Provide a Family Nursery in Nationals Park
This petition made change with 819 supporters!
Please note: As of April 10, 2015, revisions have been made to the wording of this petition to address the positive feedback for the inclusiveness of all family members and caregivers that supporters have offered.
We are petitioning the Washington Nationals organization to consider improvements to Nationals Park which provide for a comfortable and accessible Family Nursery space.
Currently, the park invites mothers to use the Reagan Conference Room as an option to nurse or bottle-feed while attending games, however this function appears to be an unofficial and unregulated use of the room. As such, other patrons currently are permitted to use the conference room for any variety of reasons, e.g., to make cell phone calls or take a break from being outside. Additionally, there is a possibility that there will be times this space may not be open to families during game time if it has been reserved for other private functions. Therefore, not only is the Reagan Conference Room not a space specifically sanctioned for use as a Mother's Room or Family Suite, it also is not always available during game time. From an amenity standpoint, this conference room currently provides no option for families to continue to enjoy the game while they are in the room. An example of this was experienced during Opening Day on April 6, 2015, when the TV displays in this room were turned off, and staff had no knowledge as to how to turn them on. Furthermore, there was no air system turned on in the Reagan Conference Room. This created a stuffy and warm space on a hot day, and necessitated the doors to be open for air movement. Requiring that the doors be open for ventilation of course undermines the basic privacy for which the room should be intended.
The Washington Nationals official website also offers the option to families of using the park's Family Restrooms for the purpose of feeding infants, however no seating is provided in these areas, and therefore the Family Restrooms are not a safe or sanitary space for feeding a baby. The family restrooms also offer no outlets and therefore are not an option for a mother who needs to pump her breast milk in order to continue lactation.
We realize it is not mandated by law that your facility provide any accommodations, however we implore the organization to consider the fans and their families who love coming to games with their nursing and bottle-fed babies, but do not want to be isolated from enjoying a game we have paid a ticket to see. Additionally, for mothers who may be away from their children for the extended period that a game lasts, it would be courteous for the Washington Nationals organization to provide a space for pumping mothers to take a break in a private, sanitary space to express milk as necessary while attending a baseball game.
An ideal sanctioned Family space in Nationals Park would be ADA-compliant and include:
- Comfortable armchairs for the nursing and bottle-feeding parent
- Outlets for plugging in breast pumps
- Counter space for diaper changing
- A sink, trash cans, possibly lockers for renting
- HVAC temperature maintained at a level which would be comfortable in a Dressing Room type of environment
- Possible adjacency to the children's play area
- Privacy from the passing crowd
- Display and sound of the live baseball game
We compel the Washington Nationals organization to consider this upgraded amenity to Nationals Park in order to better provide the team's fans with an experience and accommodations to be expected from a family-friendly organization.
(Image, via flipperman75 flickr)
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