Dear PoPville – Is the new Cardozo Playground Open to the Public? Anyone Use the Columbia Heights Rec Center Gym?

11th and Clifton St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

The renovated Cardozo High School has a playground on the east side at Clifton and 11th. But it’s gated off. Is it for a daycare center within the school for children of faculty? Or is it supposed to be a neighborhood playground?”


“Dear PoPville,

Has anyone ever frequented the fitness center at the Columbia Heights Recreation Center (1480 Girard Street, NW)? Good, bad, hit or miss? Not too many reviews online. Also, if I’m a resident of a different ward, would I still be able to use the facility?”

11 Comment

  • Don’t waste your time at the Columbia Heights Recreation Center. The gym is missing half of its equipment, including its dumbbells and is always crowded. Not worth your time or effort. I’d recommend trying the one in Takoma. It’s very nice and never too busy.

  • I’ve lived around the corner from that rec center for 3 years and had no idea that’s what it was.
    Is it free for DC residents ?

  • For DC residents it’s 25/mo

  • As a general question related to Cardozo – do folks use the track there? Are there set times when it is publicly available in the evenings?


    • I’ve been wondering the same thing

    • I use the track and my roommate occasionally plays soccer at the field. It seems that parts of the field are reserved on the weekends for various sports leagues. The only time you can’t realize use the track is on Friday nights when the big high school football games are being played. I’ve never had an issue at any other time using the track.
      Though once Cardozo is fully operational, I imagine that track and field access to the public might become more limited (students get first priority).

    • The track at Banneker is really close to Cardozo, if you want another option.

  • The school playground in our neighborhood is locked on the weekdays for use by the school, but it is open on the weekends. Maybe try then?

  • I’ve used the Cardozo track once or twice but I prefer the one further down the street at Banneker. It’s easy to get to and there’s always lots of people walking or jogging there. Sometimes there’s a group of folks who are in a boot camp type of exercise group working out on the track as well. I also like it because it’s open and very easy to see from the street.

  • The Cardozo track is only open sporadically and it mostly coincides with the soccer leagues that use the field. I have talked to their athletic director and he is not even sure of the hours. He says that DCPS headquarters handles most of the scheduling and that it is out of his hands. My wife and I have been locked in during the summer as the gates get open early, we go running, and then they are all closed when we try to leave. There are official hours but no one seems to know what they are, only that they do exist. Way better track than Banneker though. Better surface and a better oval.

  • The Cardozo H.S. playground is part of the daycare facilities for children of students currently attending – it’s not open to the public.

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