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As the former director of Friendship Recreation Center, I thought it necessary to clarify a few points that appeared to be sort of lost in all of Loose Lips’ (7/20) heated rhetoric.
In my past capacity as director of Friendship, I have known John McCarthy and his family for many years. Simply put, in the absence of any concrete departmental guidelines in this area, McCarthy has been extremely generous and has personally embodied all the fine things we have tried to accomplish at the park. The fact that his camp is a financial success is a credit to what he brings to the table.
Their have been many groups who have contributed to the success and popularity of Friendship Park, to the extent that it has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine twice in the past 10 years. In addition to John, two others stand out: Northwest Washington Little League and the various ‘Friends of…’ groups.
Northwest Washington Little League started contributing to the park some 10 years ago, when there were but two beat-up fields. The city was not able financially to keep them up. Friendship, baseball, and Northwest Washington Little League have been inseparable in the past and will continue to be in the future.
Friends groups have been a part of Friendship for as long as I can remember. The first community advisory council in the city started at Friendship. It has operated under many different titles since. Mrs. McCarthy headed one several years back called the Friendship Beautification Committee. This very positive trend of community involvement continues today under the direction of the Friends of Friendship. As in John McCarthy’s camp, there really is a positive story there.
The Department of Parks and Recreation has been under fire in the Washington City Paper a few times this past year. Aside from the fact that there is a definite need for a more comprehensive policy regarding the permit system, I think that if the city gave this current administration an opportunity, they might be pleased. These type of changes don’t happen overnight. Changing the parks administration three times in the past three years has hardly been conducive to establishing some positive, consistent direction change.
Falls Church, Va.