I spent the summer doing two things for work - visiting every park in the County with my kids, and reading all of the Foundation's Board minutes from Oct 25, 1951 until this year. (I'll give you one guess which of those my kids enjoyed most!)
Reading 64.9 years of Board minutes might sound boring, but it was actually quite revealing. Before that, I didn't know that we'd actually expanded our scope beyond the City in 1986...I'd been told that the expansion happened far more recently.
I didn't know that we'd maintained a standing fund for recreation program scholarships for low-income families almost as long as the Foundation had existed. (This fund later morphed into our program grants and our funding for swimming lessons.)
I didn't know that we'd been instrumental in funding the Esmerelda Golf Course Clubhouse OR that we'd provided a match grant that helped allow the Spokane Southside Senior & Community Center to move to their current location OR that we spent $30,000 on the Rochester Heights Park playground in 1969-70.
(I also didn't know that I am only the fourth Executive Director of the Parks Foundation!)
Many of you have been with us for years. You've seen us through the good times and the not-so-good, and you stayed because you know that strong parks help to build strong communities. I am privileged to carry on your work and to leverage your ongoing investment in the Foundation into a stronger, healthier community.
Thank you for being a part of our work and for believing in the power of parks.
PS: We ended up visiting 135 parks this summer...all of which we chronicled on Instagram and our website. Take a look! www.spokaneparksfoundation.org/park-to-park