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Lori Bagwell: Take advantage of your parks, Carson City

Lori Bagwell
For the Nevada Appeal

Editor’s note: The Nevada Appeal presented the Carson City Board of Supervisors, the mayor and city manager an opportunity for a column. Nick Marano will appear next Sunday:

Do you know about our extensive parks and recreation system in Carson City? How about the funding of these parks and open space?

As I was running for supervisor, I often contemplated why the city provides certain services for the residents and visitors to Carson City. After election, I was appointed to serve as the Board of Supervisors’ representative on the Parks and Recreation Board. I knew where some of the parks and recreational buildings were but had utilized few of them.

My first question now is, why do we have this parks and recreation system? My first thought is the parks and recreation system offers, exactly as advertised, recreational opportunities. I cannot imagine the city without the ability to enjoy our parks, trail systems, sports venues and open space. Our community buildings offer the ability for aquatic sports, roller blade events, basketball and volleyball. Outdoor facilities offer softball, Little League baseball, soccer and other sports. I will even throw in the golf courses, although one-half are privately funded and maintained. We are soon to have a disc golf course joining our system between the landfill and U.S. 50.

The second reason to have this system is the aesthetic value. Everyone enjoys seeing well-maintained parks and spaces that are green. As you enter our city from the north, your eyes are drawn to Silver Oak Golf Course. There are few people who would complain about the view, especially with the Sierra as a backdrop. U.S. 50 offers a similar view as you come down the hill from Mound House. They make the city appealing to residents and visitors.

In 1996, Carson City voters approved Question 18 increasing our sales tax by 1/4-percent. Question 18 was a quality-of-life initiative to maintain new park and recreation facilities. About 40 percent of the funds were earmarked for acquisition and management of open space land, 40 percent for development of community park facilities and trails, and 20 percent for maintenance and operation of these new park facilities. The funds are separate from the city’s general fund, and are used exclusively for the acquisition of open space, bike and hike trails, new park development and other recreational improvements.

Carson City has 21 neighborhood parks: Blackwell’s Pond, Carriage Square, Fuji, Carson River, Empire Ranch, Foreman-Roberts House, Fulstone Family, John Mankins Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Long Ranch, Mayors, Mills, Monte Vista, Park Terrace, Riley Circle, Ronald D. Wilson Memorial, Ross Gold, Sonoma, Steinheimer, Sunland Vista and Sunset. These parks offer several enjoyment possibilities from horseshoes to a picnic or even the quiet ability to enjoy a good book.

I haven’t even mentioned man’s best friend. Our trail system is dog-friendly as long as your dog is friendly. The beauty of a good walk with your best friend is the opportunity for exercise, meeting old friends and maybe even meeting a new one. Please cleanup after your pet, though.

We maintain miles of trails that are for walking, jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding. We have 15 trail systems: Ash to King, Carson River Aquatic, Empire Ranch, Fulstone Wetlands, Hidden Meadows, Lakeview Park, Linear Park, Lone Mountain, Mexican Ditch, Morgan Mill, Moffat Open Space, Prison Hill, Riverview Park, Silver Saddle Ranch and the V&T Multi-Use Path.

Our Question 18 monies have been used to purchase an extensive corridor along the Carson River and the mouths of several canyons along the Sierra. These purchases now allow the city to control and maintain the areas for our residents and visitors to enjoy for a long time. We also own the Silver Saddle Ranch and Buzzy’s Ranch.

The city has just approved building a new Multi-Purpose Athletic Center (MAC). The center will be built with $5,943,534 from Question 18 money and $2,200,000 from the new 1/8-percent sales tax infrastructure account. We are hopeful this new center is going to open in December for everyone’s use.

As you can see, Carson City has built and maintained an extensive parks and recreation system. This system is overseen by the Parks & Recreation Board. It meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Carson City Community Center Sierra Room.

It’s your parks system; enjoy and take advantage of this resource.

Lori Bagwell represents Ward 3 on the Carson City Board of Supervisors. She can be reached at 775-283-711 or lbagwell@carson.org.