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Monday's Post covers for the first time the Marines' search for a new barracks site, from the point of view of the residents who maintain the Virginia Avenue Garden at Ninth and Potomac, which could be relocated to another section of the park if the Marines choose the area east of Eighth Street. "But the community gardeners, in Capitol Hill style, are mobilizing to save their home. [...] [T]he gardeners say it has taken them years to amend the unforgiving clay soil with nutrients."
The article quotes Capt. Lisa Lawrence as saying, "Our goal is not to take over a neighborhood," and that the Marines are looking at every option. "But we won't be able to please everybody."
Also mentioned is that the DCHA/Square 882 site at Seventh and L "has moved to the bottom of the list," according to Lawrence (presumably in response to this letter). And there's information about what appears to be Tommy Wells's preferred solution, that he's "fighting to keep the garden alive by urging the Marines to tear down the parking lot next to the annex and rebuild it underground, freeing space for a new barracks. Lawrence said a parking lot under a barracks would probably pose a structural challenge. 'We don't have a strong negotiating position," Wells said. "Who wants to take on the U.S. Marines?'"
If you want more background on the Marines' search, I've written a word or two on it over the past few months.
UPDATE: I meant to also include this link to a recent Hill is Home post on the history of the park, tied to whether or not the Marines' plans would conflict with the L'Enfant Plan. (Though I'm not sure Monsieur L'Enfant envisioned a big, honking, elevated freeway, either.)
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Sophia Monster says: (6/7/10 11:52 AM)
For the long term benefit of military and civilian members of our urban community, it is crucial that we maintain this green space.

The reality is that few available recreation activities provide the health, psychological, educational, and economic benefits of community gardens and public parks. Over the course of several years, the members of the community garden have invested their own resources and contributions received from competitive grants into shaping a productive garden that feeds their families, educates their children, provides a direct benefit to surrounding neighbors, and creates a space for social interaction among diverse Washingtonians.

As Washingtonians (not suburbanites), many of us have chosen to live an urban lifestyle. We love this city, and we are constantly looking for ways to maintain its character while improving our neighborhoods. We cherish and rely upon the green spaces that make our walkable neighborhoods beautiful.


ednawellthorpe says: (6/8/10 9:56 AM)
JD, Have the Marines considered either the Exxon site at 11th and M or the vast parking lots at Maritime Plaza?


JD says: (6/8/10 9:58 AM)
They are considering the Exxon site (as is the Navy, apparently). They're not looking at the Maritime Plaza parking lots, but many of those are also in use right now as staging areas for the 11th Street Bridges construction.


BBC says: (6/8/10 5:10 PM)
If the gardens are relocated, topsoil can be brought in. The capitol hill folks would still be able to "feed their families." This definitely sounds more like an anti-Marine thing that a pro-garden thing to me! The only option might be for the Marines to build over their soccer field. I suppose neighborhood children playing soccer there is not a real priority to most residents. I was looking forward to my girls playing there when they got old enough.


hoodie says: (6/10/10 3:15 PM)
The garden cannot simply be relocated. There is no other green space to dump that topsoil. One of the suggestions on the website for relocation is a Boys and Girls Club and the other is a park and playground that is used daily by children that attend school in the area. This is not an issue that is pro vs. anti-Marines, but simply trying to show why some of the options for relocation of the Barracks are better than others.


Nicole Hamam says: (6/15/10 4:44 PM)
Support SAVE VIRGINIA AVE PARK!

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