The donation will help fund the Environmental Education Center. 

Washington, D.C.'s southeastern neighborhoods, Anacostia and Fairlawn, are divided from the city by the Anacostia River, and the new 11th Street bridge elevated park project hopes to bridge that gap. Literally.

Elexon, who are owned by Pepco, recently donated $5 million to the project. The money is earmarked for developing a 280-seat amphitheater, public plaza, and hammock grove (can you imagine?) within the park, as well as jump-starting the Elexon Environmental Education Center, which will provide plenty of learning opportunities for kids about the river and environment.  

The center will provide science-based courses Monday through Friday in both indoor and outdoor classrooms that can hold up to 90 children. It will also hold evening events for adults.

The focus for the entire park project is to bring the divided neighborhoods together, improve the health of the residents, restore attention and care to the Anacostia River, and improve and gather businesses on both sides of the bridge. Almost a mile and a half long, the elevated park will also feature a café, an urban agricultural area, a green space, a multi-generational playground, and more – sounds like a fun place to hang out! In addition, there will be paved paths along the park for walking, jogging, and exercising.

Here is a sneak peek! 

Bridge Walkway

Pier

“We hope this community investment inspires other companies, individuals, and foundations to recognize the enormous potential that this new public space will have to literally and metaphorically bridge D.C.,” said William Von Hoene, Jr., Exelon’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer in a press release.

We think the project will meet that goal and bring the communities together! 

While the elevated park is an exciting and innovating way for locals to come together, construction is not expected to begin anytime soon. The project cost is estimated at $139 million, and only $119 million has been raised so far with this recent donation.  

The design is expected to be completed in time for construction to begin in 2021. The project should be fully complete by 2023 – a long road ahead for a very rewarding addition! 

**All photos courtesy of OMA*OLIN

What are your thoughts on this project? Do you think it's a positive gathering place for the community? Are you excited to begin using the elevated park? Tell us in the comments!