Parks are coming to NoMa!
The District of Columbia Council voted Wednesday, May 22, to dedicate $50 million in the budget to parks, playgrounds, and greenspace in this rapidly growing DC neighborhood.
None of this would have happened without the support and hard work of literally hundreds of people, and this week the neighborhood is buzzing with excitement.
“This is a big win for all of us!!!” wrote Brian Chamowitz on the list serv for Capitol Hill North Neighborhood Association, thanking the neighbors for their support. “Many thanks to the NoMa BID staff for taking the lead in drafting letters, coordinating and conducting outreach, and much, much more. Big thanks to ANC Commissioner Tony Goodman for all his efforts, including but not limited to testifying before a committee and going door-to-door with petitions.”
“We’d like to thank Mayor Vincent Gray and each member of the DC Council for recognizing the great need in this area for recreation, gathering spaces, and nature,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, President of the NoMa Business Improvement District. The NoMa BID has worked hard, alongside hundreds of NoMa neighbors, to tell the story of nearly 20,000 NoMa neighborhood residents who have virtually no green spaces. “Many thanks to all the community members who supported this effort, and to the Mayor and the Council and who have joined us in the planning efforts over the last couple of years,” Jasper said. “Building great parks and public spaces in NoMa is a privilege and responsibility, and we are looking forward to working closely with of all our residents and stakeholders to deliver truly exceptional public spaces.”
“Friends, we got the funding for parks!!!!” wrote Matthew McCombs, with plenty of exclamation points and smiley faces. “Near Northeast will continue to become more livable and walkable!!!!”
ANC Commissioner Tony Goodman thanked those who wrote letters, and the more than 1,000 people who signed petitions. NoMa BID staff announced the parks funding at the debut of NoMa Summer Screen Wednesday evening, and the news was met with a huge round of applause and many whoops. Read the full Washington Post article on the DC budget (the NoMa parks mention is in the last paragraph).
What happens next?
To learn more about the proposed parks, click here and view the framework of the Public Realm Design Plan. This plan was created after months of careful analysis and with input from a cross-section of community stakeholders. In addition to projects in the Public Realm Design Plan, we have begun to explore the possibilities of the DCHA site and how it connects to adjacent projects who are implementing the mid-block connector. To learn more about the mid-block connector study, please click here. There is much more work to do to before the parks will be in place. They have to be planned, and land must be purchased. The funding, which supports land acquisition and construction, will be allocated over the next six-years. Throughout the process, planners and area residents will evaluate the proposed park designs in terms of their ability to bring neighbors together and to fulfill individual, family, and community space needs. Additionally, final designs will incorporate the best available thinking on urban parks, public safety, sustainability, handicapped accessibility, and ease of maintenance.
If you would like to get involved in the upcoming planning process, please contact Curtis Clay, NoMa BID Director of Parks and Public Space Development via email or at 202-810-0091.