In spite of several efforts at renovation, Walter C. Pierce Community Park in Adams Morgan remains a dusty pleateau of inactivity. While the sod has been rendered to dirt for a while, D.C. officials blocked off all use of the field two months ago following complaints that dirt was being kicked up into their homes.
The field there has a long history of neglect, interrupted every decade or so by half-hearted attempts to revive it. In 1994, a Virginia company volunteered to re-sod the patch of dirt. That went to waste. Then, in 2003, the city paid two contractors $215,620 to install a malfunctioning sprinker system that the city failed to maintain or fix, opting instead to allow the field to flood and the glass to die.
According to The Washington Post, there have been further complications.
Mindy Moretti, a nearby resident and advocate for the park, has sent e-mails since 2004 imploring the District to repair the field. It wasn't until this year, she said, parks officials cited a new reason for delaying plans for yet another renovation: Archaeologists searching for remnants of a 19th century burial ground first had to survey the field.
Which would be a fine excuse, except the archaeologists maintained that fixing the field wouldn't interfere with their work.
But the team's leader, Howard University anthropologist Mark Mack, said the District did not need to close off the field for the project, a decision that sent teams of soccer players searching for new playing venues. "The soccer actually did not disturb our work," he said.
Somehow, it's unlikely there will be soccer there disturbing his work anytime soon.