The "Peace Camp" that is run by Little Friends for Peace is a wonderful opportunity for children from the inner city to learn peace and communication skills. These children are then encouraged to bring these skills back to their schools and neighborhood to help end the violence.
Little Friends for Peace has not used Oasis since June for "visitors" or clients, as far as the neighborhood is aware. We are grateful that the letter they received from the National Park Service discussing the Scenic Easement restrictions on the property alerted them to inappropriate usage.
The LFFP website still lists the Oasis as one of their locations, however, making the community uncomfortable. The last line of the Oasis description says "The Parks welcome those who seek peace to enjoy the Oasis and all it has to offer."
Only the long grass and the tree down across the driveway give us hope that LFFP illegal use of the property may have come to an end.
I am sure LFFP is a great organization, doing great things that need doing. I have no experience as to their effectiveness.
However, their Peace Oasis is being operated against national scenic easements, county zoning regulations, and community covenants. The Parks family insists that everyone who visits their property is a guest of the family. Their lawyer wrote a letter to the county saying that no more than 5 children accompanied by adults would visit the property. A month later, in the fall of 2010, there were over 20 children and numerous adults visiting Peace Oasis. The Parks were not present. The group was trespassing on an adjacent property and, to make things potentially really ghastly, there is deer poaching going on in that area of the neighborhood. Please, please move your dream to a more appropriate location.
I appreciate the previous poster's appreciation for LFFP's mission and his respect for the environment too. I think, though, that he or she may be generalizing from something that happened early in their time there. The Parks are not using the Oasis property as the headquarters for their small nonprofit, only as an adjunct to it. They invite visitors the way any family would invite friends, never in numbers or with a frequency that would negatively affect septic systems or any aspect of the environment. I'm fairly sure that the writer has learned this and been reassured since this comment was posted in 2010. If not, I hope he'll walk over and say Hi one weekend when they're there!
Based in the D.C. metro area Little Friends for Peace is an amazingly effective and unique educational non-profit. The thousands of young people and their adult leaders across the country who have experienced LFFP's customized conflict resolution and peace education curriculum would certainly attest.
Programming options include Peace camps, after school Peace clubs and educator workshops. LFFP uses role playing with skits and plays, art classes, cooperative games and many other mediums to reach the youth and ingrain conflict resolution techniques into their habits. Much time is spent by LFFP staff with volunteers, interns and college students who learn and practice the peace building techniques with the students.
Today, the majority of the programming is hosted at Perry School community service center in Washington D.C. LFFP has become a refreshing presence in the high conflict Sursum Corda neighborhood. Peace clubs are hosted by many local schools and communities including Beacon House, the Fishing School, Mount Rainier and many other local communities.
The founders M.J. and Jerry Park have made their home that their own six children named "The Oasis" in Piscataway National Park in Maryland. The Park family enjoys welcoming their family and friends to their home to enjoy the natural and beautiful environment.