“You can’t tell a kid that it’s time to exercise; that’s a turn-off…you have to say, “Let’s go to the park and have some fun! Then you get them to do some running, play on the swings, practice on the balance beam, and basically get a full workout disguised as play.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Our former governator may be many things, but he sure does know a thing or two about exercise. Town parks are really special places, and for many kids serve as the primary location for their interaction with the outdoors.
Over the past year, we’ve been working toward building a community park on Ski Run Blvd in South Lake Tahoe. This project has been a true grassroots labor of love, with a number of families and local businesses pooling our resources, time, and talents to make it happen.
Recently we held a fundraiser / block party on the grounds to celebrate finally breaking ground! It was a true community event. Devin Middlebrook, the mayor of South Lake Tahoe, gave a speech, and my good friend Chris McNamara also shared some words with the audience, and several leaders in the Spanish-speaking community also participated. Translations for English and Spanish were provided for all, and you could just feel the sense that everyone was sharing in the feeling of owning this park as our community space.
“This is your park,” Devin Middlebrook told the neighborhood families who attended the event, which included a bounce house, food, popsicles, and community connections.
Fundraising for this park continues!
Several great local organizations such as the Tahoe Fund are stepping forward with donation match and other opportunities to help us get this project over the finish line. While the Tahoe Fund already met its $75K matching goal, these two organizations are still raising funds:
- South Tahoe Pay It Forward Project is offering a $25,000 match.
- El Dorado Community Foundation is offering engraved bricks and plaques for donations.
If you’re moved to do so, we would appreciate your tax-deductible donation to help us finish this project.
Thanks to all of these efforts, we’re slated to break ground in the next few weeks, and we will have a park up and running by the end of the summer!
There will be more fundraising events coming this summer, as we’re hoping to raise $200K to build an outdoor climbing boulder. After all, as Arnold says, parks should be a full-body workout.