“What Should the Rock Creek Nature Center and Horse Center Become?”
Berlin, Marlene. “What Should the Rock Creek Nature Center and Horse Center Become?” Forest Hills Connection, 3 Feb. 2017, http://www.foresthillsconnection.com/news/what-should-the-rock-creek-nature-center-and-horse-center-become/.
In her online conversational piece, Berlin highlights the upcoming changes wanted for Rock Creek Park’s recreational centers. Apparently, the National Park Service is seeking approval for renovations in the park’s Nature Centers. This Nature complex includes the Horse Center and the maintenance yard. The different set of renovation plans (each including specific changes or lack thereof for the Rock Creek), Berlin explains, have been underway for three years now. In addition to textual and visual layouts of the modifications, the author presents the multiple complaints from the public about the potential makeover, since the action means that the environment would be more suited for humans than animals (namely birds and horses), who are the ones who most benefit from Rock Creek Park as a habitat. The article also includes an outline of the schedule for the renovation process. Berlin presents a round scope of what the future of Rock Creek Park could look like.
More than five acres of trees and wildlife habitat could be destroyed for offices; parking lots; facilities for food trucks, exhibitions, public meetings and weddings; pedestrian plazas; greenhouses; demonstration gardens; and a nursery. In one plan, the large outdoor riding ring would be converted to a parking lot. A new ring to replace it would require filling in an entire wooded ravine.
Berlin’s piece raises the stakes in my research because we can now see that the National Park Service is, in a way, potentially going against what organizations like Rock Creek Conservancy want for the park. The former wants to cater better to humans’ needs, which in turn, worsens the condition of the park by eliminating space for animals to make room for parking lots and staffers’ office buildings and allow more people to venture in. On one hand, of course this is a good thing. Gaining more public interest for nature as an active pastime is a good thing. However, there is always a bad side, and in this case, the native creatures and nature itself would be receiving the short end of the stick, as many of the complaints from citizens in the article pointed out. It is important to note that after public concern taking place, the Rock Creek Superintendent took notice of the fact that all the renovations wanted for the park go entirely against the notion they themselves put forth of conserving the area. This means not cutting down trees and removing horse rings for parking lots and office buildings. I believe this article can be beneficial for my paper because it shows two sides of the coin, in which the National Park Service wants to modify the park to keep progressing and being of interest to people, but then that means destroying half of what makes Rock Creek Park, Rock Creek in the first place.
“D.C. Experience Has Helped Jeff Dowtin Fit as a Freshman with Veteran Rhode Island.”
Bontemps, Tim. “D.C. Experience Has Helped Jeff Dowtin Fit as a Freshman with Veteran Rhode Island.” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2017/03/19/d-c-experience-has-helped-jeff-dowtin-fit-as-a-freshman-with-veteran-rhode-island/. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
Bontemps’s article about the success story of Jeff Dowtin, a freshman basketball player for Rhode Island, brings forth a newfound perspective for my research by pointing out the fact that the city creates big-shot ballers right next to Rock Creek. Out of all the players on the university team, a number of veterans and Dowtin, a relative rookie, were the ones to score big for the team in a game against Creighton, a college that was ranked higher in the league than the former (Dowtin scored 23 points). According to Bontemps, the young male explained all of his achievements on the collegiate court were thanks to his teammates and his coach, while the last appraised Dowtin, saying he was an impressive player, and this is because of his roots. Hurley, the Rams coach, insisted Dowtin is such a great player because of the good family he comes from and the school he went to that allowed him to participate in the best high school basketball league in the country. Dowtin graduated from St. John’s High School, just across the street from Rock Creek Park. The coach emphasized the fact that playing and growing up in the D.C. area was a huge factor in allowing Dowtin to make it so far and be so successful at such a young age.
This is a guy that came from a great family, played at a great high school program at St. John’s College in D.C., maybe the best high school league in the country … comes from a great family, high-level student.
How does this come into my research? When I discovered St. John’s High School sat just a few metres from Rock Creek Park, I decided I must do some investigating. Obviously, this article helps me adopt a better frame of reference when it comes to the surrounding area of Rock Creek. The high school is located directly across from the park. And Hurley insisted the high school basketball league was probably the best in the country, Dowtin came from a good family, and living in the D.C. area was a huge asset. Just these statements say a lot about the region Rock Creek is situated in. I consider Bontemp’s article important for my findings because I now have a clearer picture of the neighborhood, the school district and the general perception of what this specific zone in D.C. entails. The article concretized my assumption that Rock Creek Park lives in a well-off and impressive area, a place far beyond merely being the centre of nature for Washington. This entails both positive and problematic conclusions, both which I have yet to fully develop but am excited to discover.