Westminster is a very diverse, friendly, and active neighborhood located in the heart of the greater Shaw neighborhood. Neighbors look out for each other and are always willing to help. If you have any questions, feel free to ask a Westminster neighbor or any of the WNA officers.
WNA is an incorporated 501(c)(3), District of Columbia, non-profit corporation representing approximately 165 households. Residents started meeting in 1994 to organize neighborhood projects and talk about ways to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. At that time, the neighborhood (defined as the area bordered by Ninth Street, S Street, T Street, and Tenth Street) had about 15 vacant, boarded up houses and a lively drug trade in the Westminster Playground and on the streets. The first big success for WNA was to secure the vacant houses when they were broken into by screwing plywood to all the doors and windows. After they were secured, the neighbors then planted 25 new trees on Westminster Street and built tree boxes for them in 1995. Those and related efforts encouraged the residents to continue working to improve the neighborhood.
WNA supported the designation of Greater U Street, including the WNA neighborhood, as an historic district in 1998. Over the years, and on an ongoing basis, WNA has organized and executed:
- Renovation of the Westminster Playground
- Boarding up of vacant properties
- Planting of trees (over 75 to-date), shrubs and flowers
- Brick sidewalk repair
- Placing house number plates on the rear of all houses so that the City emergency vehicles could find the house they needed from the alley.
- Graffiti abatement
- Building and maintenance of tree boxes
- Alley and street cleaning on weekly basis
- Monthly weed removal from sidewalks and alleys
- Playground maintenance, repair and nightly locking
- Trash can numbering on regular basis
- Art exhibitions
- Movie screenings
WNA also arranged a successful rat abatement program and, to keep the neighborhood rat free, purchased large garbage cans with lids for people in the community. The most ambitious WNA project was the renovation of the Westminster Playground for which WNA won a Committee of 100 Vision award in 2003.
At its monthly meetings, WNA provides a forum for neighbors and community organizers to share information about activities in the community. And, through block and holiday parties, WNA provides an opportunity for neighbors to get together in a social setting.
WNA is supported by members dues of $15 per year per household ($5 per year for seniors), plus 1 hour/month doing volunteer work A WNA lifetime membership is $100 and is good for as long as you own or live in the area. (It does not waive your 1 hour/month requirement to do volunteer work.)
WNA meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of every other month at 7 PM in the Westminster Playground (except Aug. & Dec.). If the weather is bad, the meetings are held in the basement of 922 Westminster.