Nonprofit Group Buys Former Embassy

Washington Parks and People, a network of neighborhood groups dedicated to revitalizing inner-city parks, has announced the purchase of the old Hungarian embassy on 15th Street NW to create a permanent headquarters for itself and office space for other nonprofit organizations in the District.

The 21,000-square-foot Renaissance Revival building is at 2437 15th St. NW, next to Meridian Hill Park. The acquisition will be completed by the end of July, said Steve Coleman, executive director of Washington Parks and People. It will be named the Josephine Butler Parks Center for a woman who was once co-chairman of Friends of Meridian Hill, which helped reclaim Meridian Hill Park (also known as Malcolm X Park) from disrepair and drug dealers in cooperation with U.S. Park Police and the National Park Service.

The four-story building, selling for $1.1 million, was last occupied by Hungarian diplomats in 1977 and subsequently housed law firms, nonprofit groups and apartments. It has been vacant since last year.

Pilot Project to Train Community Leaders

The District has been chosen as one of 13 communities to participate in a pilot program designed to attract more than 1,000 new staff members and volunteers to the community development field.

The Community Development Support Collaborative received $440,000, which is part of a five-year, $8 million Human Capital Development Initiative--the largest recruitment and training program of its kind in the nonprofit sector.

The initiative is funded by the Ford Foundation, the National Community Development Initiative and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It will use resources to aid programs already established. These include the Emerging Leaders Program, which brings 50 to 85 college students from around the country to learn about the field; the Public Policy Internship Program for graduate students to get on-the-job experience; the Community Development Leadership Association, which shares information on job postings and other community development resources with alumni of the student recruitment programs; and the Community Development Career Guide.

Asthma Camp Applications Available

Applications are now available for the American Lung Association of the District of Columbia's Camp Happy Lungs--a camp for children with asthma who are ages 7 to 14.

The six-day camp will be July 25 to 30 at the Patuxent 4-H Campground in Upper Marlboro. Topics covered at the camp include proper use of medication, peak-flow meters, asthma triggers, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.

Physicians, nurses and other trained personnel specializing in asthma will be on-call 24 hours a day.

Selection of campers--who must have asthma and be District residents--is based on medical and other relevant criteria and the availability of space. For an application and more information, call the American Lung Association of the District of Columbia at 202-682-5864.