HISTORY OF WEED RECREATION & PARK DISTRICT
The earliest beginnings of what is now the Weed Recreation and Park District, were in 1948 with organization of a local committee composed of members of local civic groups. Chairmanship of the committee was held by Mr. Jack Kersey. The committee verbalized the need for a public body to meet recreation needs of the community and to acquire park space. Immediately prior to the 1950 General Election, eight petitions were circulated about the local area by various committee members. Each petition was headed with the following statement:
"Purpose of forming said District is to secure and maintain for all of the people of said area a sound wholesome and adequate system of recreational facilities which will thereby contribute to the health , safety and social adjustment of the citizens, the prevention of delinquency and support the prosperity of the Weed community."
By July 15, 1950, the petitions had garnered a total of 400 signatures. On July 25, 1950, the petition was filed in the Office of the Clerk of Siskiyou County in Yreka , California.
On September 5, 1950 the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution designating that a District should be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 , Chapter 3, Division 5 of the Public Resources Code of the State of California.
On Tuesday, November 21 , 1950, the General Election was held. The District became a legal entity under the title of "Weed Park, Recreation and Parkway District" by a majority vote of the first Board of Trustees. Elected to serve two-year terms were Mr. William Albert Davis (deceased) Mr. Harry V Spence (deceased) and Mr. Harold Ernest Scott. Davis was elected Chairman, Scott Vice-Chairman and Spence was the Board Secretary.
The boundaries of the District were the same as those of the Weed Elementary School District. A 15¢ tax rate was levied on the residents of the District and the District came under control of the California Recreation Commission.
By June of 1956, the District had a City Park at the present site of the Weed Convalescent Hospital. During that summer, the Board hired its first Summer Playground Leader , Mr. William Rall, a teacher at Weed Elementary School. Parks also came into existence in the Old South Highway region and Angel Valley. The latter was leased from International Paper Company. ln December of 1956, the District sponsored its first year of the Ski School.
On February 15, 1958, a Resolution was passed in order to conform with an impending State law. The District reconstituted its boundaries and changed its title to "Weed Recreation and Park District". Also, control of the District shifted from the State to Siskiyou County. ln that same year , the District received the deed to what is now the Carrick Park.
In June of 1958, the Weed Lions Club approached the Recreation Board, suggesting they would help assume part of the financial burden of installing a community swimming pool provided the District would take on the responsibility of operating and maintaining the facility. A Board motion was made and seconded , followed by a unanimous vote. In July of 1965, the idea became a reality and Mrs. Rose Bird was the first Pool Manager. The entire project was supported by donations and gifts from local civic organizations.
By June of 1972, the District had grown to include six parks. In 1973, the District purchased a relocated home from the Carrick-Warren Fire Protection District. This structure was permanently installed in Carrick Park and now serves as housing for the Director and his family.
In May of 1973, the District hired its first, full- time Director of Recreation and Parks, Mr. Bryan H. Hopkins. Within a year, all- season recreational activities were existing in Weed. In July of 1974, Mr. Lee Ferrero was hired as the District Director.
PAST & PRSENT MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
William A. Davis 1950 - 1963 (Deceased)
Harry V. Spence 1950-1956 ( Deceased)
Harold E. Scott 1950-1955
Aldo Rossetto 1954-1957
Wilbur O'Dell 1954-1956
Dwight R. Madeen 1954-1956
Herbert Pyles 1955-1958 Deceased)
Don Smith 1956-1959
Harry Koch 1956-1957
Walter. Maloney 1957-1963 (Deceased)
Lloyd Dawson 1957-1966 (Deceased)
James Fruzza 1959-1967
Jessie O. Green 1959-1974
Morton A Kaer 1963-1973
Gabriel Daggett 1963-1972
Vincent P. Tallerico 1967-1972
Joseph Rossetto 1969-1981
Jim Ray 1972-1976;1977-1981
Jim Cornwall , Sr. 1972-1979
Gloria Phillips 1972-1977
Lorraine McCoy 1974-1977
Virgil Tuman 1976-1979
Robert Hall 1977-1978
Debi Salvestrin 1978-1979
Vince Merritt 1979-1981
Ken Shaffer 1979-1981
Darrell Williams 1979-1981
Sue Gatlin 1981-1985
Maarten Ligtenberg 1981-1983
Joe Ganim 1981-1983
Tony Andrews 1981-1985
Chuck Abel 1983-
Valerie Ferrero 1983-
Ray Brown 1983-
Mike Carpine 1985-
Tom Crumpacker 1985-
Jeff Tucey 1985-
Jan Keen 1988-
PAST & PRESENT PROGRAM DIRECTORS
(Seasonal from 1956-1972)
William Rall 1956
Damien Rossetto 1957
Frank Lucero 1958
Arron Thomas Jr 1959
John Patella 1960
Robert Willet 1961
Robert Willet 1962
Phil Fotopoulos 1963
Eddie Fruzza 1964
Jim Cason 1965
Jeanine Cox 1968
Lee Ferrero 1969
Fred Pillon Jr 1970
Ned Borlang 1971
Mike Smith 1972
Bryan Hopkins 1973-1974 (First full-time)
Lee Ferrero 1974-1978
Wm L Crampton 1978
The purpose of the Weed Recreation and Park District is to develop and maintain the park lands into play areas for all ages and to promote a recreation program to fit the needs of the community. This may be accomplished by the development of supervised activity programs, construction and maintenance of recreation facilities and cooperative efforts with other agencies in the area which provides like services.
