October 14, 2019
Now that summer has ended it is natural for some swimmers to head into aquatic hibernation, however it is important that we stay aware of happenings regarding aquatics in our community.
This summer, the City continued studying the facilities in Heather Farm, Civic Park, and Shadelands. Although statistics gathered by consultants, from approximately 1200 respondents, showed strong support for aquatics and specifically for renovating the Clarke Swim Center some members of the Advisory Committee and City Council hoped for more community feedback. With that goal in mind, the WCAF launched a Change.org petition to assess the communities desire to retain at least a 50-meter pool in Walnut Creek. With over 10,000 people signing, community support was overwhelming. We thank everyone who participated.
The WCAF met many city representatives this summer to share your petition comments and signatures and to reiterate our desire to help find a way to preserve services while keeping the cost of renovation down. We shared our belief that rebuilding a downsized swim center at a very high cost only to lose programs and services would be a mistake.
The Your Parks Your Future initiative continues to progress without an identified funding mechanism to make improvements to facilities at Heather Farm (including the Clarke Swim Center), Civic, and Shadelands park sites. At the last joint Arts and PROS commissions meeting, the programming at the various locations was studied to determine what services are currently offered at each and how well used the facilities are. It was clear that the swim center had more annual uses than all other park facilities combined.
Without a clear financial solution to rebuilding park infrastructure, programs and services in Arts and Recreation are in jeopardy. The commissioners are currently being asked to develop a mission statement for each park facility and to prioritize the arts and recreation programs based on the mission.
The WCAF continues to support aquatics in Walnut Creek. However, we encourage each of you to remain aware and involved in the future of aquatics and all recreation and arts programs in the city.
Many of you have asked how you can help. Whether or not you live in Walnut Creek, you can help by sharing your priorities for programming, services and facilities:
• Contact the mayor and city council. To meet with the Mayor, call the City Manager’s Office at (925) 256-3504. Council members may also be reached by contacting the City Manager’s office. You may email comments to the Mayor and council members at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Attend the next Joint Arts and PROS commission meeting on October 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the City Hall 3rd floor conference room. Public comment is welcome.
• Tell your friends and neighbors. There is a lot at stake for the future of Recreation and Arts in Walnut Creek and we believe the community should remain aware.
Thank you for your support of aquatics!
Mike Heaney, Walnut Creek Aquatic Foundation President