Legislation Filed in Council for Rebecca Coder Park!
Posted: May 5, 2021.
As reported in Mays's West End Flyer, Councilmember Brooke Pinto filed the “Rebecca Coder Park Designation Act of 2021” in the Council of the District of Columbia on May 1, 2021.
If passed by the Council and signed by the Mayor, it would designate a small section of Francis Field to be named in the memory of former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Rebecca Coder, who died in office on May 1, 2018, in her tenth year of representing the West End. She was then 49 years old, and had fought a long battle with ovarian cancer.
In a letter to the Council, Pinto stated: “The bill memorializes her successful efforts to provide passive recreation space in the West End neighborhood, specifically the portion of Francis Field that is now a small pleasant park area, where neighbors can walk dogs, sit on benches, and enjoy this small outdoor space, created in 2009 under her leadership.”
See the full article in the May 2021 issue of the West End Flyer.
Rebecca Coder Park Background
Posted: January 27, 2020
Rebecca Coder (1969-2018) was one of the founders of the Friends of Francis Field in 2007, and its first president. She believed in improving the field with private funding.
In 2008, she was elected to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, and was serving her fifth two-year term when she died in May 2018, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Since her death, many of her friends have been planning a memorial for her on the field that she improved so much. We hope to have this accomplished by May 2022.
Spring 2021: Implementing Plans for the Park and the Plaque
Posted: March 27, 2021
Implementing our agreements and plans for Rebecca Coder Park at Francis Field will be one of the priorities of the Friends of Francis Field (FFF) this spring. This work will include four projects related to this small area of the field, which was designed and approved in 2009 for passive recreation, largely due to Rebecca's efforts. The area is shown in the graphic below.
Permission and Legislation. To place the memorial plaque and name the subsection "Rebecca Coder Park," we need permission from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and legislation from the District Council.
To that end, a unanimous resolution was passed by ANC-2A on September 20, 2018, and sent to Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.1
Permission was granted by DPR in our partnership agreement of December 30, 2019, which stated in part: "Plan to include the naming of ... 'Rebecca Coder Park' and the placement of a sidewalk plaque." 2
Councilmember Evans committed to filing the legislation after the two-year waiting period for memorials had passed, but he resigned from the Council in January 2020.
We are attempting to move this forward now with the office of the new Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, and have been in contact with her office on this matter twice, in communications of July 20, 2020; and March 3, 2021. We have verbal support, but no draft legislation yet.
South Landscape Planting. The landscaping nearest to the alley sidewalk at the south of the passive recreation space to be named "Rebecca Coder Park" was undertaken with FFF funding in November 2020 to complete the planting of "sky pencil" holly in that area.
Additional planting for the "bare wall" area shown in the graphic at right is planned this spring.
Annual spring flowers and bulbs are also scheduled to be planted this spring and fall by a combination of volunteer gardeners and professional landscaping contractors.
Removal of Obsolete Irrigation Valve. We have permission in our DPR-FFF partnership agreement to remove obsolete elements, the most complicated of which is the remains of an irrigation valve installed by George Washington University in 1990 when it used the field for its baseball and soccer teams—a scheme that lasted only two seasons.
The brass pipe that used to be part of this valve was removed by vandals or scrap scavengers several years ago.
We also determined with the District's Department of General Services (DGS) in 2017 that the valve was no longer connected to water lines below it. It remains an eyesore to the park as well as a tripping hazard.
After removal of the valve, the area will be leveled, repaired, and replanted with grass by professional contractors. We also plan to reseed the entire "Rebecca Coder Park" area at that time.
Mount and Place Memorial Plaque. While we originally planned to place the brass plaque in the concrete circular sidewalk, we now believe it will be preferable to mount it in a natural rock, and place that rock in an unpaved area near the 25th Street sidewalk.
This triangular area of bare dirt is shown in the photograph at right. It would be appropriately landscaped or planted by a professional contractor.
The plaque is already fabricated and is 10 inches wide by 4 inches high.
Committee and Fundraising. A committee made up of Rebecca's co-workers and friends will coordinate the project, all of which is to be funded by donations.
A separate account at National Cooperative Bank (where Rebecca was a senior vice president) has been established by Friends of Francis Field, which is a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Checks can be mailed to:
Rebecca Coder Fund
Friends of Francis Field
2501 M Street NW #805
Washington, D.C. 20037.
Donations can also be made by credit card using the PayPal button on the About & Contact page of this website.
01. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, Proposal to Install a Plaque Honoring Former Commissioner Rebecca Coder at Francis Field, September 20, 2018.
02. D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and Friends of Francis Field, Partnership Plan, 2019-2022, Attachment A.2. PDF, December 30, 2019.
Rebecca Coder Park: Not Only a Place, but a Philosophy Posted October 17, 2020.
Rebecca Coder (1969-2018) Honored at Library Posted May 15, 2019.
Remembering Rebecca Coder (1969-2018) Posted May 25, 2018.