Last week, a dozen people from M-NCPPC, Department of Recreation, Councilmember Roger Berliner’s office, and Friends of White Flint met to brainstorm how to activate Wall Park this summer. (For those not up-to-date on their buzzwords, activation, in this instance, means maximizing the effectiveness of the park, getting more people using the park, and making the park the place where people want to relax and play.)
The meeting started with a quick review of the long-range vision for the park, which includes active areas such as dog parks, exercise areas, a green lawn for events and pickup sports, as well as areas for more contemplative activities such as walking in the woods. Implementation of the long-range plan for Wall Park requires streets to be straightened and parking garages built, among other things, so the focus was on how to make Wall Park a wonderful, dynamic, and welcoming urban park now.
Everyone agreed that anything done now to improve Wall Park must be sustainable, ensure the park is safe, have an attractive appearance, and be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Community input and support of park improvements and programming is essential.
M-NCPPC declared its goal to have programming in the park starting in June. Some of the ideas suggested were:
Weekly Grill nights when people would be encouraged to bring food to barbecue on grills at the park
Improved exercise facilities
Completing a walking trail around the perimeter of Wall Park
Installing a unique, interactive art piece
Temporary skateboard ramps
Pop-up Dog Parks on a regular schedule
Partnering with the Farmers Market to encourage folks to picnic in the park after they buy their food at the market
Friends of White Flint invited M-NCPPC to make a brief presentation at the Friends of White Flint meeting in March and ask the community to add their ideas for programming to this list. (The meeting will be held March 25, 2015, 7:00 pm at Federal Realty which is on the back side of Congressional Plaza on East Jefferson Street.)
Future uses of Wall Park are of great concern to myself and other residents of the Wisconsin condominium, especially those of us whose units directly face the park. It is important for us to be represented in ANY decisions regarding the park and I, for one, would certainly try to be present at pertinent meetings. However, I received the notice re the meeting on March 25 on Thursday, March 26 !
The meeting is in March not February, so there’s still 3.5 weeks before the community meeting is held. We want input from all of the many people in the Pike District who have a stake in Wall Park to participate at the meeting, and I look forward to meeting you on March 25th.