Parkland Redesign


Parkland Redesign

Learn more about the project and share your thoughts by December 9, 2023.

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The National Park Service is committed to improving Parkland, a 1.25 acre section of the Shepherd Parkway located in Congress Heights. Please join us and our design consultant in refining plans for this neighborhood national park. Community input is critical at this phase. The design of the playground, selection and mix of recreational park amenities, and future programming will be based upon community preferences. This is the last opportunity for the public to comment on the design of the park. The NPS anticipates construction will begin by early 2025. We invite your feedback on what you’d like to see Parkland become!


The revised design concept provides three distinct activity areas and simplifies the circulation linking amenities throughout the park. It includes new, enlarged playground areas; a flexible picnic and community gathering space with lawn; and a flexible plaza near the symbolic intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Malcolm X Avenue. It also offers park signage and a potential future commemorative location at the northeast portion of the site, a future trail connection to the woodlands of Shepherd Parkway, seating options in multiple locations, site furniture including benches, trash receptacles, bike rack, and lighting, and permeable paving. The exercise equipment and picnic shade structure have been removed from consideration and a community garden has been added to the design. The design responds to community requests for multi-generational and active visitor experiences.

Overhead rendering of a long rectangular plot of land with tree-lined paths, playgrounds, a picnic area, lawn area, and a round plaza labeled "flexible plaza."
Overview of proposed Parkland space.




The current proposed design concept features a playground that can accommodate both 2-5 year olds and 6-12 year olds in order to offer amenities to families with children of both age groups. The playground focuses on nature play and utilizes the park’s topography to incorporate slides and embankment play. The nature play offers a different play experience than other neighborhood playgrounds while advancing the NPS mission. The playgrounds will offer accessible play opportunities for children of all abilities.

3d rendering showing children playing on play equipment with slides and climbing structures. The playground is flanked by two tree-lined sidewalks.
Playground design concept



Flexible Plaza

The current proposed design concept features a public plaza that can accommodate everyday uses, such as informal gatherings, as well as formal events. The permeable pavers along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE would be accessible to the metal deck; an accessible ramp would lead to the pathway north and south of the deck. Furthermore, steps on the rear of the deck would offer the opportunity for tiered seating at events such as a movie night. Event support equipment, such as a tent or stage, could be placed within the plaza deck, to the west of the stairs, or within the flexible lawn space. Swing benches are located along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue offer seating and informal gathering space. On the southern edge of the site, screens shield visitors from commercial activities on Parkland Place SE.

Architectural 3d rendering showing people walking on a sidewalk and seated on benches under the shade of a large tree on a strip of park between two roadways.
Design concept for flexible plaza




Last updated: February 15, 2024

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1900 Anacostia Drive SE
Washington, DC 20020


(771) 208-1453

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