Stead Park was established by a private bequest from Robert Stead for the specific purpose of creating a playground for the children of Washington, DC, in memory of his late wife, Mary Force Stead. It is a public park administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) with a small staff, and it is financially supported in part by funding from a private trust also created by Robert Stead. Stead Park is composed of a playground, basketball courts, a multi-use playing field, picnic areas, splash park, performance stag and indoor recreation facilities.
Friends of Stead Park (FOSP) is an organization of neighborhood residents who recognize that Stead Park’s founding and primary purpose is to serve the children of Washington, DC while also seeing the park’s great potential as a broader resource for education, recreation and community cohesion. We believe Stead Park should be optimized to offer the best opportunities for broad community uses. We work to offer a safe, attractive and engaging place to draw members of the community together.
To this end, FOSP spearheaded a community effort to redesign the playground in 2008 and the playing field in 2014. For every update to parts of the park, we sought broad community input in the planning and the design phases. The field design—approved by families, sport leagues, neighbors and other users of the park—was approved by DPR with city and some private funding to make them a reality. The new configuration of Stead Park is more open and integrated with the adjacent residential and commercial neighborhood.
Mission: The mission of Friends of Stead Park is to work with the neighborhood, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and all others who use Stead Park, to create and maintain a safe, attractive environment for play and implement appropriate programming for children and adults.
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Friends of Stead Park Board Members
Kishan Putta—Vice President
Sarah Rabin Spira—Secretary
Charles Carroll Carter
Whayne S. Quin, Esq.—Counsel
Chris Dorment—Chair Emeritus
Vashti Smith, Director of Programming and Operations