2009 Annual Report

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STAFF REPORT
Town Council, August 27, 2009

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board Annual Report (PR10-05)
Summary of recent activity and actions made by the PRCR Advisory Board
Speaker:  Mr. Steve Smutko, PRCR Advisory Board Chair

From:  Mary G. Henderson, Director, PRCR
Prepared by:  Mary G. Henderson, Director PRCR
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager
Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

Executive Summary:  The mission of the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Advisory Board is to provide representation for the citizens of Cary in partnership with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and the Town Council in promoting understanding, appreciation, participation and support for open spaces, parks, recreational opportunities, cultural activities, programs and facilities.  The board’s work greatly enhances offerings and programs throughout the Town and reduces demands upon staff and budgetary resources.

Background:  The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board (PRCR) consists of 10 citizen volunteers from within the Town’s corporate limits.  There is currently one vacancy on the Board.  Current members are listed below along with their term ending year.

Jeff Boucher (2011) – Chair of Athletics Committee
Robert Bush (2010) – Chair of Greenways Committee
Sal Cammarata (2009)
Susan Davenport (2011)
Marilyn Goldman (2009)
Dennis Hoadley, Vice Chair (2009) – Chair of Cultural Arts Committee
Tullie Johnson (2011)
Steve Smutko (2011), resigning 10/1/09
Kay Struffolino (2010)

Board Highlights:  Since July 2008, the PRCR Advisory Board conducted 12 regular meetings and 1 joint meeting with the Cultural Arts Committee.  Highlights of the Board’s activities are as follows:

Goal Projects:  Annually, the Board identifies specific goal projects that support Town initiatives.  The goal projects, led by Board members, follows:

Scholarship Program:

Goal: 

Develop a self-sustaining scholarship program for needy families and individuals to enroll in recreation and cultural programs

Background:

Town policy provides that no Cary resident is turned away from registering for recreation programs due to the financial inability to pay.  The Town has absorbed the cost for the scholarships as requested and determined by staff.

Member:
Sal Cammarata 
Progress: 

Council approved management contract with Christian Community In Action (CCA) to make scholarship decisions as opposed to staff evaluation of requests.  Fund-raising plans in development.

 

Safety Town:

Goal:

Develop a permanent Safety Town within a Town park for teaching safety lessons to children.

Background:  

The Town operates a successful summer Safety Town program at Herb Young Community Center.  Many communities across the country have constructed permanent Safety Town facilities used for safety training.  These projects are typically community driven through volunteer donations and workforce.  Middle Creek School/Park’s master plan includes a Safety Town in conjunction with a Fire Station.

Members:   Jeff Boucher and Kay Struffolino 
Progress:  

Initiated an education and awareness program (booth at Lazy Daze and Spring Daze); working with staff to develop a plan to consider future site evaluation and selection; future intent to develop community volunteer and sponsorship support.

Go Green:  

 
Goal:   Establish an environmental sustainability policy that addresses energy conservation, water conservation/quality protection and sustainable design/construction of buildings and facilities 
Background:  

Board Chair Steve Smutko was appointed by Council as a liaison to the EAB.  The Board has made recommendations related to recycling at Town parks, facilities, and events.

Members:   Steve Smutko, Tullie Johnson, Susan Davenport 
Progress:   Provided input on a recycling program for facilities; reviewed and will provide feedback regarding the recommendations of the EAB related to Parks issues. 

Below please find a list of Actions taken by the Board during the past year.

Actions

  • Selected the Board member Chairs of the Greenways, Athletics, and Cultural Arts Committees
  • Reviewed applications and selected the members of the Greenways, Athletics, and Cultural Arts Committees
  • Recommended budget guiding principles
  • Prioritized the sequence of future park development
  • Reviewed and made recommendations for land dedication/payment in lieu for residential development
  • Developed guiding principles for a potential aquatic partnership
  • Recommended the land conversion for PARTF funds
  • Recommended Teen Advisory Committee restructure
  • Recommended Athletics Committee restructure
  • Provided input and supported the PRCR Long Range Program Plan
  • Recommended the establishment of the PRCR Scholarship Fund
  • Supported the Black Creek Watershed Association’s request to implement the Black Creek Watershed Management Plan
  • Requested that Teen Council Representative become a voting member of the Board
  • Supported East Coast Greenway Resolution

Review and Input

  • Provided input related to the Volunteer Recognition Events
  • Received reports from the Committees and the Senior, Teen, Festival, and EAB liaisons and provided input
  • Reviewed and provided input for the Cary Community Arts Center Project
  • Reviewed program evaluations and budget reports
  • Reviewed plans for Dorothy Park Improvements
  • Reviewed and provided input on recycling plan for parks/greenway facilities and events

Additional Activities

  • Participated in a tour of property/facilities in west Cary
  • Regularly stayed abreast of the work of the Black Creek Watershed group.
  • Served as volunteers at a variety of Department events
  • Members attended the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Association’s (NCRPA) Commission Board Member (CBM)  forum in Greensboro
  • Members served on the Volunteer Award Selection Committee
  • Members participated in the greenway user count project

Awards

  • Member Kay Struffolino received the NCRPA Raburn “Rip” Jackson Award for exemplary service as a citizen board member
  • Member Tullie Johnson received the Herb Young Award given to a volunteer with overall outstanding service, leadership, and support for and of the staff and programs of Cary’s PRCR department

Fiscal Impact:  No fiscal impact.

Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that Council accept the report of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board