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Planning Progresses for Implementing Phase Two of Dupont East’s Stead Park; Rehab of Athletic Field to be the Focus

Accompanying images can be viewed in the current issue PDF

By Anthony L. Harvey

Following the successful completion several years ago by the District’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) on the P Street side of Dupont East’s Stead Park of a new children’s playground, a central plaza in the open space fronting the park’s recreation center, and the restoration of the outdoor basketball court, for which the office of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and the Friends of Stead Park played strategic roles, planning for subsequent phases of rehabilitation and further construction on the park’s athletic playing field is moving forward.

In an informal briefing at the March 14th Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) monthly meeting, Friends of Stead Park treasurer, writer and parent Jeff Garigliano, reported on the commissioning by the Friends of conceptual design efforts by two landscape architectural firms.

This work, Garigliano informed the ANC, is currently underway on behalf of the Friends’ nine-member board and is based on the needs and wishes articulated by individuals and groups — especially those who are users or prospective users — of an enhanced playing field facility and who have been polled in an extensive, on-going outreach by the Friends. These include conversations with DPR staff and that of local community organizations, sports leagues, schools and religious groups, together with parents and children actively using Stead Park.

Design elements for the field as initially identified include “shade, walkways, trees, bathrooms, seating, elements for older kids and elderly people; spray-ground/water elements for kids; and a community garden.” Those for “athletic fields” encompass the following: “portable bleachers/reviewing stands to watch games; shed for storing sports equipment; dugouts; new turf sod, and new lights.” Also identified as needed is “better access [than the present fence] from the playground.”

Planning for a proposed redesign and reconstruction of the park’s athletic play field is designated by the Friends as Phase Two of a three-phase rehabilitation of the park, with the third and final phase to be being the rehabilitation of the park’s recreation center. Plans for community meetings involving stakeholders in the preservation and use of the park will be subsequently announced by the ANC, the Friends of Stead Park, and collaborating community organizations.