The Parks Main Street Community Meeting 6:30 pm Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center 501 Riggs Road NE Hear survey results & ways the Main Street will utilize community input to help improve the Riggs Park commercial corridor. Follow The Parks Main Street: Facebook (@TheParksMainStreet) Twitter (@TheParksMainSt) Instagram (@TheParksMainStreet)
ANC 5A Special Public Meeting 6:45 pm UDC-CC Backus 5171 South Dakota Avenue NE Revised Agenda: (1) Wesley Housing Develpment; (2) Fort Totten Civic Association. Note it appears from the revised agenda that Rocketship will not attend this special meeting as they are awaiting traffic study results, but the agenda may change again.
Bertie Backus Farmstand 10:00 am-2:00 pm UDC-CC Backus 5171 South Dakota Avenue NE
Explore! Children’s Museum August Festival 10:00 am-1:30 pm The Modern at Art Place 400 Galloway Street NE Free RSVP on eventbrite Performance Schedule: 10:30-11:00 am: Story Time with Lamond-Riggs Children’s Librarian 11:15-12:00 pm: A Mad Science of DC Show: Up, Up and Away! 12:30-1:15 pm: District Dance Arts From 10:00am-1:30pm: Cowboy Barry’s Farm Petting Zoo Face Painting by Fairy Jennabelle Makerspace with District Dance Arts Double Dutch from DC Retro Jumpers Color with Luna from Adventures with Luna and Friends The Uncle Devin Show’s Percussion Playground
The Parks Main Street recently awarded nearly $30,000 in grants to three small businesses aimed at improving their operations. Representing a combined legacy of more than a century in business, the recipients are:
The Parks Main Street Executive Director, Edwin Washington, led a rigorous process to encourage small businesses to apply for this first time funding opportunity—a maximum of $10,000 per award. Eligible applicants were required to be a store-front business located within the boundaries of Riggs Park and Manor Park as well as have a valid business license and “Clean Hands” with the District’s Office of Tax & Revenue.
Each applicant’s proposal included an itemized budget, projected timeline, and detailed description including how the funds would be used to improve business operations. The Parks Main Street board of directors, led by the Economic Vitality committee, assessed the merits of each application and selected the awardees. Awards were made on August 8, 2019. Projects are expected to be completed by September 30, 2019, the close of the District’s fiscal year.
“Business preservation and revitalization are our sweet spots,” said Mr. Washington. “Part of our mission is to provide much needed technical assistance and funding to support legacy businesses for whom $10,000 is a major windfall.” Below are brief descriptions on how each business will use their award.
In Manor Park, the V.I.P. Room has been a beloved venue to celebrate community milestones, host business meetings, and social events going on four decades, including the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association 70th Anniversary celebration. The V.I.P. Room will use their grant to enhance the venue with new lighting and a greenscreen photo booth, which aims to expand its reach to new markets.
The Davis Center will celebrate 50 years in business this November. You may have caught a glimpse of some of their dancers performing outside Culture Coffee Too during the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl co-sponsored by The Parks Main Street. The grant will support renovation and expansion of the studio and be used to hire a marketing consultant to expand community outreach with a particular focus on advertising new dance and art appreciation programs.
As discussed in a recent podcast with co-owner Humberto Phillips, Troka Insurance has been a part of the Riggs Park community for 12 years, providing innovative insurance solutions and education. Their grant award will help them recruit and train agents, conduct marketing campaigns, purchase necessary materials for trainees, and improve their training center.
*David Kosub is the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for The Parks Main Street. To learn about sponsorship and engagement opportunities, contact Edwin Washington at (202) 774-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll hear about the vision for the museum, projects to engage the community (such as their pop up festival on Saturday, August 24), and potential collaborations with other artistic endeavors. Want to hear how Explore! differs from the National Children’s Museum. Perhaps how local children learn about the solar system? Or even what a Mobile Outreach Manager does? We’ll explore all of that and more in this conversation.
Welcome to Next
Stop Neighbors where we get an opportunity to hear the voices behind the faces
and places in Lamond-Riggs and the surrounding communities. Through this
podcast series, you will meet some friendly neighbors and hear their
perspectives on the community through civil, casual conversations. From the
small business owner who just opened up, to the non-profit organization trying
to make a difference, to the community leader describing their vision for the
neighborhood, and the resident around the corner who has lived here for 50
years, we all have a story to tell. We welcome recommendations and, better yet,
your own 10-minute interviews too!
Can’t get enough Next Stop Neighbors?
