Are You Ready for 2018?!?

Written by Scott Kratz

Over the last five years we’ve been working with the community to create the 11th Street Bridge Park and we’ve made a ton of progress towards that goal. Next year is shaping up to be just as exciting as we move closer to building this iconic civic space, make new investments in the community to ensure local residents can thrive in place and plan festivals, urban farms and more public art.

We Are Building a Bridge!
This fall we received UNANIMOUS approval of our design concept from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission – two HUGE steps moving the project forward. Starting in 2018, we begin permitting / environmental review and continue partnering with our incredible architectural team of OMA + OLIN to take their design to 100% completion. Along the way, we’ll work with local stakeholders – our Design Review Committee – to help shape and fine tune the park’s design. We’ll also have regular meetings with the broader community to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas.  After all, this is your park!

An Equity First Approach
It is critical that we invest in building this new park AND invest in our nearby neighborhoods by implementing our Equitable Development Plan – 19 community-driven recommendations in housing, workforce development and small business enterprises. This work continues in 2018 as we begin to acquire our first properties for a Community Land Trust with partners at City First Homes, lead monthly Ward 8 Home Buyers Club with MANNA and Tenant Rights Workshops with Housing Counseling Services. In 2018, we kick off technical assistance and loans to East of the River small businesses with the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), workforce development workshops with Skyland Workforce Center in March, community organizing workshops allowing residents to shape their neighborhoods and new cultural equity strategies that local artists created this year.

Festivals, Food & Family
So much programming – so much fun! Save the date for April 15, 2018 for our FOURTH ANNUAL ANACOSTIA RIVER FESTIVAL – a giant celebration of the river, its history and the communities that line its banks. Next year also marks the 100th anniversary of Anacostia Park and we’ve partnered with the National Park Service and local non-profits to launch “The Year of the Anacostia” and the River Festival will help kick off this effort.
We’ll expand our Bridge Park Plots to two new sites (bringing the total number of our urban farms to SEVEN!) and start selling crops grown on site – talk about locally sourced food. The Mobile Porch continues to honor and share local stories throughout the year – a collaboration with the fabulous Double Nickels Theater. And we are partnering with our friends at the Anacostia Arts Center to select a new East of the River artist to showcase in our 295 Freeway Good Hope Road underpass installation.
Finally, we’ll hold our second annual “Taste of the Harvest” event in the fall – a wonderful opportunity to bring together our partners from our Bridge Park Plots, THEARC Farm and the broader community to break bread together, share live music performances and make s’mores around a roaring campfire.

Join Us!
I’ll end this blog post by asking for your help. If you believe in spaces that can bring together the entire city, get engaged and become a Bridge Park Champion!
Demonstrate your support by making a DONATION today
Join us on one of our monthly walking tours that kick off in May
Sign up to volunteer and help us build a garden
Bring your friends and neighbors to our Anacostia River Festival and Taste of the Harvest
Help us build YOUR new civic space – and help us BRIDGE DC!
Wishing you and your family a very happy new year.