By Ashton Rohmer, Chair, SWNA Parks and Open Space Task Force

Southwest is fortunate to have many parks, open spaces and recreational opportunities right in our own backyard. From the Duck Pond to the library playground to the baseball field at Amidon-Bowen to Lansburgh Park, our neighborhood is home to a treasure trove of “green” amenities. At the same time, Southwest is becoming home to a lot more people, too—planned developments will change the landscape of our neighborhood and shift some of the currently “open” spaces to ones occupied by buildings.

To ensure that our green spaces meet the needs of everyone in our community, it is important to have a forum where Southwest residents can play an active role in shaping the future of our parks and open spaces. Moreover, there are various organizations already doing great work on this front—SW Community Gardens, the SWBID, PAWS of Southwest—so a tremendous opportunity exists to partner with these groups as we work to enhance our community’s beloved parks and recreational resources.

To provide Southwesters the opportunity to support these efforts, the SWNA Parks and Open Space Task Force was relaunched in January. The mission of the Task Force is to promote high quality parks, plentiful recreation opportunities, a robust tree canopy, and inviting open spaces in Southwest while prioritizing inclusive engagement and use. The Task Force has begun brainstorming ideas for projects. Should we lead a public awareness campaign to highlight all the amazing resources that exist in our neighborhood? Should we convene relevant stakeholders to encourage information sharing and coordination? Should we provide educational materials to interested neighbors about how to care for newly planted trees?

If any of these sound interesting to you, or if you have other ideas to improve the quality of life for Southwest residents through enhancing parks and recreation amenities, we would love for you to get involved! Please email Task Force chair Ashton Rohmer at ashton.mcrp@gmail.com to learn more, attend our next monthly meeting, or offer your ideas and skills to further enhance the shared spaces that make Southwest special.

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