D.C.’s budget for next year has some great news for fans of parks, including people clamoring for better parks and playgrounds in the growing, and increasingly residential, downtown area.
The D.C. Council Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation and Planning, which Tommy Wells chairs, unanimously passed its budget yesterday and gave funding to several key priorities, including a downtown playground, planning for Franklin Square and relief for residents of Kenilworth-Parkside who recently lost their rec center.
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation has come under some criticism in the past for focusing on recreation centers at the expense of its parks. Both are very important, and in this budget, DPR gets funding for four full-time employees and $750,000 in capital to work on park policy and programs.
In addition, parents pushing for a children’s playground downtown are a lot closer to getting their wish. The new budget allocates $500,000 to plan and build a playground, which should be enough to get it built. The National Park Service still has to select a site and give D.C. jurisdiction to build the playground.
For many years, few to no people lived downtown, so DC’s many downtown parks only served office workers eating lunch, the homeless, and otherwise little more than decorative backgrounds to drivers on major thoroughfares. Now, more people want to use the parks at all times of the day.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.