Not all of the water flowing through Melvin C Hazen Park is the stream. And that’s a problem.
During the open forum for community members at ANC 3F’s March 19th meeting, William Matzelevich, a neighbor of Melvin C Hazen Park, spoke about the damage from the rain, stormwater runoff and blockage of the culvert running under Connecticut Avenue.
He was frustrated with the lack of progress in rectifying the problems even after a walkthrough of the site with major stakeholders.
Alex Sanders, district manager of DC trails for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), and chair of the ANC Parks and Trails Committee, agreed with Matzelevich about the worsening condition of Melvin Hazen. Sanders was at the meeting to request a $2,500 grant for supplies to rebuild the park’s footbridge.
PATC intends to rebuild it higher and longer to avoid the higher water levels. The trail club would also install cribbing, which is a wood or stone railing that protects trails from erosion. But Sanders did not agree with the solution of unblocking the culvert. He said the blocked culvert was actually protecting the eastern part of the stream from the kind of erosion he had seen at other streams in the area.
Melvin C Hazen was the subject of another ANC 3F grant request from Rock Creek Conservancy (RCC). Jeanne Braha, RCC’s executive director, requested $3,000 to purchase native plants for a fall project in the group’s “mini-oasis.”
And during a discussion at the ANC meeting about the Hearst Park renovation project, the subject of stormwater runoff reaching Melvin C Hazen Park via Springland Lane came up. Hearst Park is adjacent to Hearst Elementary School at Tilden and 37th Streets.
Peter Nohr from DC Parks and Recreation presented an update of the plans and timeline for the Hearst Park renovation. He specifically addressed concerns about how this project will mitigate runoff through bio-filtration areas.
The stormwater remediation is to begin this summer, along with the restoration of the soccer fields and a playground renovation.
Construction is to begin this fall on Ward 3’s first public outdoor swimming pool. The DPR presentation on Hearst Park included renderings of all of these plans: