NeighborWorks Great Falls has chosen to support the Preserve Our Parks Great Falls initiative to establish the Great Falls Park District. We offer our support based on our long term understanding of the impact and benefit that well maintained public spaces do for a community and neighborhood. As stated in NeighborWorks articles of incorporation, dating back to 1980, “This corporation is organized for the following purposes: To stimulate reinvestment of urban neighborhoods in the city of Great Falls through programs involving a partnership of neighborhood residents, business community representatives of local government, financial institutions, and other interested persons…
Why Does Great Falls need a park district?
The city has 57 parks, swimming pools, golf courses, the Natatorium and the Community Recreation Center. These amenities are public spaces we have enjoyed for many decades. The annual budget allocation from the general fund is not enough to properly maintain these facilities. They are increasingly showing their age. As described in the Preserve Our Parks website, “The city Park and Recreation Master Plan identified $12.6 million in deferred maintenance and other operational needs. Establishing a park district will allow the Park and Recreation department to begin addressing the maintenance problems.” (http://preserveourparksgf.org/)
On average a Great Falls homeowner will pay $2.88 per month to maintain this district. Without funding, cuts might mean play structures will not be replaced after removal for safety reasons; less watering, reduced mowing, and continued problems with obsolete irrigation systems; loss of picnic shelters; minimal trail maintenance; and mounting deferred maintenance. Continuing to kick the can down the road will eventually cost much more.
Over time, unmaintained parks will deteriorate a neighborhood, lowering property values and diminishing viable neighborhoods.NeighborWorks Great Falls is dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of safe and vibrant neighborhoods. We believe this initiative is a thoughtful and financially responsible solution for the preservation of Great Falls Parks.Please join us in supporting the Preserve Our Parks initiative by voting "Yes" on May 8th.