Can a great recreation center that serves the wider community and a great school coexist happily side by side? We certainly hope so. We have been following the overhaul of the Turkey Thicket playground over the last few months. With the city issuing a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the Turkey Thicket playground improvements on January 3rd, the project seemed imminent. However, adjacent to Turkey Thicket is the old Brookland Elementary School, that the DC Department of General Services (DSG) is going to tear down this year to build a new school – the Brookland Middle School. Right now, the DGS and DC Public Schools (DCPS) are in the concept phase for the design and construction of the school. As part of this exercise, they, along with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), are considering creating a joint property out of Turkey Thicket and the school property. Clearly, Turkey Thicket has many assets: the swimming pool, 90′ diamond baseball field, basketball court, gymnasium, multipurpose rooms, playground, and tennis courts. All of these would be huge assets to attract students to the school. But what about the needs of the wider community? At this point, it is not entirely clear what the consequences of this joint property concept are. How would this concept affect the community’s access to this much-needed, and used, recreation center? How will this plan, if enacted, affect the plans in place for the playground overhaul? The middle school is supposed to house 300 – 600 students. What is the plan to deal with parking and additional traffic? Bottom line: will this mean a loss of neighborhood amenities or a chance for us to get expanded and better facilities?
DGS, DCPS and DPR are seeking community feedback on this co-location idea at a meeting called by ANC Commissioner Jenese Jones (of the 5B05 SMD) on Tuesday February 26th, 6:30 at Turkey Thicket. This decision will have a large and lasting impact on the quality of life in our neighborhood and the attractiveness of Brookland to potential new neighbors, so I encourage folks to come out and discuss what the implications are. Perhaps I am too optimistic, but I see the potential for win-win here, but we all know that only squeaky wheels get (and in this case, keep) the grease. Turkey Thicket Recreation Center is located at 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE.
As usual, the Woodridge Library has a lot of activities going on that appeal to a wide array of people and ages. This month there is an extra emphasis on African-American history programs in celebration of Black History Month. Here is a rundown:
PC Basics, February 7th, 2:00 pm
Reading Notes: Violin Lessons with a Reading Flair, February 9th, 3:30 pm
The Smithsonian Presents Mission:Preservation, February 11th, 1:00 pm
Teen Trivia: African and African-American Who’s Who, February 11th and 25th, 3:30 pm
Black History Month Film Festival, February 11th, 6:300 pm
I <3 Books, February 13, 4:00 pm
C.R. Gibbs African Culture and History Lecture Series – African Genesis: The Rise of Humanity in Africa, February 6th, 7:00 pm
C.R. Gibbs African Culture and History Lecture Series – Black Miners: A Buried Legacy, February 13th, 7:00 pm
C.R. Gibbs African Culture and History Lecture Series – Great Black Women, February 20th, 7:00 pm
C.R. Gibbs African Culture and History Lecture Series – Let Your Motto Be Resistance: Great Slave Revolts, February 27th, 7:00 pm
Job Seekers Drop In Clinic, Every Tuesday, 10:00 am
Preschool Story Time, Every Tuesday, 10:30 am
Tales for Twos and Threes, Every Tuesday, 10:30 am
Senior Fitness Fridays, Every Friday 10:00 pm
Chess Instruction for Younger Children, Every Thursday at 10:15 am
Chess Instruction for Older Children, Every Wednesday at 6:30 pm
Chess Club, Every Monday at 5:30 pm (except Monday, February 18th)
Story Time With Crafts, Every Thursday, 10:30 am
Check the library’s website for the particulars (target age, etc.) of each activity. The library is located at 1801 Hamlin Street NE.
