After a meeting last week on problems residents say exist in Lincoln Park, only one thing was clear - 23 trees will be planted in the six-acre park at East Capitol and 12th streets.
More than 50 persons met with Engene J. Colbert, superintendent of National Capital Parks East, to discuss ways the park should be used. The main topics of discussion were latenight and weekend noise in the park, which has prompted some residents to call police; whether jogging paths should be established through the park, and how to dispose of dog droppings.
"There are some hearty arguments in the park - about dogs and things like that," said Marguerite Gras, a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Park-Bryan Advisory Council, Inc., which arranged the assembly.
"That we all got here and talked about it - we're pleased. There were some good comments," said Colbert, who has been on the job for less than a year and who is preparing guidelines for park use.
Colbert labeled the park "a hot one" because of the numerous clashes at the park by its users.
Joel Truitt, a member of the advisory council board of directors who lives at 1126 E. Capitol St., said, "It's an important public forum.People said what they had to stay and he (Colbert) recorded what people had to say."
Some of those attending the meeting complained that the gathering had become a gripe session rather than a meeting with an organized agenda.
"I'm having trouble figuring out what the focus of this meeting is," said one woman, who was with her dog. "Whatever the policies of this park are, I don't know because there is no consistent enforcement policy."
Eleman Queen, of 218 9th St. SE., who said he'd lived at that address for 26 years, also complained of inconsistency in the administration of the park. "There isn't any noise in the park," he said. "They see black people in the park at night, they get afraid. They run home and get the police."
Other residents said, however, that noise was a problem late at night and on weekends when religious and other groups use public address systems.
"The biggest problem is when it gets so loud we can't have guests over or watch TV in our living room," said Hazel Keinheider, who attended with her husband, Bob. Their home for 15 years is on Kentucky Avenue, less than a block from the park.
Hazel Keinheider said "things are better," but she could remember only a couple months ago when there were "bongos going bang, bang, bang under my window at midnight and one o'clock and I had to get up at five."
Colbert's opposition to jogging paths in the park met with outrage from some participants Colbert said if paths were cut through the park it would limit several aspects of park use, and that the joggers would run through the rest of the park anyway.
The long-running dog dispute has eased, many residents agreed, when compared with several years ago when residents say canine defecation badly polluted the park. Still, there is disagreement whether dogs should be walked on a leash, which is currently the policy, and whether their droppings should be disposed of in the park trash cans or somewhere outside the park.
Several persons charged that police frequently issued tickets in the morning for walking dogs without a leash. While patrolmen seldom intervened with drugs and alcohol use at night.
The 23 trees will be planted in a move requested by the neighborhood council. They will replace three dead and nine sickly trees in the park, council board member Truitt said.