On Friday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Jesús Aguirre, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon, ANC 4C02 Commissioner Janet Myers, and Friends of 16th Street Heights Park President Maria Barry joined the Hamilton community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the newly renovated Hamilton Playground located at the Hamilton Recreation Center (1340 Hamilton St., NW) in Ward 4.
Gray said at the previous ribbon cutting that his only concern in keeping his promise to open 32 playgrounds was to keep up with the ribbon cutting ceremonies to open the new parks. With 12 down and 20 to go Gray has literally transformed the playground landscape in the District.
“Through this unprecedented playground initiative, DPR is encouraging children and youth of all ages to become more active and physically fit through play,” said DPR Director Aguirre. “An active and healthy person can enjoy a greatly improved quality of life.”
The Hamilton Playground is the 12th of 32 playgrounds to be renovated under Mayor Gray's Play DC: Playground Improvement Initiative, and the fifth playground opening in Ward 4. This is the Mayor's eighth ribbon-cutting ceremony. Play DC is a citywide, multi-year project, and the largest playground renovation project in the District's history. Several community meetings were held previously to finalize the project.
DPR says the Hamilton Playground's "nature design theme" focuses on enhancing the overall play area, and emphasizing a multi-use space for the active community. Keeping the "natural feel" of the residential neighborhood, the playground includes climbing boulders and logs and a "Megatower" play structure, one of the tallest play structures in the District. Other new features include a new soccer/futsal court, play equipment for all ages, outdoor fitness equipment, renovated basketball courts, and a shade shelter. As part of the Sustainable DC initiative, the playground also features a new community garden with a storage shed and a compost bin.
DPR says the Play DC playground improvement project is a citywide effort, which has leveraged the expertise of several District government agencies, local community groups and District residents. DPR currently operates 78 playgrounds. To date, Rosedale, Palisades, Noyes, Fort Stanton, Volta Park, Raymond, Upshur, Harrison, Emery, Takoma, Fort Greble and Hamilton playgrounds are complete under Play DC.
Examiner.com has covered many of the playground openings and will continue to report the progress of the project until all 32 newly renovated playgrounds has been completed.