Rose Park’s 100th Birthday Celebrated in Style

Rose Park in Georgetown — from P and 26th Streets NW all the way south along Rock Creek Park parkway to M and 27th Streets NW — is an active, well used, well-maintained park under the hybrid authority of the District Department of Parks & Recreation and of the National Park Service. It offers acres of lawns with some benches and picnic tables, a recent completely-refurbished playing field for baseball and soccer. There are well maintained basketball, tennis and now pickleball courts and two children’s play grounds. Plus a wide border of healthy rose bushes are cared for along 27th and O Streets.

There is almost never a time during the day when families, singles and seniors can’t be seen enjoying being outdoors at Rose Park —  especially the diverse plethora of dogs of all sizes and shapes walking their masters to, in and from the park from early dawn to late-at-night. Movies, concerts, tournaments and sports competitions often are sponsored at the park and during the summer, the city sponsors summer camps for D.C. children at the park’s refurbished recreation center. Every Wednesday afternoon, the Friends of Rose Park organizes a farmer’s market — even into the winter months — and provides for extra maintenance.

All this has been evolving and going on for 100 years.

On Sept. 21, the Friends of Rose Park hosted a party at the farmers market with music and cup cakes for hundreds of Rose Park fans. Included were the many vendors, some of whom have trucked their fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and greenery, eggs and fresh fish from their farms hours away in Virginia and Maryland. Some have been doing it for over two decades. Rose Park’s growing number of children played games and shared rich cup cakes with the many artisans, cooks and bakers from D.C. and all around the world that they have come to know each week at the market’s many international booths.

On Sept. 22, the Friends of Rose Park organized an elegant evening reception and fundraiser — with Champagne and a birthday cake — at the home of board member Bill Dean on P Street a few blocks from the park. “We celebrate this wonderful park that has offered so much to the Georgetown community and guests since 1922 as one of the first integrated parks in the District,” said Co-Presidents Sarah Leonard and Gail Daubert in their toasts and remarks at the reception.

“The many activities of the park, and the engagement of its residents and supporters makes this area of Georgetown a vibrant community and adds to its security and well-being,” said Ward 2 District Council member Brooke Pinto.

“The fundraiser was very successful,” Leonard told The Georgetowner on Monday. “Contributions are still coming in, and we will be tallying them up by the end of the week.”

The FORP have through the years planned and also encouraged the city and national park authorizing agencies to pursue various projects for the improvement of the park. Last year, a 10-year need and project priority was fulfilled with the completion of a state-of-the-art walkway and solid fencing along the Rock Creek Parkway pedestrian and bike path running between M Street and the parkway ramp at P Street. Friends board members often point to the former president David Dunning as being the one who most often shepherded these projects to their successful completion. In 2023, plans for new projects include a shade garden and more picnic tables in the southern park area, now that the playing field on the north end is done.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Gwen Lohse, Friends of Rose Park Co-President Gail Daubert, Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto, Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio, Friends of Rose Park Co-President Sarah Leonard and former Council member Jack Evans. Photo by Andy Cline. Courtesy FORP.

Gwen Lohse, Liz Dangio and Tracy Chadwell. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Cailin Monahan, Lizzie Bubes and Marilena Siegel. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto, Rob Alexander, Dave Dunning and Gail Daubert, Friends of Rose Park Co-President. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Friends of Rose Park Co-Presidents Gail Daubert and Sarah Leonard with Splinter and Shredder. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Rob Hetem, April Bowler and Connie Zimmer. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Lyndon and Debra Abel and Dave Dunning. Photo by Andy Cline. Courtesy FORP.

Rich Ward, Karen and Eric Dickman and Sarah Wade, both board members. Photo by Andy Cline. Courtesy FORP.

Darcy Nauman and Elizabeth Reid. Photo by Andy Cline. Courtesy FORP.

Eleanor Assey, Evelyn Turner, Eli Delaney and Jackie Zink. Photo by Robert Devaney.


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