The Southwest Community Foundation (SWCF) recently announced a grant of $250,000 to the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID). The grant funds, provided by Mill Creek Developers, will support a project that will assess and plan for renovation of the current Duck Pond Park. It will also create a vision for establishing a Greater Duck Pond Park stretching from 6th St. to Delaware Ave., SW—something planned in the original urban redevelopment effort of the 1950s but never fully implemented.
The need for preserving and enhancing greenspace in Southwest has become acute as widespread development reduces the community’s open space and increases the population. The Duck Pond, completed in 1972, is a favorite gathering place for local residents, who treasure its quiet beauty and friendly ambience, but it needs major infrastructure renovation. Another park, the popular playground adjacent to the SW Public Library on 3rd Street, needs updating. Also, the tree-lined walkways that connect the Duck Pond Park and the playground need better integration with two parcels of open public land on either side of busy 4th St.
Led by the SWBID, this initial stage of a long-term project aims to meld several discrete spaces into a single park that can serve the new Southwest through a variety of opportunities such as open-air markets, art shows, musical performances and places to dream, walk and play.
SWCF was established in 2015 by residents of near Southwest to provide a formal means for improving the quality of life in the quadrant through philanthropic giving. SWCF provides an effective exchange of philanthropy from people who care about causes that matter in Southwest DC.
The foundation looks forward to working with the SWBID, the community, local property developers, the DC Council, the Mayor’s office, District agencies, business enterprises and individual donors to raise funds for a beautiful, useful and necessary greenspace in Southwest DC.
By Donna Purchase
Donna Purchase is the President of the Southwest Community Foundation.