Community Center to Be Named for City of F.C.’s 1st Rec & Parks Chief Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett (center) with his grandchildren and wife, Nancy Burnett. (Courtesy photo)

At the urging of the City’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee tonight, the Falls Church City Council voted unanimously to name the iconic City landmark, its Community Center, for the City’s first-ever director of recreation and parks, Ken Burnett, who served in that role for 28 years from 1962-1990.

It was Burnett, said the advisory committee’s Charles O’Hara and Barry Buschow tonight, who established most of the programs that to this day remain the staple of recreational offerings enjoyed by City residents, including summer youth programs, youth and adult sports leagues, the farmer’s market, and an expansion of City parks.

Though the Community Center, which Burnett played a seminal role in the funding and construction in the late 1960s, was dedicated to Burnett, at that time the City had an ordinance prohibiting the naming of a building for a living person. That changed in 2011, opening the door to name the center for Burnett, as the “Falls Church Community Center Kenneth R. Burnett Building.”

Burnett continues to live and thrive in the City.