Why I’m Running
My interest in and connection to our parks and recreation district is personal. As a child, my life was enriched by the activities we were able to access as a family. Now, as an adult athlete and dog owner, I experience our parks and recreation differently. I’m running because of the very high value I place on what THPRD does offer - combined with how we need to be better serving active adults, dog owners and people with disabilities.
Much of THPRD’s programming is geared toward families, which is wonderful and should continue, but I believe there is a gap in programming for active adults. Whether it’s crossfit or training for a Spartan course, adult recreation is changing, and I believe THPRD should consider the new and different ways adults like to be active.
I spend my Saturdays walking the trails at the Howard M. Terpenning complex, and as the seasons change, I see the facility use change. From swimming, to basketball and volleyball, then to tennis, baseball, softball and finally, to skating. I have an interest in the way the facilities are allocated and want to ensure that everyone has equal access to reserve the fields and courts for a reasonable fee.
I would also like to see the adaptive and inclusive programming expanded. As I use the facilities - and take note of who is and who is not accessing these spaces - I am concerned that we are missing an important constituency: people with disabilities. The adaptive and inclusive programing takes up just three pages in the catalog. I am committed to engaging this community to learn what they think of our offerings and ways we can improve.
THPRD represents a very large geographic area; however, there currently are only three off-leash dog parks in the district. Two in the Aloha/Farmington area, and the third at PCC Rock Creek. This leaves a significant area of the district without off-leash dog parks. I would like to see THPRD work with the community and identify viable, safe spaces for more dog parks. Many dog owners can attest to the mutually beneficial relationship with their family pet, including the motivation to getting out and exercising. Those opportunities need to be more accessible.
As a resident of unincorporated Washington county, THPRD is one of the few places for elected representation for unincorporated voters. I’d like to make sure that thousands of us in the district have a voice on the board to help keep this perspective top of mind.