Situated as we are, it’s easy for Forest Hills to be defined by what we’re not—Cleveland Park or Chevy Chase. Those of us who live here, however, know that Forest Hills has its own personality, its own history, its own characteristics, and plenty of its own characters. For many decades, it has also had its own Citizens Association. This will surprise many readers, because the FHCA has been in a state of semi-dormancy for some years. There are lots of reasons for its decline but as our lives get ever busier, more compartmentalized and digitized, it seems our need for community life has never been stronger. There’s no need to build it from scratch. The FHCA is ready to take on new life.
What’s the best way to build community and along with it rebuild the Citizens Association? It begins with getting a feeling for who we are and what we do. And that has to happen from the ground up. There’s no shortage of ingredients in Forest Hills for a vibrant community life. In fact, there’s already quite a lot of community activity. But it happens in small pockets, in separate endeavors, unique initiatives and assorted clubs and groups. We have no community center or other physical space to learn about these things or each other. We think the Forest Hills Connection is going to be a great vehicle to do just that.
The Connection is the brainchild of Marlene Berlin, who if you don’t know her, is one of those people devoted full time to making life better both in our own neighborhood and in the city overall. She is never short of good ideas and the FHCA was very pleased to contribute financially to this one and to offer it a home.
We should think of Forest Hills Connection as a community pool—you can enjoy the action from the comfort of a chair, dangle your toes in the water or plunge right in! I’m delighted that so many of our neighbors have already taken the plunge.
Forest Hills Citizens Association