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Historical 11th Street Bridge Converted to a Park

Panelists+Tendani+Mpulubusi-El%2C+Scott+Kratz%2C+Denise+Rolark-Barnes%2C+Doug+Siglin%2C+Darrin+Davis%2C+Kirsten+Oldenburg+at+the+conclusion+of+the+11th+Street+Bridge+Park+Press+Conference.
Panelists Tendani Mpulubusi-El, Scott Kratz, Denise Rolark-Barnes, Doug Siglin, Darrin Davis, Kirsten Oldenburg at the conclusion of the 11th Street Bridge Park Press Conference.

Panelists Tendani Mpulubusi-El, Scott Kratz, Denise Rolark-Barnes, Doug Siglin, Darrin Davis, Kirsten Oldenburg at the conclusion of the 11th Street Bridge Park Press Conference.

ZAYNIAH PENDERGAST/RICHARD WRIGHT PCS/SOTC2016

ZAYNIAH PENDERGAST/RICHARD WRIGHT PCS/SOTC2016

Panelists Tendani Mpulubusi-El, Scott Kratz, Denise Rolark-Barnes, Doug Siglin, Darrin Davis, Kirsten Oldenburg at the conclusion of the 11th Street Bridge Park Press Conference.

Jamesha Scruggs, Richard Wright PCS, SOTC 2016, Reporter

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 Scott Kratz, director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, wants to construct a park on the pilings of the old 11th Street Bridge to help neighborhoods from the West and East sides of the Anacostia River area to come together. The goal for building the park is to improve the quality of life for people including health, strengthening social skills, and enhancing the economy.
The park will have many activities such as public art, performance space, playspace for the children, and space for cyclists and walkers.
The 11th Street Bridge is a part of history. We can use the remains of it to build it into something new. “Frederick Douglass walked that bridge every day to get back and forth to home and work,” continued Mr. Kratz who spoke to youth at a press conference on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at Miracle Theatre in Southeast D.C.
Many Washingtonians think that the Anacostia River is repulsive because of trash such as plastic bags, garbage, and plastic bottles building up and floating down stream. While it looks like it’s a local problem, the pollution is actually coming from Montgomery County and Prince George’s County watersheds in Maryland. Pollution within the watershed flows into the river according to Doug Siglin, executive director of the Anacostia River Trust. Due to the pollution, building the bridge park near the Anacostia River may not be the healthiest option.
The 11th Street Bridge Park, however, is a catalyst for communicating the need to clean up our environment. The bridge park will provide not only green space, but room to move, connect, and relax from a crowded city. Panelist Tendani Mpulubusi El said, “many will be inspired, impacted in physical and artistic ways.”
Panelists Tendani Mpulubusi-El, Scott Kratz, Denise Rolark-Barnes, Doug Siglin, Darrin Davis, Kirsten Oldenburg at the conclusion of the 11th Street Bridge Park Press Conference.

Panelists Tendani Mpulubusi-El, Scott Kratz, Denise Rolark-Barnes, Doug Siglin, Darrin Davis, Kirsten Oldenburg at the conclusion of the 11th Street Bridge Park Press Conference.

The park already has an investment of 11.3 million dollars and will be designed by OMA + OLIN  Design Company. According to Kratz, the 11th Street Bridge Park will be completed by 2019 and bring a lot of life to the community with activities like walking, kayaking, and exploring the cafes and the arts.
“Most people are familiar with Anacostia Park, some have never visited the park, so why not have the parks joined together so everyone can play, run, relax.” said Kratz.
Both moderator Denise-Rolark Barnes and Anacostia Waterfront Trust Executive Director Doug Siglin agreed that D.C. residents are blessed to have a park like Anacostia Park in the middle of D.C., however some residents don’t take advantage of it because they can’t access it.
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News and Views from D.C. area High Schools
Historical 11th Street Bridge Converted to a Park