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District Delivers First Playground at Marvin Gaye Park

Thursday, August 20, 2009
District Delivers First Playground at Marvin Gaye Park

(Washington, DC) – The District on Thursday finished installation of a $250,000 playground at Marvin Gaye Park, which is part of an $8 million multi-phase revitalization plan for the former Watts Branch Park in Northeast.

“Great public parks are an essential part of every strong, healthy community,” said Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos, whose planning and economic development office is leading the 2-mile-long park reconstruction project. The park occupies a stretch of green stream valley along Watts Branch—the largest tributary to the Anacostia River within the District of Columbia. The project is part of the District’s goal of building a world-class network of urban parks throughout the Anacostia River Watershed.

The playground equipment was donated by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The NRPA plans to begin studying how investing in urban parks can improve health outcomes for nearby residents.

“DPR is pleased that Marvin Gaye Park will be a model for the effective use of public green space,” said Ximena Hartsock, Acting Director of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. “The government, community, private and public organizations have come together for the common goal of creating a new landscape for safe, healthy, recreational and physical activities.”

Earlier this month, the District broke ground on the first phase of the Marvin Gaye Park project – a $2.4 million redevelopment of two of the park’s four main sections: Heritage Green and Lady Bird Johnson Meadows. The Heritage Green section of the park is located at the intersection of Division Avenue and Foote Street near the center of the park, while the Lady Bird Johnson Meadows section is situated on the western end of the park bordered by Minnesota Avenue and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue.

Improvements will include a community stage, plaza, new shade trees, shrubs and ground covers as well as a bicycle trail that runs throughout the park. The District is partnering with Fort Myer Construction and EDAW landscape architects on improvements to the park. Construction on the two sections of the park is expected to be complete by the end of 2009.

Marvin Gaye Park is one of six public parks the District is building within the Anacostia River’s watershed. Earlier this year, the District broke ground on the half-acre Diamond Teague Park between Nationals Park and the river. Nearby, along with its partners at Forest City Washington, the District also broke ground on a nearly six-acre park at The Yards.

The District has plans for a three-block long Canal Park near M Street and New Jersey Avenue SE; the revitalization of Kingman Island and a new 70-acre world class waterfront park at Poplar Point.

Media Contacts

  • Sean Madigan, (202) 615-2029