The night the lights went out at Gravelly

Written by - Posted 2007-10-26 15:19 in News

From the Desk of Commissioner Gallaway

“Dear Sir or Madam.”

The formality and lack of a personal nature caused my senses to prepare for bad news immediately. I’d received several notices from the United States Department of the Interior over the last few seasons. Usually a confirmation of the permit to engage in organized sports activity, in this case wiffleball, at one of the National Park Service managed properties, in this case Gravelly Point, part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Park.

This form letter, however, was different. It was notifying me that the last thing that was right about America was about to change. It was shattering not only my hopes and dreams, but taking away something that has become so much a part of the lives of close to 60 people.

Starting January 5, 2008, weekend sports activities at Gravelly Point will only be permitted from 6 AM to 9 AM.

No, that’s not a type-o…three short hours, 180 minutes, and quite possibly the worst 180 minutes of the day. For league that plays from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, the new rule is a death certificate.

6 AM to 9 AM? What are we, paper boys?

After the initial shock, the anger started to set in. Though we have not been using them, the park clearly has defined sports fields. They have goal posts for crying out loud. Goal posts equal sports activities. How can you limit the time of use for sports to just 8.3% of the available time, when it’s clear that 100% of the field was designed for sports use.

League prune Coby Rudolph was speechless.

While we do not know where we will play wiffleball in just over 4 months, we do know that we can’t let Gravelly Point go down without a fight. We can’t just stand by and let some glorified Park Ranger take away the rights to use the land that we…as Americans…own.

We must all take action to Save Gravelly Point from the picnicers and kite flyers and sun bathers who want to kick us out!

How can you help? Take one of the three actions below, and help us Save Gravelly Point!

  • Sign the Petition to Save Gravelly PointSign this petition to Park Supervisor David Vela asking him to reconsider the rule change.
  • Send an Email to the Park ServiceUse this link to send an email to Ranger Deborah Deas asking her to stop the rule change at Gravelly Point.
  • Call the Park Service – Call 703-289-2513 and speak with Ranger Deborah Deas and ask her to stop the rule change at Gravelly Point.

Take action today to help us Save Gravelly Point!

Read the Letter from the Park Service

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