The little park tucked behind WAMU’s headquarters at Connecticut Avenue and Windom Place got three new benches in mid-November, and it started with a donation from the daughter of longtime Forest Hills residents.
Eve Berman wanted to honor the memory of her father, Harold Berman, “who traversed the alleyways and trails up to Connecticut or Wisconsin Avenue and along the way would sit on a bench or a wall and say ‘hello’ or wave to those who passed by… wondering who would say ‘hello’ back.”
Improving Windom Park had been focus of the ANC 3F’s Van Ness Vision Committee, and last fall Commissioner Mary Beth Ray’s son Alex gave the park a major facelift for his Eagle Scout project. But the decrepit benches remained. Eve Berman called Commissioner Ray to offer to donate a bench in memory of her father.
Ray got to work. Over nine months, she enlisted Sally Gresham, the chair of the Van Ness Main Street Design Committee, to choose the benches. American University’s Director of Community Relations Andrew Huff and Council member Mary Cheh got AU to allocate another $5,000 for two more benches and other park improvements. The university also installed the benches.
Eve Berman, who grew up on Ellicott Street and now lives in Hawaii, and her mother Barbara, who resides in the Van Ness apartments, are delighted with the bench and the responsiveness of Commissioners Ray and Gresham in spearheading this project.
Berman invites people to enjoy the park like her mother does now with her friends. “Stop by, sit in the spirit of my father; Love nature, sit quietly, watch life… and say hello and wave to your neighbors. It will make him happy.”