Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sequim Parks - Weeds versus Toddler Safety?

I have attended the past number of Sequim Parks Advisory Board meetings and have noticed another example of the remarkable disconnect that often exists between government agencies and Sequim families.

Part of the agenda of the Sequim Parks Advisory Board is to discuss the “state of the parks” in Sequim. I guarantee you that the items you think of as you picture the state of Sequim parks are different from the ones the Board members bring up.

The Park Board members mention weeds getting high on a trail behind Les Schwab. In contrast, I hear parents mention to me issues like the unsafe toddler playground at Carrie Blake Park. It is located just feet from the main road into the park with no safety fence around it. Toddlers can easier wander into the path of a distracted driver totting their dog on their lap heading into the dog park. From the parent’s perspective, this is a tragedy waiting to happen and the parent wonders at the City’s lack of interest in addressing such an obvious safety concern.

I have met the Sequim Parks Advisory Board Members and have found them to be good, caring, concerned citizens. Their lack of awareness of issues that kids and families care about isn’t due to a purposeful choice, or resistance. The entire board is older. I would guess that four of the five members are older then 65 years old and the other is in his 50’s. “Kid” issues just often don’t get raised effectively or properly by parents. If the Board isn’t aware of an issue, they can’t react to it or be held accountable for the issue.

There is at least one opening, with perhaps more coming, on the Sequim Parks Advisory Board. Having a Board member that is raising a kid and is using the Sequim City Parks would be a huge help to the Board and to the cause of kids and families in Sequim. I know for a fact that the existing Board would welcome a younger new member.

The real trick is getting someone to donate their time once per month to the community by attending the meeting. This Parks Advisory open position is a classic case of something that wouldn’t take a lot of time (one meeting per month) but have a huge influence on issues in Sequim (The Board makes direct recommendations to the City Council about Parks issues).

Call me if you have questions. We really need someone from our midst to step into this role. I can be emailed at sequimfamilies@yahoo.com or called at 461-4455. Please let us know if you apply so we can recommend you to the City Council.

1 comment:

  1. How are the fields coming? I recently read an article about the issue of childhood obesity that mentions how important it is for communities to give kids intramural sports opportunities from early ages. The exclusivity of team sports as kids get older has the negative impact of closing doors to physical activity and overall health. The playfields and intramural programs are important for the overall health of our kids!
    Find the article at: http://wsm.wsu.edu/s/index.php?id=744