Keizer’s Parks and Recreation continued to make progress in 2010, in spite of a very tight city budget, thanks to a flexible and creative “can do” approach by city staff and dedicated, generous partners, donors and volunteers.

The biggest splash was made, of course, by the opening of the Splash Fountain at the civic center, which attracted dozens of kids on hot days.

City water was extended into Keizer Rapids Park, and volunteers made a good beginning on grounds improvement and an irrigation system in the dog park. Come spring, a drinking fountain will be operational there. The free summer concert series continued to draw an increasing audience. A substantial land acquisition is underway. Partnerships helped establish a new community garden, summer recreation program, disc golf course, and historical interpretive feature.

The challenges in 2011 will again be finding adequate funding in a tight city budget to provide basic parks maintenance and services.   Additionally, board priorities include continuing to upgrade the older parks, bringing playfields, such as the soccer field in Claggett Creek Park, and broken or obsolete features, such as in Willamette Manor Park, up to a safe, modern standard.  Again, partnerships, donations, grants, and volunteers will play an important part in making progress possible. “The Keizer Way.”

Jeanne Bond-Esser is chair of the Keizer Parks Advisory Board.