Help Us Help You

Dear Director Vogel and Superintendent Vietzke,

I’m here to add my plea to the growing number of November Project (NP) DC members who desperately want to continue to meet at the Lincoln Memorial and all of the other amazing parks in our city. But for this letter, rather than talk about my story and about how NP has helped me (believe me, I could write pages about that and it wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful as the words written by other members), I’d instead like to talk about how NP can help you. And how NP can help your parks. And how NP can help this city. And how, through tribes spread across the country and even across oceans, NP can help the world. Yes — I realize that sounds dramatic, but I really can’t express the positive impact of this group and these people without worlds and phrases exactly like that. The benefits of the outdoor recreation in which we partake every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are so significant, that only dramatic language will do.

“The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” — National Park Service

I think it would be tough to find many people in the District who know the parks better than us. In the roughly 10 months I have been attending workouts, I have learned more about this city than I did in two years prior. In fact, I would be willing to bet that I now know more about the city and its hidden park gems than many of the people who have lived in DC much, much longer than I have. With this knowledge, and with each newly discovered green space, comes appreciation, respect, and love. Love for each other, the city, and, of course, the parks. Without NP many of us would have never found these parks, would not have told our friends, family, coworkers about these parks, and certainly wouldn’t be awake to enjoy them when they are most beautiful. Whether you’ve known it or not, November Project DC has been your biggest supporter over the last few years! Bringing crowds to marvel at your work, your parks!

But there are parks we haven’t seen yet, there are people who don’t know about how amazing this city is, there are people who have never seen the sun come up from the top of the Lincoln steps, and there are people who haven’t made the beautiful and real human connections that can only be formed through a good workout in the great outdoors. We have built an incredible NP community, and right now we need your help to take care of it. We need your help to keep meeting in the parks of this city, and in return we will help you to care for them. We will continue to love them, continue to appreciate them, continue to respect them. We will ensure that the time, effort, and money you put into caring for them will not go unnoticed. The steps of the Lincoln Memorial and the numerous other parks in this city form the (literal and figurative) foundation on which November Project is built. Like each one of the parks we love, NP is free, open to everyone, and absofreakinglutely beautiful.

“Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job we love, and we need — and welcome — your help and support” — National Park Service

The benefits of this group don’t stop at 6:30 or 7:30, when the workout is over and you head to the office or back home. November Project is so much more than an hour long workout in a park. We have supported philanthropic endeavors of members themselves or organizations with which they are affiliated, donating time and/or money. We help and care for those fighting illnesses, either their own or a family member’s. We celebrate when members have major life successes, and we are there for those who go through hard times. We welcome new members with open arms, whether they are new to the city and need help acclimating or they have lived here their entire life.

The bottom line, to put it very simply, is that this is a group of good people. Really, truly GOOD people. Doing GOOD things for each other and for the community. A community build on love, positivity, openness, and appreciation for each other and the outdoors. These are the type of people we need in the world. These are people with whom everyone should want to be associated and a group of people you should be supporting and helping in any way that you can. We know you work very hard to protect these parks, and we know that you want what is best for them and for each and every one of the visitors. We want the same things. Helping us allows us to continue to help you — as ambassadors of the park system, supporters of the work that you do, and the perfect example of the positive impact that these parks can have on a city.

Thank you,

Ainsley Daigle