William C. Smith & Co., along with Fannie Mae, community organizations, and residents of Ward 8, brought together 800 volunteers to rejuvenate 25 acres of Oxon Run Park in Southeast Washington, DC in a day-long event on May 31, 2007.
The park, with natural resources to rival any other riparian area in the District of Columbia, suffered from years of neglect and had become overgrown with non-native, invasive vegetation.
Basketball courts were cracked and lacked backboards, nets and striping; horseshoe pits were crumbling; an amphitheatre sat rotting; picnic shelters had been vandalized. Two pedestrian bridges were covered with barbed wire, vines and graffiti. One section of the park had been appropriated as a neighborhood dumping ground.
Smith Co. began work on the park six weeks in advance of the volunteer day to remove trash and invasive plant material, and lay the beds for walking trails. During that time, company personnel hosted community meetings to solicit resident input and held playground design days at neighborhood schools. On May 31st, the full volunteer contingent:
- Rebuilt the amphitheatre and wired it for electricity
- Built three new regulation-sized horseshoe pits
- Rebuilt two picnic pavilions and added benches throughout the park
- Refurbished the basketball courts
- Removed 600’ of unsightly chain link fence
- Built a nature path and installed mosaic stepping stones
- Raked and seeded five acres of woodland
- Removed debris and vegetation from the culvert
- Planted four fern gardens, 55 flowering trees, black-eyed susans and liriope
- Built a state-of-the-art, ADA compliant playground
This first phase of the project represents $750,000 in improvements from private investors in neighborhood infrastructure. The park is once again safe and beautiful, and it has brought residents out of their homes to enjoy recreation and socializing. William C. Smith + Co. committed to the maintenance of the park and to further improvements and enhancements.