Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen to introduce legislation officially sanctioning chosen name of under-construction dog park and children’s playground
WASHINGTON, D.C. / DECEMBER 13, 2017 — After crowdsourcing dozens of possible names for a new park at the corner of 3rd and L streets NE and then putting three of the best options to a public vote, the NoMa Parks Foundation (NPF) announced that “Swampoodle Park” will be the name of the community playground and dog park, which is currently under construction. More than 1,500 votes were cast for a name in a three-week online poll, with 67% of respondents selecting “Swampoodle Park” over “Old City Corner” (21%) and “3rd and L Park” (12%).
“We are delighted that the name of the first new park in NoMa will reflect the neighborhood’s deep history,” said NPF President Robin-Eve Jasper. “That it happens to be a dog park and contain the word ‘poodle’ is a happy accident.” “Swampoodle” was a 19th-century moniker given to an area in lower NoMa that surrounded the now-buried Tiber Creek, which often flooded, leaving puddles everywhere. The park at 3rd and L sits at the upper east corner of that vanished neighborhood.
The park’s name was publicly revealed on the evening of December 12 at an outdoor gathering in NoMa, with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen on hand to assist with the announcement. Councilmember Allen will introduce legislation — the “Swampoodle Park Designation Act of 2017” — to officially recognize the park’s name.
“I love the name Swampoodle Park for our newest park in Ward 6! Our future must include great public parks and green spaces. ‘Swampoodle’ may be an older name, but it’s one that still resonates today,” said Councilmember Allen. “I appreciate the hard work the NoMa Parks Foundation put into involving the community in this process — now let’s get this park built and ready for our neighbors to enjoy!”
Swampoodle Park first became a reality when the NPF, thanks to a grant from the D.C. Government, was able to procure an 8,000-square-foot lot at the corner of 3rd and L streets NE, behind the Loree Grand apartment building, in October 2015. Through a series of regular public meetings that sought input about the park’s uses and possible designs, the NPF was able to build community consensus to create a space that combined a dog park and a unique play space for children, and that offered public seating along the sidewalks that bound the parcel.
Swampoodle Park was designed by District landscape architecture firm Lee and Associates. Now about midway through the construction process, the space will open to the public in early 2018. Swampoodle Park will be owned by the D.C. Government and managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Friends of NoMa Dogs (FOND), a neighborhood nonprofit that launched in early 2017 in response to the park’s creation, will maintain the dog park portion of the space.
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About NoMa Parks
The NoMa Parks Foundation was formed in 2012 to establish permanent, public outdoor spaces in NoMa that are attractive, sustainable, and welcoming — places for people to refresh, play, and connect, now and for generations to come. The rapid transformation of this part of Washington, D.C., just blocks north of the U.S. Capitol, into a mixed-use urban neighborhood has highlighted the importance of creating great public spaces. Currently, more than 44,000 people live within 4/5 of a mile of First and M streets NE, and that population is projected to double over the next decade. Additionally, 54,000 people work here, and more than 100,000 pedestrians are out and about in NoMa’s commercial core every day. But the area suffers from a dearth of publicly accessible parks and plazas. In 2014, the NoMa Parks Foundation, which is an affiliate of the NoMa Business Improvement District, and the D.C. Government began a public-private partnership to build parks and great public spaces in NoMa. We have acquired three public park sites to date and have plans for publicly accessible parks on private spaces. In addition, two major art installations are planned for the M Street NE and L Street NE underpasses beneath the train tracks. For more information about the NoMa Parks Foundation, visit nomaparks.org and sign up for our newsletter. Join the park design conversation at imaginenomaparks.org. Follow us on Twitter (@NoMaParksDC) and like us on Facebook.
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