Newsletter – May 8, 2018

Water Project in Uganda

Pledge by Christine Jensen
Invocation by Mike Grace

Guests: Colleen Waters, Monika Singh (3rd visit). Visiting Rotarians: Dick Bauer and Richard Olebe. We presented then with a check for their water project in Uganda for $10,750. This project will provide fresh water for 5 villages—over 10,000 people!

Chance to make a difference: Bell Ringer: Danny Curtola was here for the first time since his baby boy, Vinny was born. Congratulations to Danny and Julie and big sister! Danny also reminded us about softball and said the league hasn’t started yet because there aren’t enough teams yet.

Happy Bucks: Howard paid HB because he’s bummed that Gary wasn’t here today because he took his Corvette out of moth balls to show Gary how fast a car could go with a skilled driver. Les paid happy bucks for being tardy and leaving early. He says his work is crazy busy and just wanted to say HI and get back to work. John Gabriel paid Happy Bucks because he just met with First Tee and they are going to have the girls at the designated hole to shoot for best ball—he says they schooled him last year! John also reminded everyone that next week is our Scholarship Luncheon with our 16 students and family members. It is such an inspirational meeting for us all. John said to be sure to sit among the students to show them what Rotary is about and have the chance to speak with them. Randy gave Happy Bucks because in 3 weeks he will be getting his Model 3 Tesla. The car will run off the solar panels on his roof! Paula gave happy bucks for double scheduling next weeks meeting, and because her yard is blooming!

Next weeks pledge: John Gabriel, invocation: Danny Curtola. On May 22nd, Paul King will take over Prez duties for Mike who will be unavailable.

The luncheon next week at the Culinary Café is Cancelled due to the schedule.
We are DARK on May 29th due to the Memorial Day Holiday
The Demotion date is now June 30th, we will be dark on June 26th. Details TBD.

Rotary Day at the Rivercats is June 5th. Mike will email the flyer when he gets it.

If you want to see the survey of things that were discussed at the firesides it was attached to last week’s minutes.

Tom says the two main things that were brought up that Rotarians in this club want are: Doing a Service Project (hands-on) and better Communication.

The Rotary Peace Center is looking for Fellowship candidates, applications for 2020 are available.

Our speaker today is Dianna Poggetto, Executive Director of the American River Parkway Foundation. Dianna has been involved in Non-Profit work and Public Policy for 26 years. She is the mother of 2 boys, one is a World Champion and 5 time gold medal winner in Disabled Water-skiing and Wake-boarding.

The American River Parkway is 4,800 acres and twenty three miles of land and river that runs through the urban core of Sacramento. The mission of the Foundation is “To support the preservation & enjoyment of the America River Parkway by fostering environmental education, stewardship & volunteer opportunities.”

It is the largest parkway in the United States and is used as a “blueprint” for other communities to use for urban parks. $364, 218, 973 is generated annually from the American River Parkway. The ARP Foundation was established to protect and ensure a sustainable resource for all. There are 21 members on the Foundation Board and there can be up to 25. They have a volunteer arm to provide volunteer opportunities, and an educational arm to provide enrichment to local schools.

The main ARPF events are:

Spring Cleanup—2nd Saturday in April
¨ Howlin’ on the Parkway—dog walk with vendors and food trucks
¨ Summer Solstice-an outdoor dinner and auction to support the greatest recreational civic amenity.
¨ Ride the Parkway-3 different routes with post-ride BBQ, Beer and Music
¨ Run the Parkway-they partner with the SRA with training runs for the CIM
¨ Great American River Clean-up-3rd Saturday in September largest annual cleanup
The main ARPF Programs are:
¨ Outdoor Education Site-for environmental education for local youth
¨ Clean-ups-year round clean-up of the parkway
¨ Invasive Plant Management– volunteers and staff work to reduce the non-native plant population along the American River Parkway
¨ Trail Maintenance-30 miles of multi-use trails
¨ Volunteer & Financial Mile Stewards– some groups fund the maintenance while volunteer steward maintain the mile.
¨ Native Plant Garden-Highlights and showcases regional native plants
¨ Internships-volunteer internships with hands-on experience in the environmental science, marketing & PR fields
¨ Pups in the Park-Provides “mini-mitts” doggy stations to reduce animal waste
¨ Wildfire restoration-ARPF works with the Parks, local utility companies and universities to develop research and restoration plans for areas burned by wildfires.
¨ Parkway Partners-a marketing program to connect local businesses with the thousands of visitors that use the Parkway each year.

The Campfire area at River bend Park started with a District Rotary project. They have been improving it over time with shade structures and benches but are in need of a permanent bathroom to make the site available for overnight class experiences. Title One schools use this area for classroom experiences in the outdoors. 2600 children have been served by the Campfire Area. Point West Rotary donates during Spring clean-up.

ARPF is a relatively small non-profit but only gets a mall amount of their funding from government grants. The rest of their $75,000 budget is raised through fund Rising. They also sell a Park Pass for $50 which gets you into all the park areas. There are many opportunities for volunteering. The county does the mow & blow, supplies the Park Rangers and controls the permits and they work with the ARPF and Fire Department for burn prevention. They do control burns, grazing and some invasive plant removal. The majority of the fires are 10 acres and less, but sometimes there are larger ones that can take out power to nearby residences.

The homeless on the parkway have been a problem for over 30 years. Some of the homeless camps are deep in and they really don’t want to be disturbed. The State Water Board regulates the water safety to make sure the river is safe for swimming. They have Park Rangers on 7 days a week and Maintenance 7 days a week. Beer & wine are allowed in the Park in designated areas.

Thank you, Dianna, for a very informative and interesting presentation.

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