Well, I haven’t been writing a lot recently, but here is why...
I'd like to bring people reading this back to a post I did back in Oct 2006 Buildings in Search of a New Life and the Call to Action
Toward the end of that topic I put it out there that what I would like more people in our community giving time and effort to causes that make our city better. I also mentioned that I would personally love in my lifetime to be someone that ‘walks the walk’.
Well, I started on that recently...and while I hope to do even more later on, I thought it this would be a great place to begin.
First a little background. My wife and I along with our 20-month old son live near Fremont Park, which we consider to be our backyard. We moved to the central city knowing we would not have a backyard, nor really wanting one. Our last home in Natomas had no real useful backyard and we both hated yard work. The trade off of a backyard we never really used for what we now enjoy with food, entertainment and culture within walking distance is well worth the trade off, especially considering we have parks all around us for our child to play in.
Our “home” park is Fremont Park and while my son loves the park as is, there has always been a feeling to my wife and I that it can be so much more and something really special for all people in the neighborhood. I strongly feel Fremont Park can be the centerpiece of what is a good neighborhood with an even bigger potential for greatness.
In addition to businesses already located around the park, as we see more housing, restaurants and retail develop in the area, such as 'Hot Italian' directly across the street, there is a tremendous amount of synergy to be had with a thriving city park in the center of it all.
The thought of people grabbing a frozen yogurt from Mochii Yogurt, coffee and scone from Naked Lounge, a slice of pizza, sandwich or gelato from Uncle Vito's or Hot Italian and taking it over to park to enjoy the day and socialize excites me. We don't see nearly enough of that right now.
So what I did was decide to figure out how I could get involved to make Fremont Park into what I think it can become. A thriving neighborhood park that is enjoyed by people from the neighborhood and surrounding areas through out the day.
With all that said, I feel like it is up to us in the community to take care of our park.
Over the past couple of months I have contacted CADA, City Parks & Rec, Councilman Fongs office, and fellow neighbors to see what can be done to improve on our neighborhood asset.
My goal is to parlay liked minded citizens, developers, property owners, area business and government entities in this effort.
People doing small and large things to help their community can do wonders for community spirit and pride.
After a couple meetings with the extremely helpful folks at CADA and City Park & Rec, we have set a community meeting for June 11th @ 6:00 at William Land Elementary School on 12th and U to hear what you in the neighborhood think and would like to see our park go in the future.
In the time leading up to June 11th, please be sure to take a walk through the park so we can get the best ideas and thoughts on what you would like to see accomplished.
-Better playground equipment?
-Interactive water fountain feature?
-Public art and murals?
-Programming and annual event ideas?
-2nd Saturday 'Art in the Park'?
….and just as important as physical improvements, what social and psychological barriers are there that keep people from Fremont Park?
If we look at the transformation Southside Park has made over the last few years from a rundown park to a place where many people and families gather at all times during the day....how can we do that to Fremont Park?
To make this happen, gathering other peoples input and ideas is needed. No one person has all the ideas and answers, and only together can we make this happen. What we need are people that share our same enthusiasm, are willing share ideas and to work toward this vision.
So please join me and fellow neighbors on June 11th as we all take this first step in making something special happen in our community.
If anyone out there has any questions/comments/ideas, please feel free to email me.