The meeting NCHCA held on helping the Columbia Heights Dog Park, and the subsequent work which local dog park users/activists have achieved in setting up the Friends of Columbia Heights Dog Park group and in getting the ball rolling on this issue, made it into local blogs DCist:
D.C. Residents Band Together to Improve Columbia Heights Dog Park
A dog lays on a grate in the unofficial Columbia Heights Dog Park. Photo by jaimetre.
While the humans of Columbia Heights gather at Meridian Pint or Red Rocks, the neighborhood’s dogs get their social fix at a small piece of land near the popular eateries at the corner of 11th and Park streets NW. But unlike the street’s restaurants, the unofficial dog park is not so pleasant to look at.
The newly created Friends of Columbia Heights Dog Park group would like to make improvements to the popular spot, but need cooperation from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to do so, since the agency owns the land.
“The park is currently a bit of an eyesore, and we want to fix that, as well as a number of safety and sanitation issues, by putting down a different ground material, building a double-entry gate, closing up areas where small dogs can escape, and creating enforceable rules and norms,” Robyn Swirling, one of the group’s organizers, wrote in an email. “We’re totally willing to do all the work, but need guidance and input from [WMATA] to ensure they still have all the access they need to do what they do.”
The group is asking parties who agree with their mission to complete a survey to show support. Swirling said dog park improvements will be discussed at the June 10 meeting of the North Columbia Heights Civic Association, held at Trolley Turnaround Park.
Arf: residents working to fix up 11th and Park dog park, but WMATA needs to say OK
The 11th and Park dog park has long been a (semi-official) place to take Spuds, Fido and Rex to do their business and run around. However, the park, which is technically WMATA property but which has been open for dogs and their people, is a bit worse for the wear.
Some local residents are getting together to form a Friends of Columbia Heights Dog Park in order to work with WMATA and get some of the issues addressed. One of the groups organizers told DCist that they’re hoping to put down some new ground material, a new gate, closing small areas and creating enforceable rules.
“We’re totally willing to do all the work, but need guidance and input from [WMATA] to ensure they still have all the access they need to do what they do.”
The group also a quick survey on their website for community input.
The NCHCA held its monthly meeting last week with the specific focus on starting dialogue between neighbors of how to improve the dog park at 11th and Monroe. About 15 people attended, including NCHCA board members, the Ward 1 Liaison from the DC Mayor’s Office, ANC, dog owners/dog park users and concerned citizens. The biggest issues facing the dog park include:
Cleanliness – dog owners not picking up waste; smell
Noise – early in the morning
Safety – owners not able to control their dogs
Dust/mud in dog park, spilling over into sidewalk and area
Holes along fence; little dogs able to escape
No source of water
No lights source for night time use
No list of rules posted
Ideas discussed include: putting in shrubs and soil along the fence line to keep in dust/mud and keep little dogs from escaping; putting mulch, sand, or pebbles down on top of dirt ground; installing solar lights; having NCHCA host one of its bi-monthly clean-ups in the dog park; installing a list of dog park rules; and applying to make it an official DPW dog park. However, the biggest obstacle first and foremost in our ability to move forward on this issue is that WMATA technically owns the land. To this end, NCHCA is helping to form the Friends of Columbia Heights Dog Park, which is currently looking for people to get involved as board members and for people to sign a petition on their website. NCHCA is also working with the DC Mayor’s Office to start dialogue with WMATA on this issue, they are meeting with Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham on May 24 to discuss the issue, and NCHCA is using its next meeting (Monday June 10th, 7th at the Trolley Turnaround Park) to advance this cause. Please add your signature to their cause and attend our next meeting to support helping the Columbia Heights Dog Park!
The NCHCA is hosting a neighborhood clean-up tomorrow, April 20th from 9:30am-10:30am. We will meet at the Trolley Turnaround Park (11th and Monroe St NW) for this event at 9:30am; all equipment will be provided, but you might want to bring your own gloves if you have them. We will end around 10:30am, and Meridian Pint has been kind enough to provide a discounted brunch afterwards for all those who volunteer in this clean-up event. Hope to see you there!
The North Columbia Heights Civic Association (NCHCA) has organized a forum to host the candidates running for the At-Large DC Council position. This candidates forum will occur this Wednesday, March 20th from 6:30pm-7:30pm on the second floor of The Getaway (1400 Meridian PL NW).
