Francis Field and Dog Park Community Meeting is Thursday March 2
Come to West End Library at 6:30 pm or Join by Webex Video Conference
Posted: February 26, 2023.
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)is holding the first Community Meeting on Francis Field renovation and expansion of the Dog Park on March 2, and all interested residents are encouraged to attend.
The "virtual" part of this meeting is being held on Webex, coordinates and the link are provided at this address:
That link, above, has the Webex link and the password, as well as numbers to join by telephone.
The DPR announcement is shown below. The link given above should connect easily. Clicking anywhere on the image below will also connect to the same announcement and information.
It is expected that the Department of Parks and Recreation will make a presentation to inform the community of the scope of the work for community review and input.
Our organization encourages all members and non-members to attend. More information will follow on this website.
Special FFF Meeting, Thurs., Feb 16, Relating to Francis Field Renovations
DPR to Propose "Transfer of Jurisdiction" for National Park Areas Near Field
Posted: February 14, 2023.
President Erika Hale has announced a special meeting of the Friends of Francis to discuss new developments in the upcoming $3-million renovation of Francis Field. Details are shown below.
Special FFF Meeting
Thursday, February 16
2501 M Street NW
The main item of discussion is expected to be the proposal that will be discussed on the evening before, at our local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) which regards a "transfer of jurisdiction of portions of Francis Field from the National Park Service to the DC Government."
That ANC meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening, February 15—the evening before the FFF special meeting. Residents may also want to attend that ANC meeting, or participate via Zoom. See agenda and details on the ANC-2A website.
The diagram at right shows the National Park Section of Francis Field marked in solid green. The striped section was transferred to District of Columbia jurisdiction in the 1970s, when "Home Rule" was granted to the District of Columbia by the U.S. government.
The land in the green section was purchased under an Act of Congress in 1913, to make a landscaping "buffer" area between Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and the urbanization of the District of Columbia. The striped area in the drawing was purchased in the 1930s as playground space.
Erika Hale Is New FFF President, Younger Team Will Steer Organization
Community Engagement for Field Renovation Expected To Begin by March
Posted: February 2, 2023.
The Board of Directors of the Friends of Francis Field elected new officers at its January 19, 2023, meeting. Erika Hale, a resident of 2501 M Street NW, was elected president, replacing Gary Griffith, a long-time member and officer, and one of the founders of the organization.
Griffith, who had announced his retirement at FFF's open annual meeting in October, presented a letter of resignation at the board meeting, stating "old age and infirmity" as his reason for stepping down. He is 75 years old, and had served ten years as corporate secretary and five years as president.
Ms. Hale and her husband live in one of the 2501 M Street apartments overlooking the field, and moved to the District from Austin, Texas, where she worked as a statistician at the University of Texas. They have two grown children, one still in college.
Erika became active on the FFF landscaping committee last September. The chair of that committee, Brad Kerchof, was elected corporate secretary at the same January 19 board meeting. Brad has not only been working with his hands on the field, but also supervises the rear-field landscaping work, and coordinates with Casey Trees and the Urban Forestry division of the D.C. Department of Transportation on the care and pruning of the field's trees.
Laura Belt, another 2501 M Street resident, will continue to serve as treasurer. Laura presented the Francis Field landscaping plan to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A in March 2019, and was part of the team that argued the FFF permitting case to the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in December of that year.
"These young and energetic officers will steer the organization going forward," Griffith said, "and—most importantly—will represent our membership in the Community Engagement process for the $3-million renovation of the field."
That process will involve a series of meetings with DPR and the D.C. Department of General Services, which hires the necessary contractors. The National Park Service, which owns about half of the playing field area, will also have an important say in the process.
The renovation—and the planning that precedes it—will determine how Francis Field is redesigned and used for the next decade, and probably longer. Expansion of the Francis Dog Park is also part of DPR's agenda.
Newly-elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jim Malec, who now represents the Francis Field area, tells FFF that the first Community Engagement meeting will probably be held by DPR near the end of February or early in March.
See background articles on this website: Community Engagement for $3-Million Renovation of Field Begins Soon. and Gates Removed from Field by DPR without Notice to Deter Dogs,