Reader's view: Duluth parks and rec programs worth their cost
I grew up in Norton Park, attended Denfeld High School and practice law in Tampa, Fla. As an educated Duluth native, I understand the budget crisis the city is facing, the unfortunate need to make cuts to important areas of city funding and that ...
I grew up in Norton Park, attended Denfeld High School and practice law in Tampa, Fla. As an educated Duluth native, I understand the budget crisis the city is facing, the unfortunate need to make cuts to important areas of city funding and that those decisions are not easy to make.
However, I encourage city leaders to consider resources other than parks and recreation programs when cutting.
Many of my childhood memories involve the Norton Park Community Recreation Center. It was wonderful to have a playground within walking distance from my home and a supervised center with arts and crafts, games and outdoor activities to entertain and engage me and other neighborhood kids in summer. I remember learning to play chess with my dad, playing hide and seek with dozens of my friends in the gully and begging my mom to let me finish coloring my dinosaur instead of evacuating during the benzene spill of 1992.
These opportunities and experiences at the park influenced my life as I grew up and continue to affect my life today.
I later worked as a summer recreation leader at Norton Park, from 1998 through 2004. It gave me the opportunity to grow as a leader and to be a positive influence on the kids with whom I interacted. Even now when I visit, "our" park is filled with children of all ages and their families reaping the same life-shaping benefits of a community center I did.
"City leaders, when addressing expendable areas, could please consider the positive impacts parks and recreation programming has had on my life and on the lives of many other children and families in Duluth." They could remember the incredible impact the programs could have on children who still visit daily.
St. Petersburg, Fla.