“Polish Our Gem!”
A campaign to renovate Carmichael Parks
A great park brings a community together. There’s really nothing like it. Carmichael Park has been a community icon for almost 70 years, and it still is. It’s a gem. But now it needs some real renovation so it can serve us for another 70 years. There’s no public money to do that job so this has to come from the community. We can do it. It’s time to polish the gem.
The Carmichael Recreation and Park District was created in 1945. For nearly 70 years the District has helped maintain the beauty and quality of the Carmichael community. Even during lean years, the District managed to provide the basic upkeep of Carmichael Park, as well as the seven other parks in the District. The District has seasoned, skilled and dedicated staff. Funding for managing and maintaining all the parks in the District comes from property taxes and recreation fees. The budget has been dramatically reduced in recent years but is now stabilized where any improvements made today can be maintained. The Carmichael Recreation and Parks Foundation, created in 2009, is an independent, tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization made up of volunteers who help raise funds for select projects beyond the capacity of the District budget. The Foundation Board meets monthly and is committed to helping Carmichael Park.
Over the years, Carmichael Park has been the site for countless community events, family outings and individual moments of solitude. It is heavily used nearly every day of the year. Stories are common about how this person or that learned to swim in the pool, pitched a winning game or held a memorable family gathering. Located in clear sight right on Fair Oaks Boulevard, Carmichael Park is a visual and functional hub for the whole community. It has 38 acres, lighted ball diamonds, lighted tennis and basketball courts, a dog park, picnic shelter, a band shell and two rentable community buildings.
While much has been done to keep the newer parks working well, Carmichael Park in particular, is in need of repairs and renovation. In 2004, the ever-popular Carmichael Pool, which opened in 1952, had to be closed because it could no longer be repaired. Many residents believe that losing the pool forever was simply not acceptable, and it is not.
Community leaders and the District staff worked together to develop the plan for a renovated park. The plan includes a new aquatic center, repairs to the Vets Hall, a new picnic shelter, renovations to the band shell and seating, improved bleachers and backstop for ball field #2, a new pad for the skate park, clubhouse kitchen repairs, new park lighting, a new restroom at the tennis courts, ADA ballpark upgrades, water building upgrades, and repairs for most of the roads, parking lots and sidewalks. The total of all costs is: $7,000,000.
To raise the $7 million needed for the park renovations, the District’s Foundation is launching a community-wide campaign, called “Polish Our Gem!” Volunteers are already coming forward to help and donations will be sought from local businesses, foundations, organizations and individuals throughout the community. Donors will be invited to spread their gifts over three years to allow everyone to give at their best levels.
Major donors will have many Named Gift Opportunities to select from, and donors of $5,000 or more will be listed on a permanent plaque so everyone will know who helped make this outstanding park possible. Every donor, regardless of the amount, will be recognized on the Park website.
Carmichael Park is a wonderful place. More than any other local asset, it is the heart and soul of our community. We can pull together and restore this gem and give every resident a reason to be proud of a truly great community.
Please support our park. Thank you.