Photo by PoPville flickr user John Reinhardt
Bummer for volleyball players. From NBC Washington:
“Now he and hundreds of other players will have to pay a $30, non-refundable fee online for two hours of play and reserve a court.”
“The sand volleyball courts next to the Lincoln Memorial are Washington D.C.’s most valuable public volleyball resource. If you have been there, you know that individual players, teams, and friends of all ages and experience levels are welcome to play at the open-access courts FOR FREE, whenever they want. For the past 40 years, hundreds have played each week as soon as the weather is warm (and sometimes even when it’s not!).
All of this has changed. With one policy, passed virtually in secret in March, the National Park Service made all courts, all days, all year, available for leagues to rent. And, they have been rented. In a few short days, almost all weekdays after work have been gobbled up by for- and non-profit leagues, meaning our wonderful culture of open-access-to-all volleyball is gone.
This is the sale of a national park to companies, and the price is steep. (Renting a campsite for a whole night in Yosemite National Park during peak season costs $4 less than the cost of renting one sand volleyball court for two hours.) Now, each of us has to pay leagues to play on the courts at a higher price than the cost of a permit. No more after-work doubles. What’s shocking is the sand and nets on these courts were already purchased and put in place with the pick-up sand volleyball community’s own money and sweat equity, and the National Parks Service has made no concrete promises to maintain the courts in our place.
So, in what seems to be a direct contradiction to its mission to preserve outdoor recreation resources for future generations, the NPS undermined the equal opportunity of both locals and visitors of all ages, incomes and backgrounds to stay fit and healthy and enjoy our capital’s most valuable volleyball resource.
Does this seem like a good idea to you? Do you want to keep this amazing resource open to all? Sign the petition below, and help us send a message to the National Park Service:
THE COURTS ARE PUBLIC PARKS, AND THEY BELONG TO EVERYONE! DON’T KILL D.C. BEACH VOLLEYBALL!
Please share this petition with friends and family! Also, contact the National Park Service directly: the Acting Superintendent of the National Malls and Memorial Parks, Ms. Karen Cucurullo, at [email protected] or call 202-245-4670; and the Chief of Permits, Ms. Robbin Owen, at [email protected], or pick up the phone and call Mr. Leonard Lee, at 202-245-4715.”