May 2016 Parks & Rec

Parks and Recreation News continued...

CCPR’s Tom Hanecak Graduates from Executive Leadership Academy

Congratulations to Tom Hanecak, CCPR’s Maintenance Manager, on graduating from the County’s first Executive Leadership Academy! Tom is a valuable member of the Parks & Rec team, and we’re excited that he had the opportunity to participate in the academy. In addition to being CCPR’s Maintenance Manager, Tom also serves on the Fair Planning Team, EGAD, and the board of Willow Bend Environmental Education Center.

National Volunteer Appreciation Month
April was National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we're honored that people choose to spend their time, energy and expertise volunteering with CCPR. We love seeing people connect to one another and nature, get healthier and create community. Volunteers make a huge difference at CCPR. In fiscal year 2015, we had over 450 volunteers donate 2,700 hours at the parks and through events. Nationally, 137,000 volunteers in the National Park Service Volunteers-In-Parks Program (VIP) donated 5.2 million hours to national parks in FY 2005.

CCPR hosted two volunteering events in April – a Bike Park Training Day and a Bird Count at Rogers Lake. Fort Tuthill Bike Park volunteers are an important asset to the park, providing skills and on-the-ground support to help keep the features smooth and functioning. Parks and Recreation Maintenance Manager Tom Hanecak led the bike park volunteer training day on April 23 and works with volunteers throughout the year. Many volunteers have said that an important biking ethic is to work before you ride, so a volunteer may put in 15-20 minutes of work before riding the flow trails.

Volunteers with the Bird Count at Rogers Lake helped with important baseline data collection and contributed to citizen science efforts at Coconino County Parks and Recreation by counting birds at the natural area. Nationwide, volunteers who help with environmental data collection, also called citizen scientists, also help benefit environmental health by enhancing wildlife habitat on public or private lands or by donating money to conservation. CCRP staff Scott Anderson and Geoffrey Gross led the event, along with Arizona Game and Fish’s Hannah Griscom and volunteers from the Northern Arizona Audubon Society.

According to a recent article in National Recreation and Park Association’s April magazine, “It’s been found that infrequent participation and stewardship of natural spaces is not because of a lack of interest, but because of a lack of know-how and empowerment to feel confident using these spaces appropriately.” Citizen science projects like the Bird Count at Rogers Lake are one way that people can get the know-how about their County Parks and be empowered to make change.