Category Archives: Parks and Rec

Pool Season Over Soon

Photo courtesy of Shorpy.

Despite how overcast it’s been recently, yesterday turned out to be a great day to hang out at the pool. GM hopes you took advantage, because there’s only a couple more weeks left in the public pool season. But with your help, we can make it last a bit longer.

Georgetown’s two public pools, Volta Park pool and Jelleff pool, are scheduled to close for the season August 25th. August 26th is the first day of public school, so that is the traditional time the pools close, despite the fact that it’s still pool weather.h Continue reading

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Volta Park’s New Playground

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The finishing touches are being put on the newly renovated Volta Park playground. Kids already are playing on the new equipment and the remaining work appears to be just a few benches.

The new playground offers a lot of great new features. First of all, it has that spongy surface that is far superior to the old wood chips. Second, it appears to be aiming for a slightly older crowd that the older equipment was. The heart of the playground is a rope structure that invites kids to climb and swing around.

And probably fall. Which is great. There’s an increasingly popular philosophy that playgrounds got too safe over the past 20 years. Now people are pushing to add a little danger back into playgrounds. The idea is, roughly, that kids won’t learn how to manage risks if they’re never presented with any. Continue reading

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Was This Really a Problem?

GM is all for separating out cars from bikers whenever possible and appropriate, but were there that many idiot drivers going down the Capital Crescent thinking they’d reach the Beltway? Continue reading

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Swimming Pools Open Soon

Photo courtesy of Shorpy.

The mercury’s rising and pretty soon we’ll have a couple places to cool off in style: the DC public pools open Memorial Day weekend (i.e. next weekend).

Georgetown is blessed with two fantastic public pools: Volta Park and Jelleff. Both will be open Memorial Day weekend noon to 6:00. They’ll remain open only on the weekends (with those same hours) until June 24th.

After that point they’ll both be open during the week from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The Volta pool will be closed Mondays, and the Jelleff pool Wednesdays.

So get ready to suit up!

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Jack’s Boathouse Owner Loses Key Decision

3500 block of Water St.

 

Last week, District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a ruling in Paul Simkind’s lawsuit against the Park Service and DC. It didn’t go his way.

Simkind is suing both the District and the Park Service in order to argue that the transfer of the parkland from DC to NPS was invalid and even if it were valid it was subsequently rescinded.

It’s a long decision and a bit dense with legalese, but the long and the short of it is that the court rejected Simkind’s case against the District. It didn’t rule on his claims against NPS, and will do so in a separate opinion, but it’s hard to see how that ruling would be any different. Continue reading

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Save Jack’s Boathouse

Photo by TrailVoice.

Over the holiday, unless you were totally checked out from DC news, you probably heard about the sudden eviction notice sent to the owner of Jack’s Boathouse from the National Park Service (which owns the land the boathouse sits on).

Despite the busy time of year, hundreds of devoted customers came to the defense of their cherished summertime haunt. In response to the outcry, NPS put the eviction plans on hold. This gave hope to Jack’s owner, Paul Simkin, but it hardly lifted the cloud of uncertainty.

After the stay was granted, NPS began to explain their side of the story. Apparently the lease is old and outdated. Simkin isn’t even on it. (Simkin took over control of Jack’s after his previous partner, Frank Baxter, passed away in 2009. Frank’s father was Jack Baxter, an ex-DC cop who started the boathouse in 1945.)

NPS explained that they were simply reviewing the contract and trying to “regularize” boathouse services. What that means is that NPS generally uses a concession-style agreement for its parks. So unlike Jack’s, which simply leases the space and runs its business, most business on NPS land don’t pay rent but pay a portion of their revenues to NPS.

NPS explained that it wants to keep a boathouse here (although they didn’t specify the exact location), it’s just that they want to shift it to a concession contract. But it’s not a simple matter of changing Simkin’s relationship with NPS; it would need to be bid out.

And there’s the rub.

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Watch Out For Hot Plates Down by Waterfront

Over the weekend, a young child was severely burned when he tripped on a metal plate door on the ground near the waterfront fountain. As you can see from the video, NPS has taken some preliminary steps to eliminate the danger, but until they permanently address the issue, be careful down there and warn your kiddos.

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