Chevy Chase Citizens Association: July 5, 2017

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The Chevy Chase Community Center is located at Connecticut Avenue and McKinley Street NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/January 2017)

Over the past year, seniors in our area have been pressing for more activities and services at the Chevy Chase Community Center.

After many discussions but little conclusive action, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, which manages the building at Connecticut Avenue and McKinley Street NW, has agreed to hold a public meeting at the center. It will start at 12:30 p.m. July 11 to gather more public feedback before the agency decides which improvements are feasible.

Critics charge that the D.C. government has done much more for seniors in other parts of the city, such as providing public recreation facilities with a variety of exercise equipment — something that is lacking in Chevy Chase. Recently, however, Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh obtained funds in the city’s budget to hire a staff member at the facility who will specialize in programs for seniors.

Last week Randy Speck, chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G (Chevy Chase), discussed ideas at an informal meeting with seniors who use the facility. Some said they would like to see more opportunities for art to decorate the center, as well as an art room in which seniors could keep their supplies. Others contend that the center should offer a wider variety of exercise classes, including some less-intensive activities for those who are unable to keep up with the level now being offered.

Other suggestions included a large bulletin board to inform seniors of lectures, trips and other programs; technical advice for seniors on how to use computers and other electronic devices; meditation classes; better security to prevent thefts; and a dedicated room for seniors.

John Stokes, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s deputy director for community engagement, told us that the agency is taking the senior programming issue very seriously.

“While we received feedback on general programming at the center during a DPR Town Hall meeting last summer, the meeting being held on July 11 is meant to focus on senior programming,” he said. “We appreciate the comments we have received thus far regarding senior programming ideas and will incorporate them into the larger senior programming meeting.”

— Ted Gest