Favorite Neighborhood Spot: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center

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Favorite Neighborhood Spot: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center

This community hub, Blair Mushala writes, is a standout spot in Brookland for D.C. residents of all ages

It’s address is 1100 Michigan Avenue NE, but you can see it from all the way down 10th or 11th Streets. The name is only visible once you walk upon it, but everyone in the neighborhood knows Turkey Thicket Park and Recreation center, affectionately known as “The Rec." It is a large inclusive space, with huge windows and contains a lot to do. People can come by bus, walking or Metro; the closest Metro station is Brookland. This is the route I usually take, the walk from Brookland is less than 5 minutes. That means this recreation center is extremely accessible to the community.

In March 2014, Turkey Thicket Park got a full makeover and several amenities added. There are both indoor and outdoor amenities/activities. The current outdoor attractions include: a basketball court, a baseball field, a track for walking and/or running, a playground, covered picnic areas, with tables, seating, and mini grills, tennis courts, and a spray park. For a list of all of the amenities, the community is encouraged to visit the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Turkey Thicket Recreation Center provides useful equipment for all ages to enjoy. If one doesn’t like the outdoors, like several of my friends, the indoor recreational facility is perfect. It is large and spacious inside of Turkey Thicket recreation facility. It includes a gym, complete with a full-service weight room, toddler room, which larger families love to visit. The weight room is often always occupied with adults eager to break a sweat. The computer lab and indoor pool are where most people of all ages go to hang out.

The pool is the most popular attraction at Turkey Thicket. It is utilized by almost everyone, it's one of the hidden gems and the most fun. Not only do you get in a good workout, but you can also visit any time of the year. Oftentimes you see the swim teams practice as well as the elderly participating in water exercising activities, even young kids splashing around the shallow ends of the pool. The community, including me, LOVES the pool.

The basketball court and outdoor spray park are two of my favorite pastimes when I visit The Rec. Several boys and girls gather at the basketball court and play for hours on end. The spray park opens at 10 a.m.  All ages of kids, from teens to toddlers enjoy running through the water and being carefree in the atmosphere, in general. We always have a great time. 

Turkey Thicket Recreation center hasn't made too much history yet. It's less than 20 years old and was built in early 2005. Although it's a necessarily more modern D.C. landmark that doesn't take away from its rich culture and exciting resources.

Sydney Mushala, a senior in Highschool and a member of the community said she's been visiting Turkey Thicket since she was young, way before the renovations back in 2014. She said she remembers Turkey Thicket as being a small but lively park. She also recalls it was equipped with a sandbox, monkey bars and a metal slide for the kids. Even though turkey thicket did not offer much during this time, she believes it was still a fun and enjoyable experience every time she would visit the park. She reminisced about  how many of the kids enjoyed the slide most of all and how they would form lines for who gets to go next because all the kids believed it was the best part of the park experience. She was reminded of how it always closed by sundown and that everyone would be eager to return for yet another great day at Turkey Thicket Park.

Turkey Thicket, located in Brookland NE is a lively community with a number of brilliant authors.  These authors include Sterling Allen Brown, Edward Brooke, Ellis O. Knox, Rayford W. Logan and even Pearl Bailey whose books you can find in your local DC Public Library.

Turkey Thicket Park and Recreation center is appreciated by the whole community. Supplemental information can also be found online here

Header image is from DP + Partners, LLC