Girard Street Park has its grand opening today from 2 to 6pm. Yesterday, Mayor Adrian Fenty, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Acting Director Ximena Harstock, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCAH) Gloria A. Nauden, and Ward 1 Council Member Jim Graham joined community members for a ribbon cutting ceremony. (Click here for Mayor Fenty’s press release about the opening ceremony.)
The park is brand new and shiny. But despite the beauty of the redesigned park, I am curious if the new park will ever have the great level of vibrancy of the earlier Girard Street Park. And, if you didn’t know, was it ever a vibrant place with a great community of park users! Time will obviously help us to know what type of park Girard Street Park will become. But I think it is important to note that the park already has a rich history.
On that note, I read a post by the incredibly popular blog, Prince of Petworth, and I couldn’t help but feel that the folks commenting about the “new” park had put together a dialogue formed from various preconceptions that are part naïve, part mean-spirited, and part misguided. These comments are just difficult to read without feeling really annoyed at the audacity of some people to spout any opinion regardless of their knowledge on the topic. So, I have decided to provide a little extra perspective to the conversation by posting a paper on my website that I wrote about the wonderfully vibrant Girard Street Park and the community that existed prior to the construction of the redesigned park. When time permits, I’ll write more information about this paper on my Columbia Heights page. But for now I just want to place a link to the paper in this post.
For a PDF version: click here (and please be patient since it is a reasonably large file).
Here is a Google map showing the location of the park: