11th Street Bridge Park Nears Capital Campaign Goal
This summer, the 11th Street Bridge Park project announced a $5 million capital campaign gift from Exelon Corp, parent company of Pepco, a public utility supplying electric power to the city of Washington, D.C. and to surrounding Maryland communities. With this latest pledge, the public-private project has secured over $111 million out of a total goal of $139 million.
What is the 11th Street Bridge Park project and why are we interested? Madison’s Rick England, CFA, is on the 11th Street Bridge Park’s “Kitchen Cabinet”, which focuses on fundraising and public relations for the project. Rick has contributed in many ways by volunteering his time and donating to the capital campaign through the England Family Foundation.
The 11th Street Bridge Park will connect Washington Navy Yard and Anacostia Park on either side of the Anacostia River. The park is expected to transform the remains of a defunct bridge into a 1.45-mile urban, green, elevated park. Often compared to New York City’s popular High Line, the Washington, D.C. park is intended to create open space and help reclaim the river while limiting gentrification that could displace residents.
Envisioned within the park is a 3,230-square-foot environmental education center powered by solar panels. The center will offer space for up to 90 students for lectures and film screenings, and focus on clean energy workforce development programs. The park will also include play spaces, multiple growing gardens, outdoor classrooms, a large public plaza and a 203-person amphitheater. Also in the plans are a sculpture garden with rotating guest artists, and a large waterfall where images of historical figures can be projected.
The “equitable development” portion of this project will focus on Anacostia’s Ward 8, an underserved community with a concentration of poorer residents. It will include support for entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business, affordable housing, and a home-buyer’s club for residents of Ward 8. In short, investments in the surrounding neighborhood will help residents avoid being priced out of their homes. Approximately half the capital campaign funds raised will go toward the bridge development and the other half to Anacostia housing and program development.
This dynamic and unique project is anticipated to break ground in 2021 and be completed by 2023. If you are interested in learning more about the 11th Street Bridge Park, click here.