Governance

Lyon Park’s Board of Governors: Defined

By Jeanette Wick

As the Chair of the Lyon Park Community Center’s Board of Governors (BoG), I am writing this article to explain something that many Lyon Park residents may not be clear on: how the BoG differs from its constituent organizations, the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) and the not-just-for-Woman’s Club. Easy peasy (kind of)!

Lyon Park is unique among Arlington’s neighborhoods because 100 years ago, Frank Lyon, who established Lyon Park, donated the building and its surrounding two-plus acres to the community. Since that time, the entire Lyon Park community and its residents have been tasked with managing its operations. The Lyon Park Community Center, which includes the building and its surrounding grounds, today is the umbrella organization for the LPCA and the Woman’s Club. A group of 10 volunteers from these two organizations serve on the Community Center’s BoG. They are elected annually in September at each organization’s meeting; you have probably seen many messages encouraging people to join each group, and more importantly, come to the meetings. 

In 2015, that management included coordinating a $1,000,000 renovation of the community house. With tremendous support from residents in Lyon Park and Ashton Heights, we repaid our construction loan early. This was a remarkable accomplishment and a happy accident of sorts, especially since our rental income—which ensures that we can keep the Community House open and pay our bills—fell to just about nothing during the most acute periods of infection and quarantine. Simply keeping the doors open at Lyon Park costs approximately $5500 per month. This includes the types of things that homeowners need to pay like utilities and maintenance, and it also includes costs associated with tree care and mowing. In the coming year, the BoG will continue to work on restoring our financial security, as we expended our reserve during the pandemic. With rentals picking up, our future looks brighter.

The BoG meets approximately monthly from September through June depending on the type and number of things on its agenda. The BoG also sponsors many of the events you’ve come to appreciate. On Sunday, October 9, we will again sponsor the Annual Yard Sale. It’s always a busy event where the treasures are magnificent. In October, the BoG sponsors the Parade of Costumes and the Bonfire, and in November, we host the Annual not-just-a-Craft Fair. The Holiday Party for kids is always a hoot in December. And monthly through June, we tend to have events that have become part of the community’s traditions. A new activity for the BoG concerns what to do with the tree stumps in the park and a procedure to invite community involvement—that has been a hot topic of neighborhood discussion.

We also have several other issues that community and Board members have raised, and we need committed people to do the legwork and propose solutions. Would you be such a person? We have traditionally met on the second or third Thursday of the month. 

If you have an interest in community involvement, can attend a monthly meeting over Zoom on Thursdays at 7 PM, and have time to do some of the Board’s work in between meetings, we could really use your help—even if you don’t want to officially serve on the BoG. Our meetings are open to the public, so please come. For more information, email me at: jywickrph@aol.com.