(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Interim Director Sharia Shanklin, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon, ANC 7B05 Commissioner Robin Marlin and Hillcrest Community Civic Association (HCCA) President Karen Williams joined the Hillcrest community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that opens the newly renovated Hillcrest playground, located at the Hillcrest Recreation Center (3100 Denver St., SE). Students from the Anne Beers Elementary School also attended the ceremony today.
The Hillcrest playground is one of the 32 new play spaces originally designated for renovation under Mayor Gray's Play DC Playground Improvement Initiative in 2013. For the new fiscal year, Mayor Gray added eight more playgrounds, bringing the total to 40; thus making Play DC the largest playground renovation project in the District's history. The Hillcrest community, along with Ward 7 stakeholders, attended community engagement and planning meetings with DPR and DGS to finalize the project.
“This renovated play space is a culmination of the collaborative efforts between DPR, DGS and the Hillcrest community," said DPR Interim Director Sharia Shanklin, Ed.D. "As we continue to work with communities across the District, Mayor Gray's Play DC: Playground Improvement Initiative continues to not only bring together the elements of play, environmental awareness and fitness, but it also ensures that every resident, including children, teens, adults and senior citizens, have a safe and inviting place to recreate outdoors."
The Hillcrest Playground embraces a "green" theme with bamboo elements that match this community of rolling hills, lawns and gardens. New features to the playground include a bamboo-like spray park and splash pad, a Mobius® climber, a four-person "wee-saw," an eight-person swing set with ADA-accessible bucket seats, adult fitness equipment and walkway with mile markers, a new pebble-flex safety surface, a new community garden and shed, a new shade pavilion and a new bio-retention area.
DPR currently operates 92 playgrounds in the District. To date, the following 21 playgrounds have been renovated, and are now open:
- Ward 1 – Harrison, Banneker;
- Ward 2 – Volta Park;
- Ward 3 – Palisades, Macomb, Key Elementary School;
- Ward 4 – Raymond, Emery, Takoma, Hamilton, Fort Stevens, Upshur;
- Ward 5 – Noyes, Harry Thomas Sr., Brentwood;
- Ward 6 – Rosedale;
- Ward 7 – Neval Thomas Elementary School, Benning Park, Hillcrest;
- Ward 8 – Fort Stanton, Fort Greble.
ABOUT THE DC DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
The mission of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is to enhance the quality of life and wellness of DC residents and visitors by providing equal access to affordable and quality recreational services, by organizing programs, activities and events.
DPR currently operates 92 playgrounds, 68 recreation centers, almost 1,000 acres of green space, 40 aquatic features (pools and spray parks), 375 parks, more than 200 play courts (basketball and tennis), and more than 100 athletic fields.