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Parents, volunteers invited to get involved

By: Jim Crosthwaite, Guest Columnist
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It is not uncommon for various organizations to ask you to support one cause or another, and the request in this column is no different. This time, however, the investment is not monetary and not tax deductible. The request is for you to take an interest in the formation of local parks and recreation programs and facilities. For many years, a small but dedicated group of volunteers has spent countless hours in the pursuit of formation of a local agency that would provide such services. Unfortunately, the efforts of leaders like Dot Shiro and Helen Florance have met with mixed results, and the effort is at a crossroads. It just may be that the services provided by other local parks and recreation agencies, such as the cities of Roseville and Rocklin, meet the needs of our communities. However, I believe programs and facilities provided locally in addition to those opportunities would not only enhance the lives of those who reside here, but will serve as the building blocks for future generations. The Loomis Basin will continue to grow, and without a viable parks and recreation entity, the chance exists that monies for such programs may find their way into other coffers. There are many ways to start and cultivate new programs, and my belief is that the formation of a local non-profit parents’ advisory committee should come first. The committee’s goal would be to work toward formation of a local parks and recreation entity, while advising on programs that can be offered to the community. The voice of such a committee would carry great weight with public agencies such as the Town of Loomis and Placer County, when monetary and development decisions are made for the future. A parents’ committee also carries strength when decisions are made in areas such as gym usage and field reservations. This committee, with the community’s best interests at heart, can also make decisions on which private services to use to fulfill the needs of our residents. Local classes, sports, activities and special events would be the goal of this committee, and the committee would work in conjunction with local existing groups. Take a look at the activity guides of the cities of Rocklin and Roseville. Undoubtedly, local residents take advantage of these programs and some are unique experiences that will only exist in those communities, but all too often, priority is given to those cities’ residents, and the opportunity is missed for our South Placer residents. The formation of this group will allow us to prioritize needs for our local residents of all ages and give us an opportunity to try and fill those needs, while working with groups such as Del Oro Jr. Eagles, Golden Eagle PONY, etc. I am very proud of the accomplishments of my company in providing services to both this area and the Granite Bay area, but the goal is to provide these services to the public through the efforts of a local committee or organization, absent a local recreation and parks agency. If parks and recreation are of interest to you, please contact me at (916) 768-9781, or by e-mail at jim_crosthwaite@yahoo.com. Jim Crosthwaite has worked in recreation with the City of Roseville and Auburn Recreation District.