‘We’re thriving in this community’: Bowser, neighborhood celebrate Arboretum Community Center

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Arboretum neighborhood, residents witnessed the grand opening of a new northeast D.C. community center that “has been a long time coming.”

Flanked by Mayor Muriel Bowser, vying for a third term as chief executive, and Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, one ANC commissioner lauded the community’s work despite social barriers.

“I thank you so much for always being there to make sure you spoke up for this community where they said that nobody lived — but we do,” ANC commissioner Jacqueline Manning said. “We’re thriving in this community. We’re a hidden secret, and we’re going to continue to be that way. A safe, hidden neighborhood.”

The 8,000-square-foot community center was originally built in the 1960s, according to a release announcing the ceremony. After receiving a $10.8 million renovation, the center grew to host a fitness center, tech lounge, garden, outdoor patio, amphitheater, and more.

“When you have worked on a design and then you’re able to deliver a project to the community that the community has been asking for — it’s a joyous experience,” Mayor Bowser said during the ceremony.

The Arboretum Community Center was added to the historic registry in 2019 by the District’s office for planning and historic preservation. Visitors can enter the center at 2412 Rand Place, NE, across from the U.S. National Arboretum.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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