South Metro Land Conservancy posed 5 questions to all eight South Suburban Parks and Recreation candidates. Their responses appear below unedited, exactly as they were received. SMLC is extremely appreciative of the time they took to address these questions and we thank them!
For more information about the May 3rd election and candidate bios, please go to https://www.ssprd.org/board-election
- SSPRD’s 2017 Master Plan is driven by four guiding principles one of which is “Lead Sustainability.” The website has a page entitled, “Sustainability in South Suburban” with the last item under “Recent Sustainability News” over four years old. Further, the link on the webpage to SSPRD’s sustainability subcommittee is defunct. Given accelerating climate change, the considerable acreage under the District’s stewardship and its goals to save taxpayer dollars on mowing and water use, what will you do to promote environmental sustainability?
- Another guiding principle in the 2017 Master Plan is “Connect with Nature.” Page 56 of the document sites research from the Children’s Nature Network stating that the “…average youth spends just four to seven minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day and much more time in front of screens…” What will you do to connect children and youth with nature?
- SMLC and its partners (Littleton housing authority, private foundation, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment) funded design work for a “reimagined” Powers Park located in a dense part of Littleton. Powers Park’s main purpose has been as a stormwater detention facility with minimal park amenities. SMLC believes this park can serve current and future neighbors far better and can be a model for other parks in terms of community input/buy-in and ecological awareness (native plantings, management of stormwater, etc.) The estimated construction cost is $4 million. Will you commit to working to include this project in SSPRD’s capital improvement plan? More information about this project can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yikh1krjh0kyah7/AAA8X7zp1VFdfliIR_lkXeBxa?dl=0
- There is a perception among some that SSPRD prioritizes active recreation over passive recreation because active recreation generates fees. What will you do to address this perception among all of SSPRD’s users, whether they play ice hockey or hike, play pickle ball or birdwatch?
- Please feel free to share additional thoughts about open spaces and natural areas in our community.
The Candidates Answer
Please select a candidate’s name to view their answers; each response is numbered to match the questions listed above.
Candidate Pete Barrett
Candidate Michael G. Kohut
Candidate John Priddy
Candidate Susan K. Pye
Candidate Kathleen Turley
Candidate Elizabeth Watson
As a board member, I will learn more about ways SSPRD can promote environmental sustainability through partnerships with organization like the South Metro Land Conservancy and I will advocate for the implementation of such recommendations.
Nature play is superior a creating a sense of self for children through fostering both the development of independence and interdependence. Children are encouraged to connect with nature through the influential adults in their lives. Considering this, I think SSPRD will need to be intentional in finding ways to build/enhance the bond between nature and parents, educators and other community adults so they can serve as nature mentors. The ambition of a raising children deeply connected with nature cannot happen without adults to participate in the process to serve as encouragement and guides to put down technology and step outside.
Yes, I would fully support including this project in the SSPRD capital improvement plan.
I think it is important to have transparency around the district’s budget, this would help address misconceptions. I also believe that allowing undeveloped parts of the district to remain wild, undisturbed so ecosystems can flourish would also demonstrate an equal appreciation for both times of recreation.
(No response provided)