The Weed Recreation and Park District is approximately 83 square miles in size, comprising about 54,400 acres. Within its boundaries lies the City of Weed and the Carrick and Warren Additions. Roughly one-half of the District is on the North and Northwest slopes of Mount Shasta, including the summit itself . The southern boundary pass es to within one-half mile of Black Butte and the western boundary misses the community of Edgewood by one-quarter mile. Eighty-five sections of land are within the District.
The Weed Recreation and Park District lies within the Weed Union Elementary
School District. The following schools are within the District:
Weed Union Elementary School
Weed High School
College of the Siskiyous
THE NATURE OF RECREATION
Recreation is a leisure time activity voluntarily engaged in for its own sake, which contributes to the physical, mental and moral development of the individual participating therein, and may include any activity in the fields of music, drama, art, handicraft, science, literature, nature study, camping, aquatics, low organized games, sports and athletic s, in addition to activities incorporating informal play.
Recreation may be an individual experience or one shared with a small or large group. It may be organized or unorganized, commercial or non-commercial, and under private or public auspices. Recreation is cast today in a greater role than ever before since it is the principal opportunity of many people for creative living.
Community recreation, sometimes called public recreation, is the provision by a governmental agency of organized recreation. It is available to all people; is financed primarily by taxation, and includes the establishment, operation, conduct and maintenance of program services, areas and facilities.
In the pamphlet "Recreation for Community Living" developed by a national.
committee and published by the Athletic Press, it is stated:
“A summarization of recreation relation to other fields would stress that recreation belongs to all people as an area of daily living, that it has many significant by-products related to other fields of human needs, that it possesses great values as a means of personal and group achievement, that is a fundamental means of democratic expression, that it provides one of the best means of assuring that people can develop values as individuals and thereby secure an individual dignity which nothing else can reproduce, that it is a significant factor in promotion of human unison, and that it is society’s responsibility.”
AREAS AND FACILITIES
The Weed Recreation and Park District office is located in Bel Air Park at 450 College Avenue, Weed, California.
DISTRICT SWIMMING POOL
The community swimming pool is also located in Bel Air Park, adjacent to the District Office. The pool complex includes a children's wading pool. The large pool has a capacity of 177,180-gallons, a 12 ½ foot-deep end and dimensions of 42 feet by 83 feet.
The District owns a three-bedroom, two-story house, with a well at Carrick Park. This house is provided to the District Director and his family.
Bel Air Park is between College Avenue on the north and College of the Siskiyous on the south. It has an area of approximately 7.1 acres on which are located a lighted softball-little league baseball diamond, a playlot, a large open playfield and picnic facilities. The park is leased from the City of Weed.
Lincoln Heights Park is located at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd. and Highway 97. It is an area of 24 acres divided into 4 parcels. Lincoln Park contains a soccer field, a softball field, volleyball court, basketball courts, horseshoe pits , picnic facilities and a restroom (maintenance) building. The park land was donated by International Paper Company in December of 1980 and was initially developed with monies from the Roberti -Z'berg Urban Open/Space Grant and the Park Restoration and Urban Reforestation Programs. Two lots are leased from the City of Weed (for parking and access).
Weed Sons Ball Park is adjacent to Weed High School and is bordered on the west by Hillside Avenue. It is an area of 7.6 acres, part of: which is the site of the old Weed City Baseball Stadium, still standing. The stadium was built in 1941. The hard ball field was lighted in 1977 using money from the 1974 Bond Act. ln 1979 a Roberti -Z'berg Grant was obtained to build a lighted youth size field including a two-story concession/announcers/restroom storage facility . Land is leased from the City of Weed.
Carrick Park is in Carrick Addition, at the intersection of Maple and Park Street. It comprises an area of about 3 acres. The park contains picnic facilities a basketball half-court, a tot lot, and a restroom/maintenance facility. This area is suited primarily for picnicking and houses the Director's home. This park is also owned by the District.
ABOUT WEED COMMUNITY CENTER
Early in July, the Grand Jury received an inquiry regarding the history, use and status of the Weed Community Center. Inasmuch as the Boles Fire had destroyed the former building, which had been designated as the community center, the Grand Jury wanted to update Siskiyou County residents regarding the status of the Weed Community Center.
The first facility was built on the site of the former Weed High School gymnasium; it housed the Adult Day Health Care program. In 2013, it became the Weed Community Center. The Boles Fire subsequently destroyed it. While the destruction of the former community center was a loss for the citizens of Weed, it provided an opportunity for the community to build a substantially improved facility, which will better serve a broader segment of citizens of Weed.
Records, documents and correspondence not destroyed in the Boles Fire were reviewed as far back as 1991. Interviews were conducted with current Weed Recreation and Parks District (WRPD) staff and board members, as well as current and past city council members.
In 1991, the Great Northern Corporation (GNC), a nonprofit corporation, purchased a piece of property from the City of Weed for the sum of $10,000. This property was later divided into two parcels, one of which contained the old Weed High School gymnasium. In 2004, prior to a grant application submitted by the City of Weed, with the Great Northern Corporation’s assistance, the old gym was condemned and demolished. A grant application in the amount of $1,000,000 was approved in May 2005 to build a new “Community Facilities Building”.
The new building was to house the following: the Adult Day Health Care Program, a pool, the Food Commodities Program, Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization Program, and a Wellness Center.
Due to several factors such as lower utilization, changing community needs and the changing objectives of Great Northern Corporation (the prior owner of the building), the facility was placed on the market.
WRPD stepped in and purchased the Community Facilities Building in 2013 made possible by an $800,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation. Additionally, funds in the amount of
$400,000 were applied for and received from the McConnell Foundation for outfitting the remodeled building and constructing a fully functional commercial kitchen. The original purpose of the redesigned building was changed to allow more members of the community greater access to, and use of, the facility. The new kitchen made a variety of new functions possible. The center was completed and opened for use in April 2014.
After the transition to WRPD management, the renovation and use of the Community Center building had been moving along smoothly until September 14, 2014, when the Boles Fire destroyed the entire structure and all contents.
From 1991 until the Boles Fire, the citizens of Weed and the surrounding communities had seen the transition of a condemned gymnasium into a senior services facility, and later into a fully functioning community center without ever having to spend any city funds. The acquisition, building and transitions had all been accomplished through grants administered by others.
The grants obtained in 2013 allowed WRPD, a fully independent special district, to gain complete local control and management of the facility. Further, because of having had the foresight to fully ensure the building and its contents, the WRPD is currently in control of $2.2 million in insurance proceeds. Two other portions of insurance proceeds for $305,000 and
$57,000 have also been received. Insurers upon approval of plans for the proposed new facility will release an additional balance of $233,000. This additional $600,000 will be included in the rebuilding and refurbishing of the proposed community center. The Weed Recreation and Parks District still has $200,000 remaining from the McConnell Foundation grant of 2013, which are also earmarked for the rebuilding effort.
WRPD has plans to break ground for the proposed state-of-the-art community center in June 2017. The Grand Jury learned that WRPD had already purchased 18 acres of land in Angel Valley. This property is located near East Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street in Weed and is comprised of three six-acre parcels. A 14,000 square foot building will be constructed on five of these acres. The former Weed Community Center building was only 11,000 square feet with limited parking, while the new location will accommodate at least 150 parking spaces.
In addition, the increased building space will allow opportunities for the creation of new sources of revenue by leasing, renting or subleasing space to those wishing to provide additional services to the community.
Discussions have also taken place regarding the possible return of a senior lunch program. As of the date of this report, a senior lunch program has not been fully designed, and may involve other local agencies.
Plans for the proposed community center include a wellness center, which will house a therapeutic pool and exercise facility for use by seniors and others. Fitness and training will be available, and a dance studio is in the planning stages. Additional discussions about future senior programming are ongoing.
A commercial kitchen will be available for use by individuals, groups and small businesses. A spacious event room is being designed to accommodate larger community events. A conferencing center will have meeting rooms, office space and storage capabilities. Plans include a computer network with at least six workstations for public use. The building will also be Wi-Fi capable. Other amenities such as restrooms, showers and locker rooms are planned.
Due to the increased area available on the sizable new property, there will be other opportunities considered for additional use in the future, as new phases of development occur. Ideas being considered include an RV park, a dog park and an outdoor sports complex, which could include soccer, baseball, softball fields and tennis and basketball courts.
WRPD and Great Northern Corporation have formed a partnership to assist in the development of future plans, which opens the door to new financial and planning opportunities. A key consideration for this facility will be the opportunity for potential income generation so that the center becomes, and remains, economically sustainable and independent.
F1. Due to the efforts of Weed Recreation and Parks Department, the citizens of Weed and the surrounding communities are in the process of building a fully functional community center that will provide many needed services to a much broader segment of the public.