All of the candidates were invited and the NCHCA is proud to announce that Anita Bonds, Elissa Silverman, Matthew Frumin, and Perry Redd will be participating in this forum. Although unable to make the forum, Patrick Mara will be the guest speaker of the next NCHCA meeting in April to discuss his issues and ideas. Come hear what these At-Large candidates have to say about why they are running for the DC Council and what their plans are for improving our community before the election (April 23)!
Chck out goDCgo, the new sustainable transportation program of the District Department of Transportation: www.goDCgo.com
Their mission is to get people around DC efficiently and easily while reducing single-occupancy in order to reduce traffic and address environmental concerns. goDCgo promotes all forms of public transit, including Metrorail, Metrobus, DC Circulator, Capital Bikeshare, car sharing, bicycling, walking and carpooling; and they also provide free consulting services to local businesses and organizations on commuting benefits for their employees.
They also have a new tool called the Getting Around Guide that was just launched this week to help people see all of their options: http://godcgo.com/home/get-me-there/tools-to-get-around/getting-around-guide.aspx. We plan on having a goDCgo guest speaker at one of our upcoming NCHCA meetings to tell us more about this program and how Columbia Heights residents can take advantage of its use.
Thanks to those who attended our last NCHCA meeting on Wednesday, January 16. A lot of great ideas for how we can improve our community and celebrate Columbia Heights were discussed, including:
- Planting in/beautification of dog park at 11th & Park
- Holding another Great Day of Service/neighborhood yard sales and donation center in the Spring
- Partnering up with ANC on events
- Tasting Festival of 14th St Restaurants
- Hosting a debate for Ward 1 race
- Volunteering at different charity organizations once a month
- Creating a network for the neighborhood elderly
- Continuing with the Halloween parade & 11th St trick-or-treating
- Holding a holiday decorating contest for residents & businesses
Please take note of our upcoming events:
1) Saturday, March 16: Tabling water/Gatorade for the Rock & Roll USA Marathon runners – on the 1400 block of Harvard St (time TBA)
2) Wednesday, March 20: Next NCHCA meeting and DC At-Large Candidates Forum at the Getaway – starts at 6:30pm.
3) Saturday, April 20: first neighborhood clean-up of 2013 and discounted brunch together afterwards on 11th St.
Let us know if you want to get involved with NCHCA – we welcome fresh ideas and new members!
WAMU 88.5’s Kojo in Your Community to broadcast from Columbia Heights on Oct. 10
Washington—WAMU 88.5’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show will leave the studio to record the latest in its series of Kojo in Your Community discussions on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., ET. The event is free and open to the public.
The conversation will focus on the changing face of the Columbia Heights neighborhood and how its transformation is affecting schools, housing, and the community at large. Local residents will have the chance to weigh in on the conversation by sharing their questions and comments with host Kojo Nnamdi. The discussion will be taped to air at noon, ET, on October 11, on WAMU 88.5.
Kojo in Your Community discussions are town hall-style meetings in neighborhoods throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia. The series began in 2001 as WAMU In Your Ward, and was expanded and renamed in 2003 to include the entire metro area. For more information, visit http://thekojonnamdishow.org/about/kojo-your-community.
The Kojo Nnamdi Show airs at noon, weekdays, on WAMU 88.5. The live two-hour magazine program highlights news, political issues and social trends of the day. The Politics Hour airs at noon, Fridays, and covers the week in local and regional politics. For more information, visit kojoshow.org.
American University’s radio station since 1961, WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington, D.C., area, providing programming to a total audience of more than 787,000 listeners on-air and online. WAMU also broadcasts from 88.3 Ocean City on the Delmarva Peninsula; and WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, a bluegrass and American roots station, at 105.5 FM in Bethesda, Md., 93.5 FM in Frederick, Md., and Hagerstown, Md., and 88.5–2 in HD radio in Washington. WAMU also broadcasts in Washington on two additional HD channels – the flagship frequency at 88.5–1 and Intersection at 88.5–3, a news and information station broadcasting international coverage from the BBC and offering public radio programs unavailable elsewhere in the Washington area. For more information, visit wamu.org.
Be sure to drop by the corner of Park Road and 13th this week to watch the progress on the great new mural from the folks at MuralsDC. This corner has long been a haven for graffiti, so thanks to the artists for putting it to productive use! The final mural will look like this: