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Turlock asks businesses, community groups to Adopt-A-Park
Swanson Centennial dog park
Linda Lewis and her canine friends, Jack and Junior, enjoyed an afternoon at Turlock's newest dog park in July 2014. Swanson-Centennial Park, the renamed park on Countryside Drive, opened for dog business thanks to a $35,000 donation by the Swanson Family and Pet Extreme. A new Adopt-a-Park program aims to encourage more businesses and community groups to help maintain and improve City of Turlock parks. - photo by File Photo

Community groups now have the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts in keeping City parks clean and well-maintained, after the Turlock City Council voted 5-0 on May 22 to implement a new Adopt-a-Park program.

Many organizations, including fraternities, sororities, service groups and businesses, have volunteered their time and resources over the years to help the City of Turlock create and maintain a vibrant parks system.

Last summer, Turlock Sunrise Rotary worked for six days to renovate the Children’s Play Park at Donnelly Park, including resealing the wooden structure and replacing damaged tiles that adorn the play area’s walkway. The service club also played a vital role in the playground’s original construction 20 years ago. In 2014, donation of $35,000 by the Swanson Family and Pet Extreme led to the creation of the Swanson Centennial Dog Park off Countryside Drive. Annually, Love Turlock events have drawn dozens of volunteers to parks around the City to work on clean up and maintenance projects.

With the Adopt-A-Park opportunity, it gives us a chance to leverage resources in the community and take advantage of people wanting to come in and do work and in turn give them the recognition they deserve.
Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Staff Services Analyst Juan Vargas

 “What we’re trying to do is create something more formal that allows them to continue what they’re doing but gives them the recognition that they deserve,” said Juan Vargas, staff services analyst for the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department.

The new program offers three tiers of service. All tiers offer recognition at City Council meetings, at a Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission meeting, listing on the Adopt-a-Park webpage, postings on the City’s social media platforms and printed recognition in the Recreation Activity Guide.

Good Neighbor Day allows groups to schedule a work day at any park for general clean up, painting of buildings, graffiti removal and/or planting of approved trees, flowers or shrubs. The City will provide training and support for Good Neighbor Day groups. Organizations that participate in a Good Neighbor Day will also be presented with a Certificate of Recognition.

An Improvement Donation will fund the cost of park amenities and can include picnic tables, benches, barbecues, signs, drinking fountains, shade structures and new playground equipment. Improvement donors will have a plaque with their name affixed to or near the amenity, if possible.

The final tier of service is the Adopt-a-Park Sponsorship. This establishes a community partnership for on-going maintenance and large-scale projects. This sponsorship entails at least four cleanups and/or projects a year or the cost of a large-scale project from groundbreaking to completion. Park sponsors will be recognized with their name on a sign at the project site.

“With the Adopt-A-Park opportunity, it gives us a chance to leverage resources in the community and take advantage of people wanting to come in and do work and in turn give them the recognition they deserve,” said Vargas.

The new Adopt-a-Park program also establishes a way for individuals and students to volunteer by setting up at least two work days a year that will be supervised by City staff.

For more information about the Adopt-a-Park program, call 668-5594.