What does community mean to you? For 25 Columbia Heights residents, it means venturing out in the pouring rain to clean up Columbia Heights Dog Park on Earth Day. Despite the weather, representatives from District Bridges and the 11th & Bark Organization as well as DC Councilmember Brianne Nadeau arrived to lend a helping hand.
In recent years the Columbia Heights dog park had fallen into disrepair and needed some TLC. Since the park is such an important part of our community we organized an event to clean it up, partially funded by a grant supplied by Columbia Heights ANC 1A.
We arrived at the park bright and early with gray clouds threatening a storm. Despite this, by 8:30 AM a crowd of volunteers had gathered, eager to get to work. Some removed trash and old toys, while others reinforced the fencing that protects small dogs from escaping the park. Neighborly Lawns led the largest project: installing a drainage tube to prevent rainwater from seeping mud onto the pavement. As everyone set about their tasks, tunes blasted from speakers brought by volunteers.
Two benches were donated, giving park attendees a place to lounge as their pups romp in the park. Patrick himself cut the overgrown grasses around the perimeter and set up a water cistern along the back side of the park, meaning dogs will have a sustainable water source for the upcoming hot summer. By the end of the morning, the park was looking beautiful.
After hours of hard work in the rain, volunteers returned to Patrick’s day care to feast on pizza donated by RedRocks pizzeria. Regardless of the damp conditions, the clean up was successful thanks to everyone who gave their support.
Leo Bosner, a regular park-goer and volunteer said, “The dog park is a fun place and a wonderful social setting where people can unwind and relax with their dogs, their friends, and their dogs’ friends too! The cleanup was great, and my thanks to Patrick’s for sponsoring it.”
To Patrick, organizing events like this one is an important part of being a local business. “It’s part of my company’s mission to partner with the communities we serve. Projects like this enable us to honor that goal.”
Before and After: