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Play DC Makes Outdoor Recreation More Fun

Play DC is a new plan to rejuvenate playgrounds in the city. Mayor Vincent Gray has allotted $35 million in 2013 and $4 million in 2014 to the effort, which is a partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of General Services (DGS).

As part of Play DC, 32 playgrounds will be renovated by October 2013. There are currently 24 playgrounds under construction in all eight wards. Wards 3 and 4 both have the most park improvement projects with five each.

The initial renovations aren’t your run-of-the-mill slides and swings; they are exciting, themed spaces specially chosen for each neighborhood. In the wooded Takoma Park Playground (300 Van Buren Street, NW), the new play structure is modeled after a tree house.  The Palisades Playground (5200 Sherrier Place, NW) incorporates natural rocks for climbing and archeological carvings to remember the Native American settlement along the Potomac River. Harrison Playground (1330 V Street, NW), in the U Street Corridor, has a musical theme in honor of the neighborhood’s jazz history. Children in wheelchairs will benefit from the accessible playground planned for Rosedale Recreation Center.

After the initial renovations in 2013, the program will evaluate all 78 playgrounds in the city every two years for maintenance and capital improvements. The evaluation criteria includes age of equipment, shade, water fountains, and safety.

Play DC isn’t just for kids. The program wants to improve recreation spaces for children as well as adults in the city. Renovations will include outdoor fitness equipment for adults and community gardens. 

These new playgrounds are a longterm strategy for improving neighborhoods in the city and making them more enticing to families. Play DC also supports the “Move, Grow, Be Green” initiative of DPR. Take advantage of the fun, updated recreation areas provided by Play DC!

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