The NoMa neighborhood needs park space now! Active community support is needed to achieve that goal. For years the NoMa BID has used vacant, privately-owned property to create community crossroads and interactions through a farmers market, regular movie nights, concerts and other events, but that cannot continue for much longer because all of these places are slated for near-term development. Permanent spaces for recreation, events, playgrounds, dog parks and sports courts are essential to our vibrant and growing neighborhood.
Over the past year, the NoMa BID has worked with the neighborhood to develop a Parks & Public Realm Plan to help identify where and how parks can be added to our area. Available spaces are rapidly disappearing and becoming new buildings. Greater NoMa has thousands of residents, children and rowhouses in desperate need of recreation spaces. We need to secure spaces for parks NOW or it will be too late.
Recently Mayor Gray requested $18 million in the District’s FY 2013 capital budget to begin work on NoMa parks. Last week in the first vote on the FY 2013 budget (there is a second vote on June 5 before the budget becomes final) the DC Council redirected the $18 million (just a fraction of the parks money committed to other neighborhoods, such as the great parks in Capitol Riverfront) to increase the amount of money going into the affordable housing production trust fund. Recognizing that parks in NoMa are desperately needed, the DC Council included a priority for NoMa parks funding if additional District monies become available.
Make your voice heard! Let the Mayor and Council know how important parks are to you as NoMa neighbors and District residents. Send emails to appropriate councilmembers. In addition, the NoMa BID will have a petition available at every NoMa event this summer for community members to demonstrate their support for NoMa parks. Stop by the NoMa table at: NoMa Summer Screen, Rhythm in NoMa concerts, and the Wednesday Farmers Market to sign the petition. We need your help!