Catching Up With The Friends Of Noyes Park – Get Involved!

Kids enjoying Noyes Park
Kids enjoying Noyes Park

The Friends of Noyes Park (FoNP), launched shortly after the new park was opened in summer 2013. Now that they have gotten a lot of their non-profit  paperwork completed, FoNP will soon shift its attention to planning for Spring 2014 and beyond.

One of the first things they are tackling is the development of the Noyes Park Garden Rules and Regulations in response to the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) instructions. The purpose of the Garden Rules and Regulations is to outline how the community garden plots will be divided, who is eligible, and list the responsibilities each resident who is assigned a plot will need to accept.

The draft of the proposed Noyes Park 2014 Garden Rules and Regulations can be found here, and were based on DPR advice, a thorough review of other city garden Rules and Regulations, and the preliminary feedback obtained from residents interested in gardening.  The FoNP seeks  community comments and wants residents to provide input and respond if they feel something needs to be changed/added/removed. The deadline for submitting comments and input is Friday, January 31st. Instructions on how to submit feedback is included at the top of the document. We caught up with Carlos Pinto, the President of FoNP and asked him some questions.

What is the goal/purpose of the FoNP?

 The FoNP is an incorporated, all-volunteer membership organization comprised of residents interested in Noyes Park, a newly constructed city park located directly across from Noyes School in the 1000-1200 block of Franklin Street, NE.  At present, the FoNP is awaiting a decision from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to be granted “Adopt-a-Park” designation and has filed the required Internal Revenue Service (IRS) application to obtain its non-profit status.

Since its grand opening in July 2013, Noyes Park has proved itself to be a valuable asset to the community. And, the FoNP, with the community’s support, will do its best to ensure that Noyes Park is well-cared for, remains free from neglect, and enriches the lives of current Brookland residents and future generations of Brooklanders too.

The FoNP will serve as a liaison between the community and DC government agencies for purposes of identifying and resolving issues that negatively impact the park. Recent examples include working with the DPR to quickly replace non-functioning street light bulbs, collaborating with the Department of General Services (DGS) to repair damage to the Park resulting from a motorist accident, and reporting excess garbage in need of collection on the premises.

Additionally, the FoNP in close cooperation with DPR will oversee the park’s overall maintenance, including its jungle-gym, seven community garden plots, and exercise equipment. It will also be responsible for developing programs and activities that will educate and encourage residents of all ages to adopt healthy lifestyles and habits, both nutritionally and physically.

What are ways neighbors can get involved with FoNP?

 Community involvement is truly the key to ensuring that Noyes Park is a success and remains a safe and inviting place for residents of all ages to enjoy.  As such, the FoNP is currently seeking leaders at board and officer levels. Furthermore, in an effort to focus on all the various issues that the FoNP will address, we’re seeking volunteers to take an active role and participate in one (or more) of the committees (i.e., Garden, Special Events, Health and Wellness, Public Safety, Community Outreach, and Fundraising) we’ve created. Although each committee will focus on one specific task, the FoNP hopes that as a whole they will foster neighborhood unity and provide residents access to a wealth of learning opportunities. Neighbors may obtain additional information on how they may contribute by calling the FoNP, sending them an email, or contacting them via Twitter and Facebook.

 What are some of the upcoming projects/activities FoNP will take on?

 We’re all ears and welcome and are open to all kinds of suggestions. We want to engage the residents of the community and invite them to contact us and provide ideas of what’s of interest to them and echoes their desires. We aim to reflect the neighborhood’s rich diversity and attract children, families, and the elderly. How many activities we’ll have, however, has yet to be determined and will depend on the number of volunteers in the Special Events Committee, since each activity will require planning and coordination.  That being said, off the bat, we’re looking to host a Noyes Park Community Clean-up Day in early spring and soon after several how-to garden-related workshops. We’ll be sure to keep the community updated as dates get confirmed.

You can keep up with and contact the FoNP by checking out their website,  Facebook page, Twitter feed,  Call/Text Message: 202-524-0547 or Email: friendsofnoyespark(at)gmail(dot)com.

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