January 18, 2018
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) supports the U.S. House of Representatives’ unanimous passage on Tuesday, Jan. 16 of H.R. 2897, which represents a significant step forward for federally-owned parks in the District.
“The DowntownDC BID joins the Mayor in thanking members of Congress for taking this action to advance the transformation of Franklin Park,” said BID President & CEO Neil Albert. “The partnership between the District and Federal government enabled by this legislation will improve the quality of life for all who live, work and visit downtown DC.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) authorized the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Director of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) to enter into cooperative management agreements for the operation, maintenance and management of units of the National Park System in the District of Columbia and for other purposes.
Senate Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has introduced the companion bill (S. 1956) in the Senate.
The passage of H.R. 2897 clears a statutory roadblock in the realization of a concept plan to make Franklin Park, the largest park in DowntownDC, a vibrant, urban green space. The plan was the result of a partnership between the District government, NPS, the DowntownDC BID and input from the public.
The DowntownDC BID has budgeted $750,000 annually to operate and maintain the park upon completion of the renovations. Plans include reconstructing the broken sidewalks, building a new fountain and children’s play garden and offering programming in the park including exercise classes, performances and movie screenings.
The DC Department of General Services is in the process of procuring the final design and engineering services to create construction documents for the park renovation.