The Rotary Club of
Centerville, OH
Chartered 1972
eBulletin - January 28, 2021
Centerville Rotary Meeting Highlights
President Frank Perez opened the meeting of the Centerville Rotary Club and welcomed everyone and our guest, Uriah Anderson from Washington Township RecPlex.
Frank Perez led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Sivaji Subramaniam led us in prayer.
President Frank gave these announcements:
  • Thanks to all the members who completed the recent survey about our meetings. I have sent the results to the Board and we will be discussing your input as we make plans to move forward. There were no big surprises, but a lot of good ideas. You’ll be hearing more about it after I have a chance to talk with the Board.
  • District Grant seminar is on Feb. 3rd, at 7 pm. This is a great way to learn more about the grant program that is very important to our club and our district. It is open for anyone and free to sign up.
  • Remember to save Saturday May 8th for our golf outing. We will be officially kicking off our drive for sponsors in February, but we already have our first one thanks to Jeff Senney. It’s not too early to start putting your team together and the more non-Rotarians you bring in, the better.
Arnie Biondo announced we will be looking for $150 Hole sponsors and up to $1,000 sponsors for the golf event and hope all Rotarians bring in at least one sponsor.
Sofie Ameloot reminded we are collecting feminine hygiene products for Artemis Center. We are collecting through mid-February so now is the time to shop. Items can be dropped off at Sofie, Gerry Eastabrooks and Pat Beckel’s business. Check the email from Sofie or go to the Club’s website for their addresses.
Our Happy Bucks recipient this quarter is St. Paul, United Methodist Church Food Bank. You can send your check to the club mailbox:  Centerville Rotary Club, PO Box 41431, Centerville, OH 45458
Boyd Preston served as our Sergeant at Arms this week.
Boyd gave $10 for our speakers and to congratulate Kristen Marks as being selected as the Park District’s next Executive Director. He is glad they promoted in-house and is excited to continue working closely with the Park District even though she’s an Optimist!
Carol Kennard gave $20 in celebration of Kristen Marks’ promotion to executive director. She worked with Kristen for many years and said she is an excellent choice to lead the district.
Kim Senft-Paras gave $20 in honor of Kristen’s promotion.
Judy Budi gave $20 to congratulate Kristen and noted it is good to see Jack Durnbaugh here. She gave kudos to Centerville Schools for navigating through the pandemic so well.
Peachy Metzner gave $20 in honor of Kristen’s promotion and noted she knows his daughter, and feels CWPD is in good hands. He also gave recognition of Arnie’s retirement and introduced his grandson.
Sofie Ameloot gave $20 in honor of Kristen and congratulated Arnie on his retirement.
Elda Gotos-Gay gave $20 noting she is happy for Kristen and announced she got her second COVID shot.
Harvey Smith gave $20 in honor of Kristen’s promotion, noting she has done a good job over the years and it is a well deserved advancement.
Arnie Biondo gave $20 for Kristen and Ginger Clark, our wonderful speakers today.
Chuck King gave a donation for the visitors today and good riddance to Arnie ;-)
Our speakers today were Kristen Marks, Programs Manager and Ginger Clark, Community Engagement Coordinator at the Centerville Washington Park District.
Arnie Introduced our speakers, Kristen Marks and Ginger Clark, who are doing wonderful things at the Park District. Kristen thanked Arnie for the introduction and Rotarians for being so welcoming and congratulatory. (Kristen later mentioned how nice all of the Rotarians were and she was really humbled and surprised for all of the Happy Bucks in her honor!)
The Centerville-Washington Park District was a 2020 Gold Medal Finalist recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) as one of the best park systems in the country. Kristen shared a video highlighting the beautiful parks and programs in our community. You can watch it again HERE.
