Media Contact Only: John A. Stokes, (202) 673-2195
This afternoon, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, and DC Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clark E. Ray joined city leaders and Ward 1 residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the Girard Street Playground, located next to the Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street, NW.
“We are immensely pleased to reopen the Girard Street Playground,” said Mayor Fenty. “This open space has been improved to serve and represent the vast interests of the diverse multi-cultural communities which call Columbia Heights home.”
Work at the Girard Street playground cost an estimated $330,000, with the central feature of a new 9,500 square foot poured-in-place multi-colored rubber play surface, with the word “Welcome” throughout the design in 6 languages, representative of the languages spoken throughout the Columbia Heights community. The new rubber play surface -- replacing natural grass, which was not sustainable due to heavy use -- is made of recycled materials and is permeable, sitting upon a bed of 32 inches of gravel, allowing rainwater to drain through it and minimizing run-off.
Additional amenities include a children’s community garden and installation of an interior gate at the Fuller and Fairmont Street entrances. Other work included the reinstallation of swings at the 6 to 12 year old playground; replacement of missing slats from benches and missing tot playground teeter-totter handles; repairs to the pergolas at the tot playground and water feature, and painting of the walls inside the ellipse and children’s playground.
“DPR is excited to complete another capital improvement project and reopen this playground today; providing an even better playground for our residents,” said DPR Director Clark E. Ray. “I would like to thank the Columbia Heights community for their continuing involvement and support in making this project possible, and know that this space will help foster the sense of community that is so vibrant here.”
The Girard Street Playground is accessible per the Americans with Disabilities Act and the new play surface is certified by the International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA).
ANC Commissioner-elect Juan Lopez, and Rebecca Lemos and Lola Bloom, co-founders of City Blossoms, were also in attendance for the celebration.
In spring 2009, City Blossoms will work with neighborhood children and residents to plant additional gardens throughout the Girard Street Playground.
Select the link below for photos and more information from DPR's Office of Planning and Capital Projects about the Girard Street Playground project:
For information about ways to support or contribute to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, please contact DPR's Office of Partnerships and Development at (202) 671-1462 or DPRpartnerships@dc.gov.