REC N’ROLL | SUMMER 2018 | 3 During my 23 year career with the City of Des Moines as its Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Director, I have had the great pleasure of working with extraordinary citizens, volunteers, staff, civic groups, private and public organizations, businesses and government. The Department’s Vision, “An Active Engaged Community”, is realized every day because of passionate individuals that have served Des Moines on its Parks, Recreation, and Senior Services Master Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, Human Services Advisory Committee, Senior Services Advisory Committee, Arts Commission, Landmarks Commission and Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. The Department’s programs led by hundreds of Youth Sports Coaches, Senior Services volunteers, Friends of Des Moines Creek, Friends of Sonju Garden, Park Adopt-A-Spot and Earth Day groups have made tremendous impacts through their collective contribution of more than 13,000 hours of time annually. Authentic partnerships, collaborations and friendships have been developed between the Department and the Highline School District, Highline College, Highline Schools Foundation, Federal Way Public Schools, Rotary Club of Des Moines and Normandy Park, Destination Des Moines, Des Moines Area Food Bank, Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market, Reach Out Des Moines, King County Library Services, Sound Generations, Catholic Community Services, Sea Mar Community Health Center, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, King Conservation District, Port of Seattle, Midway Sewer District, Highline Water District, Cities of Normandy Park, SeaTac, Burien, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila and Renton, Des Moines Creek Basin Committee, King County and State of Washington, and with the many local businesses, places of worship, human services agencies and neighborhood groups that have contributed their support, funding and expertise. Because of these relationships, the City has been able to offer hundreds of recreation, senior services, sports, arts, education and fitness activities and special events that have exponentially improved social, physical and mental health, environmental and economic benefits for all people living in Des Moines resulting in a safer, healthier and more inclusive community. Federal, State, King County and private grant agencies, citizen donations and developer contributions matched City funds to acquire, construct, restore or enhance Des Moines Creek Park and Trail; Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park; Senior Services Activity Center; Des Moines Beach Park Auditorium, Dining Hall, Sun Home Lodge, Restroom and Picnic Shelter; Field House Park, Recreation Center, Grandstand and Picnic Shelter; Barnes Creek Trail; Cecil Powell Park; Dr. Shirley Gordon Park; Kiddie Park; Mary Gay Park; Midway Park; Parkside Park; Parkside Wetlands; Redondo Beach; Sonju Park; Water Tower Park; Westwood Park; Wooton Park; Woodmont Park; and Zenith Park. The Des Moines Legacy Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit which supports the programs and services of the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Department, has worked diligently since 1999 to enhance the lives of Des Moines citizens, especially those in need. In the last 20 years, the Foundation and its generous contributors have raised over $2 million that have been invested in Steven J. Underwood Memorial Park, Des Moines Senior Activity Center, Daisy Sonju Garden, “No Kids Left Inside” Play Areas, Heritage Trail Signage, Fourteen Passenger Van, Recreation Scholarships for Children and Seniors, Medical Lending Equipment, Parkrun, Beach Park Summer Concerts, Art On Poverty Bay Outdoor Sculptures and Murals, Movies in the Park, Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market, and programs at Midway Park. The Foundation’s annual fundraising events include: Bayside Brunch at Anthony’s Homeport in November, Bids for Kids at Beach Park Summer Concert Series in July, and Arts Gala on Poverty Bay at Beach Park Auditorium in September. My heartfelt thanks and deepest respect goes to the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Department professionals that embody the spirit of service for the betterment of our community! These outstanding team members are Senior Services Manager Sue Padden, Senior Services Program Specialist Natalie Lavoie, Senior Services Program Assistant Charisse Gregory, Facilities and Events Manager Shannon Kirchberg, Facilities and Events Specialist Sonja Cunningham, Recreation Manager Rick Scott, (former) Assistant Recreation Manager Taria Keane, Recreation Specialists Kelsey Cole and Kyle Ehlers, Administrative Assistant Janet Best, and the more than 100 part-time Recreation Leaders and Office and Facility Attendants. The City’s parks, facilities and projects are well maintained and managed by Public Works Superintendent John Blackburn, Parks Lead Adam O’Donnell, Parks Maintenance Workers Phil Grager and Bob Remien, Building Maintenance Workers Dick Stites and Mike Drahosz and Public Works Project Manager Scott Romano. Along with the support of the City Council, and the City’s Administration, Police, Public Works, Community Development, Finance, Legal, Court, and Marina Departments, these dedicated employees provide the life enriching programs, services and events at our parks, beaches and community centers to meet the needs and interests of our diverse and culturally rich community. After a 39-year whirlwind career in the Parks and Recreation profession, I will retire from the Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Director position on June 30th of this year. It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked alongside the citizens, City Council and staff of the City of Des Moines. My sincerest gratitude to you all. In Play, Patrice Thorell Director’sThankYou to the Des Moines Community!