Shaw getting new pocket park
DC is turning a vacant lot on 10th Street in Shaw into a small park. While DC has 7,847 acres of parkland, almost 80% of that is in the few, very large parks such as the Mall, Rock Creek, Anacostia Park, and the large forts in River East. Plus, highway ramps such as the GW Parkway near the Memorial Bridge and the parking lots around RFK Stadium count as parks. Most residents of DC aren't within a short walk of one of these parks. Adding more small, neighborhood recreational spaces will significantly improve quality of life.
This particular parcel faces 10th Street between L and M, with an alley on one side and a garage ramp along part of the other side. Renew Shaw noticed some drawings of the proposed park:
According to the plan, the park will have a lawn suitable for lying on or playing frisbee, some tables with chairs, a few benches at the edge, a fountain with water jets and a "splash pad," some play boulders, and an ornamental fence along the perimeter.
Reader J. writes in to ask the Greater Greater Washington community what elements would best activate this park:
What makes for a good small park? I like the climbing rock (because I have a 2-year-old son), but the fountain seems to not add much value (see Franklin Square) and in the winter, just an obstacle. What sorts of things should we want to see in a small park? Don't get me wrong, I am super-excited to not have a vacant patch of concrete and empty beer cans there. I just want some ideas as to how to maximize our pleasure with the new space.The fountain looks to be the type where, instead of having a large basin like the Dupont Circle fountain, the ground is just sloped toward the center. If so, that is much more conducive to children playing. Rockville Town Center has one of these, for example, and on a recent visit I saw several children enjoying the water there.
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