IN FOND AND LOVING MEMORY
Arthur H. Fawcett, Jr.
September 1929 - November 23, 2008
Arthur “Chip” H. Fawcett, Jr., president of Washington Parks & People for 12 years and a leader in DC parks, recreation, and planning for the better part of half a century, died at Noon yesterday, November 23, 2008, of pneumonia. He was 79 years old. He was surrounded by close family and friends at his passing.
An attorney with unsurpassed experience in DC planning and park revitalization, Chip worked as a planner for the National Capital Planning Commission beginning in the 1950’s, and later served as chief of policy and planning for the DC Department of Parks and Recreation for more than a decade. He also served as co-chair of the Transition Sub-Committee on Parks and Recreation for both Mayors Anthony Williams and Adrian Fenty.
In 1992, Chip co-founded the Friends of District of Columbia Parks and Recreation which he presided over for six years before consolidating its operations with Friends of Meridian Hill to found Washington Parks & People in November of 1998.
Under Chip’s leadership, Washington Parks & People built a reputation as one of America’s leading city parks partnerships, helping to transform such diverse, once forgotten parks across the city as Marvin Gaye Park in Far Northeast DC, Oxon Run Park in Far Southeast, and Meridian Hill/ Malcolm X Park in Columbia Heights. Since it began work ten years ago, Parks & People developed and opened two centers for community park revitalization, the Josephine Butler Parks Center and the Riverside Center; advocated for increased public and private parks investment; helped launch community park partnerships across the capital, and mobilized over 100,000 volunteers for park reclamation in every corner of the capital.
Chip was strong until the end – a gentle soul yet valiant and lifelong leader for the parks and people of the capital. He never did anything because it looked good or sounded good, but only if it was genuinely the good and right thing to do. We can think of no leader in DC who was as able as Chip to put aside his own ego to keep his eyes on the prize.
Chip’s family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to Washington Parks & People. This simple act moves us beyond words – one last act of generosity from a life that will go on giving to the people and parks of Washington for generations to come.
In fond and loving memory of our dear friend,