Purpose: The project web site states that “the Memorial Tree Groves Project will pay lasting tribute to the tragic events of September 11, 2001 with one central and eight ward-based neighborhood memorial tree groves." This is one of the eight neighborhood groves that will be created both to remember September 11 and to celebrate the community that surrounds it. Reason site was selected: Upshur Park was selected as the official Ward 4 grove by the steering committee of the citywide project because of the Friends of Upshur Park's proposal, which highlighted the fact that the park is surrounded by four schools and senior housing. Their USFS proposal states, "it provides a range of active and passive recreational opportunities for its mixed income neighborhood." Upon surveying the site, GreenSpaces for DC Director Barry Goodinson noted that the hill causes the park to function like "two different parks," in that "the area doesn't really announce itself and isn't visible from the street." There is currently only a small, bramble-choked access way on the side that leads to the top of the hill. Due to this poor access and poor visibility, there is some amount of gang activity and loitering that occurs, especially after the park closes at 9pm, said Upshur Recreation Center Assistant Director Lyndon Debellotte. GreenSpaces for DC, the Parks Department, the Friends of group, and the Recreation center: all hope to improve access, safety, and the landscape through this living memorial project. To do so, they will need to secure an easement through the property on the opposite side and to continue to work with all of the surrounding neighbors and park users.
Events planned for site: Goodinson is planning for a community organizer who can help work with all of the pending satellite groves. All the sites are currently being surveyed to create base maps for initial site analysis and design concepts. Eventually, as the projects grow, there will be participatory design meetings, community plantings, dedications, and possibly ongoing events. The project remains to be shaped by the local stewards in concert with GreenSpaces for DC and the parks department. It is clear that the Upshur Park project has grown beyond just a small grove to include larger and necessary capital improvements for the park.