By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A new foundation being formed in Windsor to help raise money for parks and recreation efforts has adopted a slogan: “Parks Make Life Better.”
Headed up by former Mayor Warin Parker, the Windsor Parks and Recreation Foundation is identifying projects worthy of fund-raising from private and corporate sponsors.
“With budget deficits and decreasing budgets, there’s a need to assure town park facilities and programs are continuously restored,” said Brad Sherwood, one of the seven trustees for the foundation.
Already, some potential projects have been identified, such as a swimming pool at Keiser Park, tennis courts, a new dog park, a playground, or putting a public restroom on the Town Green.
In some cases, donors may get naming rights to buildings or park features, whether for an athletic field, trails, or playground.
“We’re going to knock on corporate doors. We’re going to go to the public and present our case. I’m confident there are people out there who’d like to make a difference,” said Parker.
The fledgling foundation is working closely with the town’s Parks and Recreation Department with backing from the Town Council, which last year authorized $16,000 to hire a consultant to help establish it and guide the board of trustees.
Despite the economic downturn, town officials believe there is money to be tapped for recreational programs.
“You would be surprised at people out there that might have money and are just looking for that connection,” said Donna Legge, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The foundation is based on a 4-year-old San Carlos model. In that Peninsula community, its foundation secured $500,000 in private sector funding to build two playgrounds and a water feature in the city’s primary park.
The nonprofit Windsor foundation, which is in final stages of incorporation, will work with the town to identify projects and priorities.
“The key is we want the foundation to operate autonomously from the town, so people know the money donated to the foundation isn’t a back door to the town,” Parker said.
For more information on the foundation, Legge can be reached at 838-5307.