Monday, October 22 , 2018, 2:13 pm | Fog/Mist 68º


Parks Commission Recognizes Neighborhood Volunteers

Seven residents are honored for giving of their time and talents to local projects

At each monthly meeting, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Commission recognizes those who have volunteered their time and talents to help with projects related to the Parks & Recreation Department.

On Wednesday, the commission recognized Susana Madrueno Gonzalez for volunteering for projects in the Lower Westside neighborhood, and Tara Haaland-Ford, Jorge Fulco, Christy Haynes, officer Carl Kamin, Janice Rorick and Melissa Wilkins for volunteering and supporting Parks & Recreation’s youth and teen programming.

The Neighborhood & Outreach Services section of the Parks & Recreation Department focuses on providing services to city neighborhoods and families, especially those living in high-density areas that are often underserved. As part of their services, NOS coordinates weekly and monthly food distribution programs, gardening programs and youth activities. The NOS staff depends greatly on volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

For the past several years, Madrueno Gonzalez has helped coordinate the food distribution program in the lower Westside neighborhood. Additionally, she volunteered for two neighborhood community events — the Lower Westside Block Party, for which she provided entertainment and dance instructions to the youths, and the recent Fall Festival event.

Madrueno Gonzalez’s support of the neighborhood and her generous giving of her time have not gone unnoticed, and the Parks & Recreation Department recognized her commitment to the neighborhood.

The Santa Barbara Youth Council, working with staff in the Neighborhood & Outreach Services section, develops, coordinates and hosts several activities throughout the year to engage and educate their peers. To provide the best possible information and open dialogue, the Youth Council solicits the support from community providers.

During the early part of 2010, the Youth Council held a Youth Speak Out to discuss issues that teens had identified. That discussion was followed up on Nov. 15 through a Teen Rights Workshop that dealt with issues of teen dating violence, drugs and alcohol, school regulations and police traffic stops.

The Parks & Recreation Department recognized the time commitment and support given by Haaland-Ford, Fulco, Haynes, Kamin, Rorick and Wilkins. Each volunteered their evening time and presented valuable information and support to community teens.

— Kathleen Sullivan is the marketing coordinator for the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department.

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