About

Facilities

  • 5,000 square foot recreation center
  • Community room for fitness classes
  • Co-op nursery school
  • Arts and Crafts room
  • Ping pong and Foosball
  • 4 baseball/softball fields
  • 3 batting cages
  • 2 tennis courts
  • Outdoor basketball court
  • Tot lot for kids ages 0-6
    • Swings
    • Sandbox
    • Slides
    • Climbing structures

  • Tween playground for ages 6-12
    • Climbing globe
    • Mini Zip line
    • Twirling device
  • ”Sprayground” water feature
  • Multiple picnic areas
  • Chess/Checker tables

  • Community garden (across Van Ness)
    • Garden plots for rent
    • Community compost
    • Bee hives

Friends Group

Friends of Friendship “Turtle” Park is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit group that puts on beloved events at Friendship “Turtle” Park, beautifies the park with spring and fall cleanup days, and acts as an advocate for the community in obtaining desired programming at the park’s recreation center. We are your liaison with the District Department of Parks and Recreation and work to make Turtle Park even better for all. The FOFP board meets regularly in the recreation center, usually on the third Wednesday of the month at 7pm. Our meetings are open to the public. For a copy of our minutes, email President@TurtlePark.Org.

Friends of Friendship Park has had a handful of long-serving presidents over the years. We have special memories of FOFP president Karen Rosenthal, who made a huge impact on the park during her life and died in 2007. We are an all-volunteer board of 15 and cannot do it all alone! We need you! We welcome neighbors to support the park by joining one of our committees or volunteering at one of our events.

Events
Friends of Friendship Park puts on special events at the park roughly monthly.
The events we put on delight local kids and make our big city feel like a small town. All of our events are free, except for Mayfair, our one annual fundraiser. In addition to Mayfair, events include our Egg Hunt, Ice cream Social, Jazz Project, Halloween movie, Toy and Can Drive —and more. We want and need volunteers for our events. You can volunteer for as little as an hour or as much as a day. Tasks include setup, cleanup, refilling water jugs, selling T-shirts, and so on. If you would like to volunteer, please email Volunteer@TurtlePark.org.

History
Friends of Friendship Park was established in 1997 in an effort to rescue a then-deteriorating neighborhood gem. At the time, the park was at risk of demise, with equipment deemed unsafe. FOFP was the “mother” of all other DC Park “Friends” arrangements. It was the first-ever neighborhood group to negotiate with the District government to officially adopt a local park. Dozens of other groups have emulated our friends model over the years. Turtle Park has come a long way. Today our biggest challenge is motivating community members to get involved with the park and keep it thriving.

Renovation
Friendship “Turtle” Park underwent an $8 million dollar renovation between 2015 and 2017. The goal was to transform Turtle Park into a year-round facility with enough indoor space to offer vibrant programming in the winter, as a complement to the fabulous outdoor space enjoyed the rest of the year. Previously, our building was a deteriorating post World War II structure with just 1,500 square feet of space. Our old playground, though beloved, was deemed unsafe by modern standards. The DC Department of General Services renovated the Turtle Park tot lot —but preserved the iconic concrete turtles— and also added a “tween” playground for older kids. Check out this amazing time lapse video of our renovation, courtesy of Greg Crist.

Baseball
With our four beautiful diamonds, Turtle Park is known citywide as the home of Northwest Little League. it is also the site of Home Run Baseball camp from June through August. Neighbors have grown accustomed to the sounds of the National Anthem, played for campers on early summer mornings.

In June of 2014, President Barack Obama made an unannounced stop at Turtle Park, talking with young baseball players ] and taking a few practice tosses. That was a one-time event, but every year Northwest Little League organizes an autograph session where members of the Washington Nationals visit Turtle Park and interact with aspiring players. In 2014, Northwest Little League added a girls’ softball team to its program.

The Basics

Address/Phone:
4500 Van Ness St NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 282-2198

Hours of Operation:
Indoors: Noon-8pm, Monday-Friday (Saturday by permit only)
Outdoors: Sunrise to Sunset

Getting Here:
Metro: Tenleytown (Red Line) Turtle Park is a 15 minutes walk from the Tenley station.

The Name:
DPR calls our park “Friendship Recreation Center.” But kind of like your kid sister who gave you a funny nickname, we have one too! Children have always called our park “Turtle Park” because of the giant turtles that have graced the park from the beginning. Now everyone calls it Turtle Park! Friends of Friendship “Turtle” Park worked hard to make sure the city preserved the turtles during our renovation. Fortunately, they’re indestructible —and they’re back!