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With thanks to reader Mike for the tip, I can pass along that some additional portions of the Yards Park are now open: the "River Street Gardens" on the eastern side is now available for your perusal, with its more shaded benches and even some lounge chairs; and, along with it, the boardwalk is completed all the way to the fence at the Navy Yard. (Still no word on when access to the Navy Yard's riverwalk for the general public might happen.) There's still some construction being done north of the Gardens (south of the Trapeze School), but the showiest parts of the 6-acre spread's first phase are now all finished.
If you're pondering whether to make another visit to the park, all I can tell you is--if the weather today is anything like it was on Saturday, you won't be disappointed. My goodness gracious, what a fabulous tableau. So of course I had to take a pile of new photos--mainly to get shots of the new areas, but also just to take advantage of the bluest clearest sky I've seen in a long time.
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spoofy says: (10/17/10 10:46 AM)
Thanks for this. We were there last weekend around dusk. At that time of the day--with the light reflecting on the river, I can tell you, it was one of the most romantic places in DC to be! So everyone should get out there and bring a picnic basket, because you'll want to be there for awhile.


MJM says: (10/17/10 4:33 PM)
The 'lawn chairs' are really nice! Saw lots of people running down in that area and just hanging out yesterday. Once its finished and the Navy unpuckers and open their section that boardwalk (to include the USS Barry) is gonna be awesome.


BBC says: (10/18/10 11:55 AM)
Of course, it would be quite silly for the Navy Yard to open up their gates at this time because there is nothing to see on the other side of the Navy Yard to connect to. Also, because citizens can make pre-arrangements to see the Navy Museum (including the USS Barry), opening the fence will serve only have one purpose ...to bring people closer to the Navy Yard (and only the Navy Yard) who do not want to be accounted for. If I were head of security at the Navy Yard, I certainly would not rush to open those gates.


KB says: (10/18/10 3:00 PM)
The park looks so beautiful! Does anyone know what kind of wood is used for the boardwalk? I think it is really nice wood.


JD says: (10/18/10 3:01 PM)
As mentioned in another comment thread, there is now a fence along the Navy Yard's portion of the riverwalk that wasn't there a few years ago. You can see it in my photos in the new Yards Park gallery, and compare to this photo from 2004: link

Clearly the Navy is preparing for the public to be able to use their portion of the riverwalk without giving them free access to the Navy's property.


MJM says: (10/18/10 4:23 PM)
In addition to JD's great picture this weekend If you go to google maps/yahoo maps you can see the fence all the way down to 11 st where it would connect up via a little detour to the rest of the trail except where that 'bridge' goes over the dry dock entrance but even with the shadows there is some type of barrier there.


Mike McMurtrie says: (10/18/10 5:57 PM)
Awesome pictures!

One thing the park could use. A kids playground. Would be perfect on the east end, north of the boardwalk.


MJM says: (10/20/10 9:39 PM)
Isn't there a playground at the Van Ness school?


Mike McMurtrie says: (10/21/10 1:14 PM)
MJM, I believe there is. I have noticed playgrounds at other public parks in the area, which are close to schools with playgrounds of their own. Just thought it would be a nice addition, and could be a draw for more people (families), and complete the picture. Of course, it's not in the plans, so...


MJM says: (10/21/10 1:56 PM)
Mike, if you dig around for people's e-mail or contact info I bet you can maybe get in touch with the right person to see if that Van Ness playground could be relocated somewhere other than a closed school or be more "open." Who knows maybe even CSX could pick up the cost to move it to Va Ave Park (if approved to put something like that there) or some other greenspace around the area or e-mail Forest City (FCE) and ask them to add it. I realize there are issues/permits and red tape and people complaining about things like that but its worth the effort to get the wheels moving. Just throwing an idea out there.....


arm says: (10/21/10 8:03 PM)
Please tell me that the pool will become an ice skating rink in a couple months or so. A zamboni might be a problem, though.


JD says: (10/21/10 8:22 PM)
Arm, You have to wait for Canal Park in order to get your skating rink, I'm afraid. But that's better than no rink at all.

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