The nonprofit that has been organizing cleanups, concerts and other events at Forest Hills Park is preparing to dissolve unless more people join its board. Friends of Forest Hills Playground sent a letter to the community (see below) on Tuesday, June 4th stating that the board would begin winding down operations after June 30th, but that its members would prefer not to.
The friends group performs a vital service: staying on top of maintenance requests and making sure the park remains in good shape and enjoyable for all ages. For example, in 2017, a heavy scoop attached to the sandbox at Forest Hills Playground broke a child’s finger. Friends of Forest Hills Playground brought the issue to DGS’s attention and got it removed. Rats took up residence under the decking in the southwest corner of the playground. Yellow jackets built a nest nearby. Again, FOFHP made sure the city flagged these as urgent matters and took action.
Since it was established in the 1930s, the playground at 32nd and Chesapeake Streets has seen a number of advocacy groups come and go. A history of the park indicates that in the years between active watchdogs, the playground would fall into disrepair, inspiring a new group of parents to take up the cause. The current Friends of Forest Hills Playground would like to skip that step and facilitate a smooth transition from the current board to the next.
Interested? Need more information? Read the letter below and contact firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th.
Friends of Forest Hills Playground-End of an Era?
Friends of Forest Hills Playground and Neighbors:
Without your help, the Friends of Forest Hills Playground will start the process of dismantling the group at the end of this month.
The current Board of the Friends of Forest Hills Playground has enjoyed many years (some more, some less) planning events and advocating for a clean and safe playground for the neighborhood to enjoy. But with all of our kids in elementary school and moving to middle school, the time has come to pass the torch! We all joined the Board when our kids were infants and toddlers and the playground was our “go to” place. If this describes you, then you belong on the Board!
The Friends of FHP is a volunteer based group that functions as a liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreation and the community. While technically DPR is required to maintain all its parks and playground facilities, the Friends groups throughout the city can assist in getting concerns and needs heard. It is also the group to organize playground events like the clean ups, summer concert series, and the Halloween party (aka the Spooktacular). Did you know the Forest Hills neighborhood has carried on a Halloween tradition in some form for decades? The Spooktacular has been part of that tradition.
If you’ve enjoyed any of those events or appreciated quicker than expected responses from the city on playground maintenance issues (e.g., yellow jacket nests, broken equipment), you have the Friends group to thank. However, in order to keep any or all of those events going, we need NEW users, current members and other neighbors to take over and join the Board.
Without expressed interest, we will begin winding down in June (which, sadly, means taking apart a very healthy and organized non-profit). If you are interested in joining or finding out more, please email email@example.com by June 30th. We are happy to answer questions and help with a smooth transition. It is a low-commitment, low-stress, easily organized group and we hope it will continue! It would be a shame to lose what we think is an important group – the park is near-pristine compared to parks without a Friends group (great for real estate values) and is one of the few groups in the neighborhood that brings together the community with a common interest.
If your family no longer uses the park, please work on recruiting your friends and neighbors!