In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the Memorial Tree Groves Project was envisioned as a way to pay lasting tribute to the tragic events of that day. A collaboration between GreenSpaces for DC, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, and the US Forest Service, one central and eight ward-based neighborhood memorial tree groves were created for this project. Langdon Park was selected as the official Ward 5 grove by the steering committee of the citywide project because of the presence of a community recreation center, amphitheatre, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and a picnic area. At the time, the park had a number of potential uses, but was underutilized due to a certain amount of fear associated with a murder that had occurred in the park many years before. GreenSpaces for DC Director Barry Goodinson hoped that this project would invite more users into the park.

Goodinson planned for a community organizer to work with all of the newly designated satellite groves. Participatory design meetings and input from local stewards helped refine initial design concepts.