In 2011, Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club and the City of Homer signed an "Adopt a Park" agreement which makes our club responsible for some of the maintenance and upgrades to Ben Walters Park in Homer. This park is located in a relatively high pedestrian traffic area adjacent to McDonald's restaurant and a scenic float plane lake. The area is used year-round by local residents and by many summer tourists. The park facilities are aging, lacking in playground equipment, and the park is beginning to be used for nefarious activities by the younger generation. The upgrades suggested would enhance the quality of public use and reduce suspicious activities. The McDonald's franchise owner expressed enthusiasm to help support our work to upgrade this park because of the close proximity to their facility and potential customer use of the park.
This winter we held a fundraising event with proceeds going to Homer parks upgrades. We will use these funds and a lot of Club "sweat equity" to complete as much as possible. Members will be cleaning and sanding benches, constructing new benches, brushing and opening some of the area for better visibility and safety, planting flowers around the park, refurbishing/replacing boundary posts, repainting the inside and outside of the public bathroom, and building new picnic tables with wheel chair accessibility. We plan to move the swing set, which is the only piece of playground equipment presently available, to an area more visible to the public. We would also like to obtain two to three new and simple pieces of playground equipment to attract more use by families. If funds permit, we will refurbish the kiosk next to the lake, build a short pedestrian crossway path from McDonald's to the park, create a short trail inside the park, and also create a horseshoe pit.
We can accomplish much of this through our dedicated club funds, a District matching grant, funding from McDonald's and help from the City of Homer to complete as much work as possible this coming Rotary year.