Help protect park

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Washington officials took the right step when they decided to develop regulations that govern the use of Festival Park and its facilities and set fees for the use of the park and its amenities.

That decision came during the City Council’s meeting Monday.

The policy is needed to protect the investment the city, its taxpayers and others have in the waterfront park. And if a Sound Off item is accurate, somebody allowed his or her dogs to urinate on a column that’s part of the new pavilion. Such acts must be prohibited and punished when possible.

The city is investing a large amount of money in the project. Because of that, it’s no surprise that Phil Mobley, the city’s parks and recreation director, said during a council meeting in May the city must make sure that investment is protected.

Mobley’s right.

Washington residents have ownership in Festival Park because they helped plan it and pay for it. With that ownership, hopefully, comes a measure of pride — enough pride to make sure Festival Park is protected from abuse and properly maintained.

The new performance pavilion, the new picnic gazebo and Papa’s Playground, the children’s playground that honors the memory of Gary Tomasulo, a champion of downtown Washington who died in a tragic fall Labor Day 2009, that are visible are just the first pieces of the initial phases of the Festival Park project.

It’s your park. While taking pride in it, help protect it.