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Putting the ART back in pARTnership - National Park Service and Montgomery County sign new 10-year agreement for shared management of Glen Echo Park

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 20, 2018

Acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Glen Echo Mayor Willem Polak and representatives from the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture celebrate the signing of a new 10-year agreement for Glen Echo Park.

Glen Echo Park, famous for its carousel, Spanish ballroom, arts programs and Civil Rights history, will be managed cooperatively by the National Park Service (NPS) and Montgomery County for the next 10 years. This successful local-federal partnership benefits the community and protects nationally significant history.

Senator Chris Van Hollen, Glen Echo Mayor Willem Polak, and representatives from the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture gathered in the park today when the NPS and the county signed a cooperative agreement that meets all contemporary laws and policies and ensures that visitors will continue to enjoy the Glen Echo Park they have known and loved for generations.

“This partnership demonstrates how federal and local government can work together to care for places that are important to our communities,” acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini said. “We move forward together confident that Glen Echo Park is prepared to host more special memories.”

Since 2002, the County, with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, has demonstrated its commitment to high-quality visitor experiences and preserving the park’s historic character.

“Glen Echo is one of Montgomery County’s crown jewels,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “With this new agreement, the County looks forward to working with the National Park Service and the Glen Echo Partnership to even further enhance everything that Glen Echo has to offer.”

Under the new agreement, Montgomery County will be responsible for operation, maintenance and day-to-day management of the park. The County will continue to work with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture to provide public art programs, studio exhibits, performances and social dances, which have been a tradition in Glen Echo Park for more than 120 years.

“Glen Echo Park is a thriving community center with a wide range of classes and events for people of all ages to enjoy, but the future viability of the park was at risk if Montgomery County and the National Park Service were unable to renew their successful partnership,” said Senator Van Hollen. “While we disagree on many issues, I want to thank Department of Interior Secretary Zinke for personally committing to me that we could renew and strengthen the partnership and am very pleased to report that we are officially moving forward to ensure that Glen Echo Park will thrive for years to come.”

Glen Echo Park has delighted its neighbors and visitors over the years. From its origin as a summer resort and education facility, to its time as DC’s premier amusement park, and from its turbulent Civil Rights history to the unique arts and cultural center it is today.

“I am excited for the local community because Glen Echo Park is a unique jewel that will continue to be a cherished educational and cultural asset in Montgomery County thanks to this continuing partnership with the National Park Service,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The park provides fun and educational opportunities for all ages throughout the year.

“I’m very excited about this local-federal partnership to manage this local and national treasure,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin. “Our whole community looks forward to hosting new generations of local, national and international visitors at this gem of a spot.”

For more information and a schedule of events in the park visit Glen Echo Park's website.

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Release ID: 18-626
Media Contact: Public Information Office 240-777-6507