for basic resources, would such a plan ever see the
light of day. For decades Anacostia National Park
has suffered from federal abandonment and neglect
that would have brought winning lawsuits if the
same had happened in Rock Creek Park. The tale
of two cities lives on, as Georgetowners will soon
celebrate their huge victory in the reopening of
Potomac Riverfront Park.
On January 20, 2007, over 500 Ward Eight
residents attended a public meeting at Ballou
Senior High School on the future of Poplar Point.
Though the community has had little enthusiasm
for a soccer stadium and other alternatives had
been discussed, the soccer stadium proposal was
suddenly the only one being considered. Many
were shocked and betrayed by this behind-closed
decision to take a publicly owned resource
away from them.
“I walk [Poplar Point] every morning,” said
resident Lawrence Lacey, “Why is it that every
time a developer sees a green space in Southeast,
they think it has to be developed? It’s probably
one of the only green spaces left for us to
appreciate the waterfront.”
“For most of the residents, we certainly won’t
be able to live there, and I can just imagine
that access to the park area will be severely
restricted,” added Charles Wilson, another
concerned SE resident.
Sadly, this is not the first time that the
communities along the Anacostia River have
faced such a proposal for their parkland.
In the 1940s, a large chunk of Anacostia
Park was liquidated to construct the coalburning
power plant on Benning Road that
has brought asthma and emphysema to the
community. In the 1960s, developers carved
off more park to build RFK Stadium. In the
1990s, Kingman and Heritage Islands were
decommissioned by Congress for a Mayor
Barry-supported amusement park that took
years to beat back. Next, Congress authorized
a plan to give the Corrections Corporation
of America the right to build a prison on the
National Park at Oxen Cove.
The winning Clark Realty brochure is
stunning in both its development scale and
Orwellian level of spin. The company uses