WWRP truly changes lives! This Saturday, Coalition Executive Director Andrea McNamara Doyle had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting for the Springbrook Park expansion in the City of Lakewood. This park is in an isolated area next to McCord Air Force Base, which is cut off from Lakewood proper by the I-5 corridor. The area is filled mostly with multi-complex rental housing, has a high poverty rate, and is home to a large transient population.
This particular area has been a long-standing priority for many community leaders looking to improve the lives of the children and families living there, and hoping to provide them with greater access to the rest of the city.
In 2014, the City of Lakewood applied for a WWRP Local Parks grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office. The final WWRP grant of $193,950, along with a match of the same amount, has made it possible to expand the park area, remove dilapidated and dangerous housing, add an entirely new, state-of-the-art playground, picnic shelter, community garden, and a bridge over the adjacent creek to connect the park and the entire neighborhood to a nearby transit center. This means better access to the rest of the city for area residents, which in turn may lead to better job opportunities, schools, and more. It also provides this underserved community with wonderful opportunities for outdoor playtime, exercise, peer bonding, and neighborhood unity.
Around 200 people, including Senator Conway and Representative Kirby, showed up to the open house to celebrate on Saturday. The widespread joy and community pride was absolutely heartwarming to experience.
The WWRP makes such a HUGE difference in so many lives, and we at the Coalition are so thrilled to work day-in and day-out to support this vital program. Together, we are improving community ties, making recreation more accessible to underserved populations, and changing lives for the better across Washington.
Check out some photos from the event: