25 Apr 2012

Kim’s Garden Brings Aesthetics, Community and Environment into Focus on Capitol Hill

By Carmella Mazzotta

If you haven’t done so already, check out the park restoration project on Capitol Hill around the corner from Eastern Market. Dubbed Kim’s Garden, the site is located at the intersection of Independence and North Carolina Avenues at 8th Street SE, next to Christ Our Shepherd Church.  A native plant landscape design by horticulturalist Jim Adams, a mosaic centerpiece by artist Deirdre Saunder, a protective  iron fence and permeable surface improvements comprise the comprehensive park overhaul slated for the next two years.

The steering group for the project,  Friends of Kim Brenegar, was formed in 2010 to reclaim and beautify this neglected garden in memory of the former beloved resident and landscape designer. Leadership for the renovation is comprised of volunteers from several disciplines with expertise in all areas of the restoration. They have completed phase one of the restoration and just begun phase two installation work that will continue through 2013.

Significant milestones for phase one of the garden renovation are well documented on their site: kimsgardendc.blogpost.com. Achievements to date include: 1) A memorandum of agreement with the Department of Parks and Recreation 2) Approval from ANC6B,  3) Approval from the Historic Preservation Office, 4) Fundraising campaign with 30 in-kind professional and 70 individual financial contributions received so far. Among the major donors are the National Capital Bank, Capitol Hill Community Foundation, Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the DC Arts and Humanities Commission. Most importantly, there have been thousands of hours logged by volunteers to the garden’s upstart phase.

Volunteers Needed for May 5th, Clean-up day!

Neighborhood volunteers are asked to come to Kim’s Garden on Saturday, May 5th, 10 am –  2 pm, to help clean up and weed the garden for the spring.  Installation of the native plant species  will occur beginning late fall 2012 through 2013 after an iron fence is installed. Permeable surface changes are also being addressed to address water runoff.

Financial contributions are critically important!

Funds for Kim’s Garden are dedicated solely for the site renovation. Contributions for the project may be received online via the group’s site, or you can mail a check to “Friends of Kim Brenegar”, C/o Care Company DC,  801 North Carolina Avenue, SE, Washington DC 20003. Donations In Honor Of… are welcome.

Your association with Kim’s Garden will provide an opportunity to be recognized in the history books for supporting a well-loved initiative on Capitol Hill – starting with a seed and blooming endlessly for all.

Kim’s Garden Key Objectives for 2012:

  • Willow Oak tree installation – February – accomplished
  • Daffodil bulbs planted by Daffodils for Dad – Farber family donation – accomplished
  • 1st phase irrigation infrastructure in place with soil amendments — spring
  • East side native plants installation — fall
  • Installation of wrought iron fence around plant beds, pending final approval by DPR –  late summer
  • Temporary signage in the garden of donors – fall
  • Recognition of all donors on our blog – ongoing
  • Permeable pavement project by DDOT’s Urban Forestry – late summer
  • Installation of the mosaic centerpiece – by late fall/early winter
  • First phase major donor campaign completed- early winter

Key Objectives for 2013:

  • Installation of native plants on west side of the park- spring
  • Signage improvements, including plants and donors
  • Second phase major donor campaign completed
  • Watering infrastructure improvements, if needed

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