The vision for expansion announced by the Kennedy Center is exactly what is needed to integrate the arts center into the city [front page, Jan. 23]. This imaginative project will help create a continuous Potomac River park system from Georgetown to the Mall.

City leaders, residents and businesses also should be aware of a complementary endeavor just up river from the Kennedy Center: the Georgetown Waterfront Park, the largest addition to the national park system in the nation's capital in decades. Planning for this park began in the 1980s when land acquired for a defunct 1960s freeway system proposal became available. City officials unanimously supported transferring to the National Park Service 10 acres along the river from 31st Street to Key Bridge.

The focal point of this Potomac River park will be a plaza and fountain at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue. The park will link existing bike trails along the river to the Mall and beyond. It will provide a shoreline promenade within a green park and more opportunities for people to enjoy the river.

Six years ago, when it became apparent that limited federal funds would mean a long delay in completing the park, the Georgetown Waterfront Commission formed a partnership with the National Park Service to raise the needed money. With $3 million raised, we have initiated a capital campaign for an additional $9 million to construct this world-class park.

The park will encourage pedestrian traffic along the river to complement the already popular Washington Harbour gathering place at the river's edge. All interested citizens, businesses and organizations in this region can join our efforts to complete the overdue conversion of this industrial waterfront into a beautiful public space.



Georgetown Waterfront Commission