Check out these past conversations:
The DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB) is accepting comments on Rocketship’s application to open a new campus in two warehouses at 5450 3rd Street NE off Kennedy Street near Fort Totten metro station. Part 1 and Part 2 of the school’s application are available on DCPCSB’s website. Comments are due by September 16, 2019. A public hearing will be held on September 16 at 6:30 pm. DCPCSB will hold a vote on October 21, 2019.
ANC 5A is holding a special public meeting on August 21 to hear more from Rocketship. School leaders presented a high level overview at the ANC’s meeting in June. The new campus will be located in the single member district (SMD) of ANC Commissioner Gordon Fletcher (5A08). Interestingly enough, Commissioner Fletcher provided a letter of support dated August 1 that was included with Rocketship’s August 2nd application to DCPCSB. If you have questions or concerns about the school, please plan to attend the special meeting. If you cannot attend the special public meeting, I highly recommend reaching out to Commissioner Fletcher with any questions or comments before the special meeting.
At Commissioner Fletcher’s SMD meeting on August 12, school officials stated if all goes well, they will begin construction renovating the interior of the warehouses some time in October, finishing in July 2020. They plan to open in phases accepting students for grades PK3-2 for fall 2020. Recognizing the plethora of charter schools in Ward 5, including highly ranked charter schools in close proximity to the proposed campus, school leadership stated in their application that there is still unmet need in Ward 5 for high quality schools. They believe they can help to fill that need by offering a personalized blended learning currciulum with a STEM focus, as well as Spanish instruction starting in kindergarten.
A traffic study is currently being conducted, and school leaders hope to present results of that study and more design plans at the ANC special meeting. There will be a small parking lot on the campus. The school will offer transit subsidies to staff and encourage staff and parents to take public transportation to the campus.
The school has to document its community engagement efforts, a challenging task during the summer months. DCPSCB expects that any issues will have been raised before the public hearing on September 16 in order for the school to address them, so it is really important that residents share any share any concerns with Commissioner Fletcher and submit comments to DCPCSB.
The Parks Main Street Community Meeting August 21, 2019 6:30 pm-7:30 pm Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center 501 Riggs Road NE
The Parks Main Street in conjunction with the National Main Street UrbanMain Program and the DC Main Streets program will present results of its community survey about perceptions of and ways to improve the Riggs Park commercial corridor. This is an opportunity to help clarify a vision for the corridor and find out ways to work on projects related to the corridor. Survey results will be available to the public so that anyone who is unable to attend this meeting can see them.
Follow The Parks Main Street to stay abreast of opportunities for input and participation: Facebook (@TheParksMainStreet) Twitter (@TheParksMainSt) Instagram (@TheParksMainStreet)
Agenda 1. Wesley Housing Development – 1 Hawaii Avenue 2. Fort Totten Civic Association 3. Mundo Verde School, Scrilli School & Washington Jesuit School request from ANC 4. Rocketship Charter School – Presentation on opening of new school
Rocketship is holding two more community meetings this week on its proposal to open a third campus near the Fort Totten metro station.
August 8, 2019 6:00 pm-7:30 pm Library Tavern 5420 3rd Street NW
August 9, 2019 5:30 pm-7:00 pm North Michigan Park Rec 1333 Emerson Street NE
Based on the timeline shared by Rocketship’s leadership, it is possible the DC Public Charter School Board will hold a public hearing on the proposal some time in September, possibly before the regularly scheduled ANC 5A meeting on the fourth Wednesday of September. I know Rocketship has asked the ANC about the possibility of holding a special ANC meeting to make sure residents receive a fuller presentation of the plans for the new campus before any public hearing. Recall Rocketship presented a high level overview of the Rocketship model and preliminary plans at the June 2019 ANC 5A meeting.
The proposed campus will be located in the single member district (SMD) of ANC Commissioner Gordon Fletcher (5A08). Commissioner Fletcher plans to hold an SMD meeting with a number of agenda items on August 12, 2019, at 6:30 pm at UDC-CC Backus, so he may provide additional information about the ANC’s plan for addressing Rocektship’s proposal for a new campus in the neighborhood then.
Please take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the plan for the new campus, meet the school’s leadership, and ask questions. If you have questions about their traffic plan, blended learning curriculum, disciplinary policy, approach to community engagement, impact on surrounding traditional public and public charter schools and the need for an additional charter school in the neighborhood, anything at all, now is the time to raise them.
