Renovation of “Spielberg Park” in Hill East To Begin Next Spring
by Hilary Russell
Posted November 5, 2022
Landscape architect David Wooden of DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation shared details at a Zoom community meeting on November 2 on plans to renovate the triangular park at 17th and C, SE. He acknowledged that he had “heard from neighbors” that it’s “sometimes referred to as Spielberg Park,” but didn’t explain why. Steven Spielberg’s movie studio donated the current playground equipment after this small park served as a shooting location for his 2002 movie Minority Report.
This Hollywood gift will disappear by next summer, replaced by up-to-date play equipment installed by AMT and Konstructure, the design-build team that won the $750,000 contract last June. The design/permitting phase continues until next February; construction managed by the DC Department of General Services begins in the spring. The new playground, in the same location, is the main feature of this project. Work outside its wrap-around fencing will improve turf, add shade trees, benches, a picnic table, a bike rack, and fencing along a portion of Massachusetts Avenue. Comments at the meeting prompted information on features not listed in the presentation, including a drain system for the playground and a water fountain with a bottle- filler.
Attendees were invited to chime in on two options, both for the model and colors of the Sparks@Play playground equipment and the location of an ADA-compliant ramp.
They preferred Option 2: “Hedra” equipment, and in earth-tones, not bright blue and purple. Option 1, the Tree Tops model, would duplicate the equipment in the playground at Pennsylvania and 8th Street, SE.
Attendees also preferred a gentler ramp between Massachusetts Avenue and the playground, rather than a steeper ramp from C Street that requires handrails. Attendees brought up a few concerns, including the need for fencing along C Street, given its large volume of traffic, and the potential for disturbing close-by neighbors if the equipment includes musical toys.
You can find the presentation and a recording of the community meeting at https://dgs.dc.gov/page/17th-c-se-triangle-park-and-playground-improvements. Submit any additional comments and questions to David Wooden at firstname.lastname@example.org.