NRPA recently introduced the “10 minute Walk to a Park” concept, however, CWPD has had that goal since the beginning of the Park District in 1959. Thanks to the foresight by staff and commissioners as the community was being developed, there is a park within walking distance of every neighborhood. The district currently has:
34 neighborhood parks - smaller parks tucked in neighborhoods
8 community parks - large areas for active recreation
2 nature parks - large tracts preserved for natural/historical significance
The City of Centerville also has a couple of parks - Stubbs & Benham’s Grove. And Washington Township has Countryside Park and RecPlex.
In recent years, the Park District has been implementing an ADA plan, to provide better accommodations and access to people with disabilities. ADA playgrounds, multi-use trails, and paths to playgrounds and neighborhoods are being installed throughout the community. They also recently completed master plans for Bill Yeck and Grant Parks. Improvements to come include trail/wayfinding improvements and steam stabilization, to improve public access to these protected natural areas.
Kristen noted the park district is always looking for alternative revenue sources - in the past 5 years they have received $2.4 million in grant funding for capital improvement projects, driven by community input. Grants are sought for trails, land acquisition, playground updates, etc.
Ginger Clark talked about public engagement and recent changes in the way they involve the public in decision making. They have moved away from one person talking to group without allowing any input. Instead, they have used Design Thinking - a human centered approach that includes empathy, feelings, and the desires of people.
For the district's 51st park, small groups were led through a series of activities using manipulatives - such as using a map overlay to design their ideal park. They were able to communicate what they want for the new park and identified the top priorities of the neighbors and stakeholders.
In 2016, CWPD started a needs assessment through polls and surveys. The majority of respondents feel CWPD is a good investment, the parks are well maintained and safe, and they enjoy the programs. They wanted MORE of every kind of program so CWPD increased program offerings by 60%.
They were moving forward with momentum until March 2020 when the pandemic changed everything. They have eliminated all community special event gatherings. But when some agencies cancelled all programs, they got busy finding modifications. Ginger noted they are extremely proud of staff and volunteers for the creativity to develop innovative programming and modifications to provide programs safely. Ohio Business Magazine recently recognized CWPD with a 2021 Ohio Success Award! The award honors organizations across the state who rapidly responded and innovated when faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CWPD had to be more flexible, followed Health Advisories, packed kits, recorded nature education videos, and limited numbers at in-person camps. The Pop Up Pup Park is still going strong in its 3rd year, and Kristen thanked Rotary for our assistance with this successful program. Other self-led programs recently developed include: 51 parks challenge where you receive a prize after visiting all 51 parks (500 families registered); Find the Snowman Hunt; Pop up Park Challenge that recently included recreating a beach scene at Holes Creek and having a hot chocolate hike; CWPD Rocks - paint rocks and hide in parks to find or take home; Pumpkin Glow - neighborhoods brought their pumpkins to display at the park for all to enjoy, safely distanced; Find Big Foot - moved around to different park locations.
Some programs would not have flown in normal times, but people are more open to self-led programs due to the pandemic. They will be looking to keep some of these even after COVID.
Kristen announced a program coming up on February 12 at 6:30 pm. A Valentine’s Luminary Walk will take place at Bill Yeck Park, with parking available at Forest Field Park at 2100 E. Centerville-Station Road. For safety, they removed the gathering pieces of program but kept the walk along the 1 mile trail lined with luminaries.
Kristen explained the Purple Trail project at Bill Yeck Park including re-routing some of the trail at the Smith entrance, and installing crushed limestone for better drainage, and for stroller and wheelchair accessibility.
Ray Merz noted a week ago they hiked the purple trail and it was wonderful.
Frank Perez asked if there were any disc golf courses. Kristen shared the City of Centerville has a disc golf course at Stubbs Park.
Frank thanked Kristen and Ginger for the great work done at CWPD. The club recited the 4-Way Test and Frank wished everyone a good week.
Next week’s speaker will be Kevin Schwieger from Luke5 Adventures.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) directives, our Rotary club has gone back to Zoom meetings only. Please join us!
Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Service Above Self
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Golf Club at Yankee Trace
10000 Yankee Street
Centerville, OH 45458
United States of America
All meetings via Zoom right now. Email President Frank Perez for the link.
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