needed updates.
“We are super excited, and at present the focus is on making sure the funds stay in the budget,” said Sarah Gabriel, president of the Friends of Petworth Park. “Once we have it locked down we are having a community meeting May 3rd at the Petworth Library time for community conversation on next steps and feedback.”
Tom and Lucan Pipkin have taken up the task of working to ensure the money stays in the mayor’s budget. “We're thankful and appreciative of the efforts of Councilman Brandon Todd and Mayor Bowser in recognizing and advocating for improvements at the Petworth Recreation Center,” Tom Pipkin said. “Now the fun part begins, and that's working with Todd's office to continue to advocate for the funds and do what we can to support that effort as needed. Hopefully we will be reaching out soon to talk about what the community wants in a playground redesign!”
I reached out to Councilmember Brandon Todd’s office for more information on the plans for the park, and how these funds came about:
“I worked with Mayor Bowser and her team to ensure that $2 million for the Petworth Recreation Center was included in the FY 2018 budget,” Todd said, “These investments in our community recreation are critical, especially with Petworth’s booming population of young families with children. As Council moves through the budget process, I will remain a strong advocate for ensuring that this investment remains in the final budget.”