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Jul 232011

Encouraging physical activity, increasing funding, and improving city parks…all components in Evansville Democratic mayoral candidate Rick Davis' proposal for Parks and Recreation.
Davis says a recent Gallup poll ranking Evansville-Henderson as the most obese area in the nation is unfortunate.
He says it's all the more reason to initiate new fitness programs…and use Parks and Rec to make it happen.
When it comes to making improvements to Evansville's Parks and Recreation system — Democratic mayoral candidate Rick Davis says he's ready to run on several initiatives to keep the city in shape.
He says community members brought a lot of fresh ideas to his town hall meetings.
Among them…a city-sponsored run.
"If we can have a Parks and Recreation 5k or a 10k or a 1 mile dash, the proceeds from that would help go to pay for those marketing initiatives."
He's talking about a better recruitment effort for the city's adult recreation leagues.
But Davis says it's the public parks — that need the most attention.
He cites the complaints of Dr. Neil Troost.
Back in November, Troost's young daughter was stuck with a hypodermic needle in Sunset Park.
Troost asked for more careful and frequent maintenance of the parks…and more people to do it.
Davis says a Community Service Corps is the solution.
"If we can get high school age up to 20 years old, college age kids, to work for the Parks Department, it'll teach them discipline, give them their first job experience."
And give them a chance to help keep the parks clean and attractive…an indirect path to economic growth.
"We have to spit shine our shoes and really show off what a gem we have in our Parks and Recreation system."
Davis says then, Evansville will be one step closer to becoming a more active and thriving community.
He says he'd like to see an additional $150,000 annually allocated for Parks and Rec from the city's general fund for these new initiatives.
Republican mayoral candidate Lloyd Winnecke was not available for comment on the proposal.