Neighborhood Volunteers Recognized by Parks & Rec

City Honors Efforts at December Meeting

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

Commission Award recipients from left to right (top) : Tara Haaland-Ford, Melissa Wilkins, Officer Carl Kamin, (bottom) Janice Rorick, Christie Haines, Susana Madrueno Gonzalez.

On Wednesday, December 15, the Commission recognized Susana Madrueno Gonzalez for volunteering for projects in the Lower Westside neighborhood and Tara Haaland-Ford, Jorge Fulco, Christy Haynes, Officer Karls, Janice Rorick, and Melissa Wilkins for volunteering and supporting Parks & Recreation’s youth and teen programming.

The Neighborhood and Outreach Services section of the Parks & Recreation department focuses on providing services to our city neighborhoods and families, especially those living in high-density areas which 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, Susana Madrueno Gonzalez has helped coordinate the food distribution program in the lower Westside neighborhood. Additionally, Ms. Madrueno Gonzalez volunteered for two neighborhood community events – the Lower Westside Block Party where she provided entertainment and dance instructions to the youth and the recent Fall Festival event. Ms. Madrueno Gonzalez’s support of the neighborhood and her generous giving of her time have not gone unnoticed and the Parks and Recreation Department recognized her commitment to the neighborhood.

The Santa Barbara Youth Council, working with staff in the Neighborhood and 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. This discussion was followed up on November 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 and Recreation Department recognized the time commitment and support given by Tara Haaland-Ford, Jorge Fulco, Christy Haynes, Officer Carl Kamin, Janice Rorick and Melissa Wilkins. Each of these individuals volunteered their evening time and presented valuable information and support to our community teens.