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Parks and Recreation Award Community Grants

Darl Allred is wagonmaster. Allreds Adventures provides wagon rides at many events. Photo by Janet Juroch

The monthly meeting of the Garden Valley Parks and Recreation Board was quite busy. Attending board members were Thor Oden, Don Weilmunster, Steve Menlove, Leigh Ward, Sandy McLain, and Lara Alexander. Much of the meeting was listening to some Community Grant applicants, park event usage and solar eclipse planning. By the end of the meeting, all community grants turned in were accepted unanimously by the Board.

Grant recipients were Garden Valley Outreach Center, Wolverines on Wheels, Garden Valley Center for the Arts, GV Chamber Music in the Park, Allreds Adventures, Georgianna Goetsch, Kids Wonder Camp, GV School and Mountain Skyscapes.

Julie Hutchroft explained her needs for the Music in the Park event coming July 1st.  Weilmunster Park will hold this event July 1st from 1- 7pm. This event is a kick off for the 4th of the July and will be a most likely to be a yearly event. Her grant proposal of $500 was for electrical usage and port-a-potties and the band performers Andy Byron and Steve Bolton.  Entire event cost around three thousand dollars. The grant proposal would help offset some costs to the Chamber.  Leigh Ward said, “We look for things like this in the park.”  The Rec Board will work on the need for a dedicated 100 amp circuit for future music productions and bands.

Darl Allred spoke next about his ideas for an “expanded pre-4th of July” and using the Weilmunster Park. Allred is planning for a family friendly event July 1-4 by having vendors, old fashion carnival games, petting zoo, wagon rides, bounce house and slides. The Chamber did not feel this will affect their plans and told Allred to manage and coordinate this as his own. His idea is to of compliment Music in the Park and free kids games events July 1-4. “Vendors need to charge and make money in order for them to want to come.” says Allred. He will actively be seeking vendors over the next few weeks.

Allred compared how the Emmett Cherry Festival works and the money that comes in. “Growth of events would make Garden Valley a destination.” McLain agreed that it would be good an old fashioned 4th with the extended events. “This will bring people to come for family fun stuff and not for the illegal fireworks,” said Sandy, “and it could start small this year but could grow so that families here can enjoy the 4th.” The Board passed the agreement to allow Allred to proceed with the reservation of the park.

Allred also asked that the cement slab be a space for safe and sane “personal” fireworks on the 3rd of July.  Fencing off the cement slab in the park is one idea.  It would be no cost but a managed entrance.  Allred would be responsible for the events and clean up.  He would make sure there is insurance. He has met with Jon Delvalle, GV Fire Chief to discuss legal fireworks. When board member Oden asked about interfering with the music in the park, Allred said, “I do not want take away from events but want to add to the fun.”  He feels both could happen together and Hutchcroft agreed. A decision by the board still needs to be made of where the fireworks can happen.

Adam Nokes of Mountain Skyscapes will need to set parameters for his Chamber fireworks the day of the 4th. Safety will always be priority.  The park might have to close the vendors for the fireworks around 3:00pm on the 4th.  Allred will work that out with the vendors. Nokes asked for a community grant of  $500 for traveling to get the fireworks in Montana, gas, motels and training.  This is above and beyond the Chamber donations for fireworks.

Other coming events at Weilmunter Park include the North Fork Championship in June. NFC people will come to the May meeting to discuss parking and camping for their event. Next, approved work plans on the pavilion is to rock the 16 columns. Marshal Hersom’s bid was approved using fieldstone rock and going up about three feet. Lastly, the board was also made aware that the solar eclipse could bring in upwards of 40 thousand people to the area and everyone needs to prepare.

Written by Janet Juroch – BCC Staff