“DGS has decided to proceed with the destruction of the north side of the garden”

North Twin Oaks Plot at 14th and Taylor St, NW

From an email:

“As many of you know, the north side of Twin Oaks Community Garden—which is located on either side of Taylor St NW at 14th St–has been slated for demolition to make way for a parking lot as part of the renovation of the neighboring Powell Elementary School.

We are writing to inform you that, after receiving suggestions on alternative parking options from Twin Oaks as well as comments from the community, the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS) has decided to proceed with the destruction of the north side of the garden. There will be a community meeting this Tuesday to announce the decision as well as plans to build a new garden in Upshur park, and we invite all community members to attend to weigh in.

Where: Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW
When: Tuesday, August 5th, 6:30pm

Thank you for your support,
Twin Oaks Community Garden”

28 Comment

  • I thought this was the deli in DuPont for a second. hah

  • PLEASE let this go, garden people! It’s this type of bs complaining that makes it such a ridiculously hard process for the rest of us to use DC owned (or privately owned) land for any interim purpose. If you make it incredibly difficult for someone to let others use land for a productive, INTERIM use before they get around to doing whatever they plan to do with it, that makes everyone that much less likely to say yes when someone asks them nicely. It’s just easier to say no from the start than to say yes and have people pitch a fit that you want to do something different with your own land later, so people just say no to start. It’s people like you who are why the rest of us can’t (temporarily) have nice things…

    • Sorry but this is kind of dumb. A parking lot on 14th street? Its DCs land so it should be put to the best use for the city no? A garden that reduces the heat island effect and reduces noise and other pollution where dc residents can garden and grow food. Or. An asphalt slab that allows parking for a few teachers. Which will also reduce somewhat the housing values of the immediate neighborhood properties as nobody really wants to live abut a parking lot. thus they are reducing by a fractional amount the property taxes that can be collected over time. There is plenty of other greenspace we could pave over to add parking to the city. But we don’t. because its pretty much accepted these days that surface parking lots have no place in the city. Conversely id have far less of a problem if they were entering a private public partnership to put 5 stories of condos here with parking for the school below. As that would increase the tax base. But a surface parking lot is just stupid.

      • Please go get yourself a green roof. Your smug is escaping into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.

      • I got your back, Johnny. The days of surface parking are over in major metros, though apparently some folks didn’t get the memo. Also, I love walking by the this garden. After passing through a s*&%hole stretch of delapidated retail along 14th Street (often peppered with unconscious drunkards), it’s a welcome island of sanity.

    • +1 I don’t get it. The TOCG was allowed to use the land on a temporary basis. A new spot, in Upshur Park, has apparently been allotted as space for a new garden. Not only is the OP complaining about this, s/he is trying to enlist community support for his/her — to my mind — quite unreasonable complaints from community members such as readers of this blog, who have absolutely nothing to do with the garden. I agree with the point made by Anonymous at 3:30 — it’s far, far easier to just say “no” from the start than to be embroiled in protests by entitled folks why were allowed to temporarily use the land on an interim basis. It strikes me as very odd that you’re protesting when you should be saying “Thank you”.

      • Readers of this blog can also include people who have something to do with this garden. How can you assume otherwise?

    • I totally agree. This has been in the works for a very long time. I do agree that more and better notice could have been given. But they’ve been offered a really good solution–more space in Upshur park, just a block away. And the downside is that this could hold up the desperately needed renovation of a school that is actually succeeding in DC, despite having a very large low-income and non-native English-speaking population. It’s a school to which people actually want to send their kids, unlike the vast majority of DCPS east of the park. The garden people are completely missing the larger picture here–this is a thriving school that could be even better if it gets the renovation that it needs. Go look at the photos from the plans for the renovations if you need any convincing. The building is, literally, crumbling.

      DC needs more schools like this, with neighborhood and larger community involvement and support and good academics. DC doesn’t need more people putting up a disproportionate fuss about a garden that is going to be replaced a block away. You guys are really starting to come off as completely self-absorbed and clueless. Please just let it go.

      I have no skin in this game, for what it’s worth, aside from one friend whose kid goes there. I’m just really tired of people in Columbia Heights and Petworth being so focused on the relatively unimportant things that benefit them and only them, when things like education are at stake.

      • #protip — calling people “self-absorbed and clueless” is not the best way to make your argument.

        • That’s not what Dreas said — he/she said: “You guys are really starting to come off as completely self-absorbed and clueless.”
          “You are coming across/coming off as _______” =/= “You are ______.”

      • Self-absorbed and clueless… as-in, unaware that there are quite a few neighborhood schools near this one that are in similar places (improving, etc.). But thanks for your characterization of the rest of our schools. I agree with you on the rest.

        • Sorry about that. I do have a kid in DCPS and I know that there are a lot that are starting to make a change in the right direction. I certainly didn’t mean to disparage all schools east of the park–you are absolutely right that there are others like Powell out there. But a lot of them remain places where people, especially those with choices and more mobility, don’t want to send their kids. Apologies for perhaps painting DCPS with too broad of a brush before.

      • A parking lot will improve the quality of education? Really?

        • Agree – renovating the building, improving the classrooms where kids do their learning improves the quality of education.
          Building a parking lot improves quality of education? That’s a stretch

  • Who doesn’t love a community garden? But I’m with the teachers on this one.

  • Teachers can’t take Metro or the bus like I do? I believe there is even a commuter tax credit. Parking just seems to passe.

  • Just to clarify, the use of the space as a public and community garden was not a temporary land use–it has been a youth garden for over 30 years in that location. This conversation has also not delayed, nor will it, the much needed rennovation of Powell Elementary.

    As with any land use isssue, there are multiple equities and viewpoints and we, as a garden, welcome the input of the community into this conversation, and encourage those who have written comments on this issue to attend tonight’s meeting. Thanks!

    • Let. It. Go. The land belongs to DCPS, thus it is a temporary use. TOCG has only used it for about 7 years. Construction got delayed because it was set to start in June and you got to finish the growing season.
      Decision has been made. Let it go, you are all starting to sound petty, specially when you’re getting a replacement with extra spots.

    • A youth garden? Seems to be a very small contingent of 30+ year olds who are fighting for plots that will only benefit themselves. The new garden space that has been offered will provide more plots and be open to the community.

      • Yeah my guess is that the current gardeners at Twin Oaks are not all 30 somethings. And who says these folks are not part of the community?????

      • There were two separate gardens – the youth garden and the community garden

  • Let it goooo, let it gooooo
    Can’t hold progress back anymore..


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