A New Design for Virginia Avenue Park

At the 3rd community meeting on Virginia Avenue Park, Lisa DelPlace of the award winning landscape design firm Oehme van Sweden presented this vision of what the Park can become:

2017_0204_Virginia Ave Park_Page_10More than 20 residents, businesses, developers, and community leaders participated in the meeting on February 4, 2017.  They judged the new design as inspired, one that would ensure the creation of a Park meeting the needs of a changing neighborhood.

This design adds a sidewalk and street trees along 9th Street SE, creates a central entrance to the Park at 10th Street SE, enlarges the multi-purpose open space, and adds lawn terraces along the north side for use by kids and adults.  The Community Garden is reshaped into a rectangle and moved slightly eastward to accommodate the new sidewalk and a curb cut for its use on 9th Street.  The shared bike/pedestrian path and dog park segment of the Park remain unchanged.

The full presentation: Virginia Ave Park Feb 4 Presentation
ANC 6B 3/14 Letter to DDOT-DPR on VA Ave Park

Background
Most of Virginia Avenue Park (located between 9th and 11th Streets SE and Potomac Avenue SE)  is currently out of use because of the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel (VAT) project.  Once the tunnel project is completed, CSX has a responsibility to renovate the portion of the Park that has been disturbed by tunnel building.

Beginning in October 2015, I began a community process in collaboration with the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) and CSX to create a “new” Virginia Avenue Park, as detailed in my November 2015 article: A Design for Virginia Avenue Park.

A year later, at an October 2016 meeting, a group of stakeholders met again to continue the design process and discuss a multitude of issues.  Here is a Summary of that Meeting
during which the group selected this conceptual plan for the future Park:

Virginia Avenue Park_Option B_011416
There is one major hitch in all this Park planning.  Back in 2015, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B asked the DC Department of Transportation and DPR to extend the existing Park eastern boundary to 11th Street.  The principals, joined by the National Park Service, are still in discussion about this request as they endeavor to resolve all the land transfer/ownership issues.

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