Landscape Plan Approved by Parks and Recreation
FFF and DPR Extend Partnership for Three Years
The long-delayed "revised master plan" for Francis Field, in planning for over three years, was approved by the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) on December 4, 2019.
This is a revision of the 2009 plan which was ordered by the D.C. Zoning Commission. The non-controversial revision mainly documents improvements and changes that have been made to the West End field and park since 2009, including the addition of an official dog park by DPR in 2015.
A PDF version of the plan and its sub-plans is shown at right, and can viewed on this website. Larger versions of the master plan and its two sub-plans can also be found here on this website.1
The development of the plan has been reported in several articles on this website since the concept was presented to the Foggy Bottom/West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC-2A) by the Friends of Francis Field (FFF) on June 15, 2016. The ANC passed a unanimous resolution in support of the ambitious improvement plan on that date.2
Because a portion of Francis Field is part of Rock Creek Park, an element of the national park system, the master plan and the sub-plans must be submitted for review to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), as was the original 2009 plan. That process is underway, with DPR as the applicant of record.
After CFA approval, the tree plan will be implemented by the Urban Forestry Division of the D.C Department of Transportation. The rear-field landscaping will be implemented by professional landscape contractors funded privately by FFF.
FFF has been allowed to improve both the DPR and National Park Service sections of the field under permits and agreements. A new, three-year agreement between DPR and FFF was reached during 2019, and signed by Director Hunter on December 30, 2019. It will be in effect for a three-year period ending December 31, 2022.
“Rebecca Coder Park” Supported by DPR in New Partnership Agreement
In addition to implementing the revised master landscape plan, the new FFF-DPR agreement includes additional improvements to the passive recreation space between 25th Street NW and the athletic field.
In this new agreement, DPR has also authorized the renaming of that portion of Francis Field as "Rebecca Coder Park," in honor of the first president of the Friends of Francis Field, Rebecca Coder, who died in May 2018.
Coder also was elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and served for ten years in that capacity.
A plaque in memory of Commissioner Coder was placed on the "Wall of Honor" at the West End Public Library in May 2019. See related article on this website.
Legislation by the Council of the District of Columbia is necessary for the naming of the sub-section of the field as a memorial. A plaque would also be placed in the sidewalk. The plaque and the area that would be named Rebecca Coder Park is shown in the diagram at left.
Under District law, individuals may not be memorialized in public space until they have been deceased for at least two years. FFF will be fully funding the plaque and park improvements.
02. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, Support for Improvements to Francis Field with Private Funding. June 15, 2016. PDF.