11/23/2010: "Volunteers Return As Budget Woes Continue"
( Golf Club owner Justin Taylor donates time and expertise to keep Eastsound Village Green’s grass growing - Fred Klein photo)
There was a time in San Juan County when citizen volunteers were the way things got done, but as time passed and the population and demand on services grew, paid staff grew too.
Works well when you can afford it, but with the drop in revenue to run County services, the need for volunteers has increased; and no one should be surprised that the call is being responded to.
One good example -and there are others- is when the Director of Public Parks was informed of cutbacks in funding, her response was to warn "we will have to chain off the entrances to the parks." While some were not convinced that really would not be required, the tocsin had been heard, and folks lined up to do the work... for free.
The County reports (who keeps track of this stuff?) that: "Volunteers have donated more than 1200 hours of work to stretch the San Juan County Park and Recreation Department’s budget in the last year."
The moral may be when you need something done in the county, before you dip into the County money bag, try asking for help; it has worked in the past, and it is working now.
The County has highlighted just one example of the success of work at Eastsound Village Green Park on Orcas, that were if not for volunteers would have either not been done, or something else would not have been done: "Fred Klein, called 'Super Volunteer' by park staff, has found resources and coordinated volunteer efforts which have helped make Village Green an award-winning showplace."
Some of those volunteers are Justin Taylor, Kevin McCoy, Patrick Bennet, Steve Pearson and Chuck Greening, who helped to aerate and re-seed the Green. And a special thanks was given to Taylor (photo above) for donating the use of his tractor and aerating equipment. Taylor who owns and maintains the Orcas Island Golf Club, but made time three times to work on the Green, and has offered to do it again in the spring.
Those who would like to join other volunteers to help keep County’s parks on San Juan, Shaw, Orcas and Lopez Islands in top condition, should contact the Park and Recreation Department office at (360) 378-8420.