DC Main Streets in partnership with the National Main Street Center’s UrbanMain Program is conducting a short survey to gather the following information from residents about the Riggs Park commercial corridor:
What comes to mind when thinking about the neighborhood
Riggs Park businesses residents support
Possible issues confronting the commercial corridor
This is a real opportunity to provide thoughtful, meaningful feedback to The Parks Main Street, which will ultimately be responsible for implementing a work plan to enhance the commercial corridor, so take advantage! Please share the survey link with neighbors and remember to complete it by August 11.
If you have questions about the survey, please contact Edwin Washington, the executive director of The Parks Main Street, at (202) 774-5542 or email@example.com.
Next time you have some yummy Caribbean food at Peaches Kitchen, a smoothie at Culture Coffee Too, or pick up your kids at The C.H.I.L.D. Center, be sure to give the proprietors a hearty congratulations. The Parks Main Street, the newest member of the District’s Main Street program, helped three Riggs Park and Manor Park small businesses earn a total of $50,000 from the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) to support improvements to their operations and better meet changing customer demands.
DSLBD Director Kristi Whitfield recently joined Edwin Washington, Executive Director of The Parks Main Street, to congratulate the three awardees:
Peaches Kitchen & Catering
6214 3rd Street NW
$20,000 – Robust Retail Main Street Grant
Culture Coffee Too
300 Riggs Road NE
$20,000 – Robust Retail Main Street Grant
The C.H.I.L.D. Center
202 Riggs Road NE
$10,000 – Robust Retail Citywide Grant
Mr. Washington worked diligently in support of the businesses, hosting grant-writing sessions for small business owners to help them navigate the application process for two related District Robust Retail grant funding opportunities.
Six of The Parks Main Street businesses developed Robust Retail Grant proposals that included detailed scopes of work, implementation plans, and timelines complete with measurable milestones. Three of these proposals were awarded.
“We are delighted that half of the businesses that participated in the competitions were awarded,” said Mr. Washington. “This speaks volumes of their commitment to engaging in The Parks Main Street revitalization process. Their success advances our mission to preserve and enhance existing historic business districts while also attracting new businesses to serve and invigorate these communities.”
Rhonda Henderson, Chair of the Parks Main Street Board of Directors, said the collaboration represents a welcome partnership between the District government and citizen leaders. “These grants and The Parks Main Street initiative are a win-win for all, for city government, District residents, and our neighborhood businesses.”
With the resources now in hand, the awardees plan to make
noticeable improvements to their businesses.
For example, Peaches Watson, a Jamaican immigrant who founded Peaches Kitchen and Catering in 2007, wants to make things better for customers. As noted in their application, Peaches will use the funds to restructure their kitchen and hot bar, install innovative technologies for food warming and digital menu presentation, enhance storage, and upgrade their point-of-sale system. The resources will also allow staff to improve efficiency in accounting, business management, food prep, and service. “It’s a blessing,” she said of the grant check that Mr. Washington and Glen O’Gilvie, CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, delivered directly to her.
Over in Riggs Park, Culture Coffee Too used some of their award funds to support the 2nd Annual Riggs Park Art Crawl, including paying for the murals, paint, artist time, and permits. The remainder of the funds went towards purchasing outdoor seating. Owner Veronica “Ms. V” Cooper hopes this will lead to more customers visiting the coffee shop and identify the neighborhood as a new arts destination for the city. Hear more about Ms. V and the coffee shop on this podcast here.
*David Kosub is the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for The Parks Main Streeet. To learn about sponsorship and engagement opportunities, contact Edwin Washington, the executive director of The Parks Main Street, at (202) 774-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 6, 2019 National Building Musuem Ward 4 Day 9:00 am-11:00 am National Building Museum 401 F Street NW Bring photo ID with zip code
MPD 4th District National Night Out 5:00 pm-9:00 pm Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center 501 Riggs Road NE
August 9, 2019 Fridays at Fort Totten Concert Series: The JoGo Band 6:00 pm-8:00 pm South Dakota Avenue & Galloway Street NE Bring a lawn chair for seating. Sponsored by The Modern at Art Place & On Tap Magazine
August 10, 2019 Bertie Backus Farmstand 10:00 am-2:00 pm UDC-CC Backus 5171 South Dakota Avenue NE
Join dogs from People Animals Love (P.A.L.) for a special story hour on the first and fourth Tuesday of each month featuring an opportunity for children to meet and read with dogs. P.A.L. story hours provide a great way for your budding reader to get some reading practice in with an attentive and patient audience.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will hold a community event, Norton in Your Neighborhood, at 7:00 pm at the Lamond-Riggs Library. Congresswoman Norton will discuss recent issues she has been engaged in on behalf of District residents and take questions from the audience. All are invited to join neighbors at the library for an evening of civic engagement.