2011 marks the tenth year the city of Lakewood has participated in Parks Appreciation Day. This county-wide event brings volunteers into local parks throughout the region and gives families, scout troops, military groups, church parishioners, and representatives from local service organizations an opportunity to tackle big and little tasks designed to help prepare community parks for the spring/summer seasons. Parks Appreciation Day is one part of a joint celebration linked to Earth Day, Arbor Day and National Parks Week. It is gratifying for volunteers to know they are part of a major county-wide effort involving at least 2000 other people who are working in their own neighborhood and regional parks at the same time.
All of Lakewood’s parks have been featured over the past ten years as major project sites for the Parks Appreciation Day event. This year, special projects planned at Fort Steilacoom Park include restorative work on hilltop orchard, lake pathway clearance, removal of invasive plants, installation of grave markers in the historic cemetery, and ‘freshening’ of the community playground. Other park sites with special projects include Harry Todd Park where the Fire Department Dive Team will clear debris from the waterfront and the beach sand will be cleaned; Kiwanis Park where shrubs will be planted in a newly irrigated area and the playground fall zone material cleaned out and replaced; and Wards Lake Park where newly opened trails will be prepared as part of multiple Eagle Scout projects.
The City of Lakewood usually has about 350 people participating in its Parks Appreciation Day events and these volunteers work for over 1000 hours to complete the various park projects. This volunteer labor makes a huge difference in the parks as the facilities begin the seasons of their heaviest use. In 2010, Lakewood parks were used for class reunions, family reunions, community celebrations, wedding receptions, birthday parties, company picnics, soccer and baseball tournaments and daily activities. Parks play a major role in the quality of life in Lakewood, and its residents have always been willing to give their time and energy to projects that make a difference – that’s why they help on Parks Appreciation Day – they take pride in the work they do and the changes they see and they know they have real ‘ownership’ in the park properties.
So, come out and join your friends and neighbors Saturday, April 16th from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park, Kiwanis Park or Wards Lake Park. If you have questions, call Suzi at 253-983-7758. The Lakewood Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and staff look forward to working with you on Saturday!!