Building Youth Sports Park Near RFK Stadium Is a ‘Long March,’ Charles Allen Says

by Andrew Ramonas March 11, 2015 at 12:10 pm 2 Comments

As Capitol Hill residents ramp up advocacy for the creation of a park near RFK Stadium, Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen is urging locals to be patient and engage in the process.

Transforming parking lots north of the stadium into the Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park is a “long march,” Allen told Hill Now today. The councilman described “strong” support for the creation of the green space and said he’s considering introducing a related bill.

ANC 6B unanimously approved a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser last night, calling on her to commit funds to filling the 80-acre space with playing fields, bike trails, a farmers market pavilion and other outdoor amenities.

“It’s not nearly as easy as saying, ‘Let’s go build this thing,'” Allen said.

The city would need the cooperation of the federal government and Events D.C. to make the park a reality. The city leases the land for RFK from the National Park Service, and Events D.C. manages the stadium and its grounds.

Allen said he expects to meet with NPS late this month. The councilman said he’s already met with Events D.C. this year to discuss proposals to redevelop the RFK campus. That organization is expected to release a study this spring about updates to the area.

The councilman said he will work on organizing community meetings on RFK redevelopment after the report comes out and likely will consider legislation to help create the park. The bill may create a task force for the project, but Allen said he wasn’t sure yet.

Locals have expressed concern about pedestrian safety near the park and whether proposed designs for it are even possible to implement.

Allen said he appreciates the efforts of ANC 6B and Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park to build support for the park.

“I’m not going to be able to do this with a magic wand,” he said.

Photos via Facebook/Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park; Twitter/CM_CharlesAllen


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