Mayor Gray has launched the largest playground improvement project in DC history, named Play DC. Our very own Turkey Thicket Recreation Center has one of the playgrounds slated for an overhaul. We have posted earlier about surveys and meetings where Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of General Services sought input from the community. Brooklanders definitely stepped up to the plate and gave tons of feed back. DPR is not collecting additional comments at this point, as they feel they got the input they needed from the community regarding concerns and desires for the renovation. Next, DPR will consult with playground experts to select appropriate equipment while staying true to the concept plan. The updated concept plans are posted below. Double click on the playground diagram to enlarge. The slide show contains the themes that will be utilized and sample playground equipment. There are still a lot of details to be worked out, for example, how the community garden will be managed. Many thanks to Debee Yamamoto of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association for keeping the community up to speed on the renovation.
At a meeting on Monday, December 17th, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation presented conceptual drawings provided by Studio 39 Architects for the Turkey Thicket playground renovation. As you can see below, a lot is packed into the overhaul. I am surprised by how awesome it is.
The conceptual drawings and plans are based on the comments received thus far. Here is a rundown of the proposed renovation:
Replace and widen the walking track and add exercise stations along it
A new play park centered around a spray park (with no standing water)
Seating throughout the play area
A climbing feature, which will be a train track with a stationary train and tunnel. This area will have a mountain theme with berms and climbing stones throughout which will incorporate the hillside by adding a climbing feature on it.
A seat wall with a guard rail that will be musical–like a xylophone
A movie wall against the recreation center wall for outdoor movie nights
A large community garden
Here is a conceptual drawing of what the play area will look like:
Unfortunately for dog lovers, the plans are for the park to remain dog free. There is still time to give your input, so please respond to this survey and let DPR know what you think. The deadline to respond has been extended to December 31st. We need a lot of interest generated for the overhaul so design elements aren’t stripped away when the rubber hits the road. Many thanks to Debee Yamamoto of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association for keeping the community up to speed on the renovation.
A couple of weeks ago we posted about a meeting to discuss the overhaul of the Turkey Thicket playground. If you weren’t able to attend Monday’s meeting, it isn’t too late to let your opinion be heard. There will be a follow up meeting on Monday, December 17th at 6:00 pm at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave NE. You can also submit feedback through an online survey provided by the Departmet of Parks and Recreation. The survey will be closed on Saturday, December 1. For more information on the Play DC Project, the largest playground improvement project in DC history, contact PlayDC (at) dc (dot) gov or call (202) 391-9204.
Earlier this week we posted about a meeting to discuss and gather input on renovations to Turkey Thicket’s playground. We recently learned that the meeting date has changed to Monday, November 26, 2012 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Location: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave., NE. Hope to see you there.
As we posted in October, Mayor Grey has launched the largest playground improvement project in DC history, named Play DC. Our very own Turkey Thicket Recreation Center has one of the playgrounds slated for an overhaul. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of General Services will host a community meeting to discuss the overall Play DC project, and the Turkey Thicket project specifically. All are encouraged to attend and share their ideas. Although there is $9.3 million in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget set aside for the overall program, none of the parks have a dedicated budget from that amount yet.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 20, Monday, November 26, 2012 at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave., NE) from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. The Brentwood Recreation Center will also be discussed.
The community surrounding Brookland’s Noyes Elementary School has been clamoring for improvements to its playground for over 10 years. At the ANC 5B04 meeting last night, we found out that we are inching closer to realizing that goal. Since the last update meeting 3 months ago, the Request For Proposals (RFP) went out to potential contractors. (Read the RPF here.) The RFP sought a company to design and construct the playground based on community feedback gathered in early summer. By September, 11 proposals came back and by now the DC Department of General Services has finished their review. However, they cannot release the name of the contractor selected since the contract is still in negotiation. The good news is that the winning proposal came in under a million dollars, which means it will not have to go through City Council review. It is expected that the contract will be signed by the end of month. Then the design and permitting process starts and we will be able to see the concept picture below transformed into construction renderings. Bottom line, March 2013 the earliest we can expect construction to start. Check back here for updates, although it is unlikely that we will hear anything new till February or so.
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