2 ways to show Camp Long you give a hoot

September 5, 2008 10:51 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks


Luckie caught that owl on camera during a family overnight last month at a cabin at Camp Long; we’re sharing it along with two ways to help the park/environmental learning center considered one of the city’s semi-secret treasures. First, you can help take care of Camp Long by joining in a work party tomorrow morning, 9 am-noon (show up at the lodge and they’ll point you in the right direction). Second – Camp Long is looking for some people power on a longer-term basis: new members for the Camp Long Advisory Council. Many local Parks Department facilities rely on these volunteer groups for help; Sheila Brown from Camp Long explains what this one does, and how you can help:

An advisory council is a representative group of community members who define common goals, make recommendations, and identify community needs. Camp Long ‘s advisory council is working for you to help provide an Environmental Learning Center that is a resource for the community. Camp Long aspires to be the place where our neighbors go for information and to discuss issues of the day; to socialize with each other, have fun, and build a strong community; and to get outdoors, learn about our natural world, and share ecological knowledge so we can implement positive change in our neighborhoods.

The function of any advisory council is to give advice. What differentiates advisory councils from boards is that councils do not make final decisions. For several decades, with the encouragement of Seattle Parks and Recreation, advisory councils in various Seattle communities have sponsored programs and activities at City facilities. The Associated Recreation Council was established in 1975 to provide financial management, accounting, and material support for Parks and Recreation advisory councils. In 1976, a City law authorized the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to recognize and support advisory councils and to promulgate rules and regulations to guide advisory councils. The law also authorized the Superintendent to contract with the Associated Recreation Council to help manage the advisory councils.

The law was recently updated and now the role and responsibility of each party in this partnership has been re-established and clarified. Parks and Recreation is accountable to the City’s elected officials for the success of all recreation services and the management and maintenance of recreation facilities. The Associated Recreation Council provides marketing, development, and central services support for recreation programs. And councils provide connection to the community, find local support for, and advocate for, the success of recreation services for the constituents they represent.

The partnership between Parks and Recreation, the Associated Recreation Council, and its member advisory councils allows for expanded public recreation opportunities and provides for a strong community connection. Advisory Councils help with events, raise funds, and participate in other work that takes lots of strategic thinking and people-power.

Advisory council members are ambassadors to the larger community and emissaries from that larger community to the park and environmental center. It’s a continuing activity and advisory council members are looking out for the park or environmental center in their other interactions with the community and helping bring that larger community into contact with the park and environmental center. If you know someone who could help on Camp Long ‘s Advisory Council, please get in touch with us. Call Camp Long at 684-7434 to volunteer – or e-mail sheila.brown@seattle.gov

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