Swampoodle Park

The Park Idea

In October 2015, the NoMa Parks Foundation successfully acquired a 5,200 SF parcel of vacant land at the the corner of 3rd and L streets NE from Cohen Siegel Investors. A condominium building had been previously planned and entitled for construction on the site. The NPF was able to move quickly through approval by the District of Columbia government and close on the acquisition in under 30 days.

This park fulfills the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan’s goal of having a variety of park spaces throughout the neighborhood, including a small neighborhood park.

3rd and L Street Park Overview Rendering

View from 3rd Street

View from L Street

The Park Details

This park is a story of opportunity and collaboration. The site is adjacent to the Loree Grand, the first apartment building to open within the NoMa BID boundaries (2010). Meanwhile, the large parcel adjacent to the Loree Grand (facing 2nd Street NE) remained undeveloped from 2009 until 2014. The property owner allowed the NoMa BID to use the property for nearly 100 public events, such as July 4th neighborhood parties and NoMa Summer Screen film screenings. Neighborhood residents began to use the large open space as a de-facto dog park. When construction started on the site, the families and dog owners who had used the site on a regular basis needed another space.


Previous Site Conditions

Encompassing roughly 8,000 square feet (5,295 SF lot plus approximately 3,000 SF within the public right-of-way) at the southwestern corner of 3rd and L Streets NE, this park will help meet some of the neighborhood’s park needs. The park will include plantings and gathering spaces; a vertical play structure designed for children ages five and up; and a large space for dogs to run and play, complete with a dog agility ramp.

The NoMa Parks Foundation selected Lee and Associates, a D.C.-based landscape architecture firm, as designer for the site, and continued to engage the community in the design process throughout 2016 and 2017. The NoMa Parks Foundation selected Blue Skye Construction, a D.C.-based general contractor, to build the park.

In late summer 2017, community members were asked to submit name ideas for the park. That fall, 1,500-plus people voted for their top choice among three finalists, and with 67% of the vote, Swampoodle Park — a reference to the vanished 19th century neighborhood that sat to the west and south of the park site — was selected as the final choice. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen introduced legislation to officially name the park, and the Council voted in April 2018 to officially adopt the name.


Construction Update:

(November 2, 2018)

Last month we let you know that the K9 turf in the dog park would need to be replaced. We’re pleased to report that the old turf is currently being removed, and we anticipate the new turf arriving on site for installation next week.

We’ll be announcing a ribbon-cutting date and time very soon, and hope that you will be able to join us for a long-awaited community celebration!

Turf removal, November 2, 2018.


(October 9, 2018)

We want to provide you with an update on the completion of Swampoodle Park. As we’ve previously let you know, there have been weather, utility, and subcontractor performance challenges that delayed the project. This has been a disappointment to us, and we know it has been to you as well.  However, the NoMa Parks Foundation is absolutely committed to delivering a great, durable park.

Unfortunately, while it may look like the park is complete now, it is not. The K9 turf installation was seriously flawed. The subcontractor has acknowledged that the initial installation was not done satisfactorily and will be replacing the turf ASAP. This effort will take 2-3 weeks (though please bear in mind that it is weather-dependent), and we are hopeful that the park will open at the end of October. Stay tuned for further updates.



Meeting Materials:

Design for the new park kicked off at the March 29th Community Conversation. You can view the presentation and read a summary of the Q&A portion of the evening here:

Concept designs were shared at a community meeting on May 4th. You can view the presentation below, and share your thoughts here.

A refined concept was shared at the June 2016 NoMa Parks Community Conversation on June 11th. You can view the refined concept below, and share your thoughts here.

The final design for the park was shared at the April 2017 NoMa Parks Community Conversation. You can view the final presentation below.

Select Press Mentions:

WAMU: Not Just A Silly Name: ‘Swampoodle’ Park Pays Tribute To D.C.’s Irish Past (Dec. 18, 2017)
Washington Business Journal: NoMa’s first park brings back Swampoodle (Dec. 13, 2017)
Greater Greater Washington: The latest design for the new Third Street park in NoMa emphasizes kids and dogs (June 23, 2016)

Read more news stories about the 3rd and L Street Park.