Foundation established in 2009
Organized as the Carmichael Recreation and Park District Foundation on Jan. 20, 2009, the foundation was designed to improve the district’s parks and programs through community reinvestment via tax-deductable contributions.
The foundation, which has the ability to recruit, solicit and accept funds on a tax-free basis, is committed to further advancing the progress of various district projects from simple repairs to having a new pool constructed at Carmichael Park.
Peter Tateishi, a Carmichael native and a former member of the park district board, said that he founded the CRPD Foundation through his desire to advance the district’s continual efforts to improve upon its offerings.
“I had done a lot with the park district and I recognized that we actually didn’t have a nonprofit that was dedicated to helping the park district in Carmichael,” Tateishi said. “Seeing all the good work that the park district had done with the community, I thought that it was important that the community had an outlet in which they could help the park district to enhance and continue their work.
“The park district, just like any government agency, is obviously going through tough times. So, if this is the way that the community can come together and help rally and support (the district), we thought we needed that vehicle, that engine. That’s why we started the foundation.”
Former swimmer, coach
Tateishi, a 1998 Jesuit High School graduate, who later earned a bachelor’s degree in government at Sacramento State University and a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Southern California, said that as a person who spent many years involved in local swimming activities, he was especially interested in assisting the Carmichael Aquatic and Park Projects (CAPP) Committee.
“From the time I was 10 to the time I was 24, I swam (on) or coached different swimming teams,” Tateishi said. “The park district had set (up the CAPP) Committee and they were trying to do an engineering survey. It was costing some money and (the district) needed a vehicle to pay for those things, so the foundation was able to help with getting some of those funds and helping transfer those funds for paying for those services, so we could see whether or not the aquatics center would be a viable assessment tool for the community.”
Tateishi, 30, added that he hopes that he can one day have children of his own who can swim at Carmichael Park just like he did during his childhood.
Project ‘wish list’
In its efforts to set goals, the foundation has worked with the district to create a “wish list” for park projects, which require funds that are not yet available.
Among the “wishes” that can be found on the list are: a shade structure for the skate park at the La Sierra Community Center at 5325 Engle Road, window replacements, new carpeting and a proposed petting zoo at the undeveloped Capra Park site at the corner of Kenneth Avenue and Aboreata Court.
Another one of the foundation’s projects is to continuously acquire and put aside funds for the Wall of Honor, the memorial landmark at Patriots Park – Palm Avenue, off Dewey Drive – that honors people from the community who died in the line of duty.
As an ongoing project, new plaques need to repeatedly be purchased, engraved and installed on the wall.
A plan is also underway to enhance the current, off-leash dog park at Carmichael Park.
Foundation funds will additionally be used to replace vandalized items at the district’s parks such as the butterfly garden sign and a “spinner” playground apparatus that were recently destroyed at Patriots Park.
Community support needed
Since the foundation is still considered to be in its infancy, it is no wonder why Tateishi said that efforts continue to be made to simply inform the community that the foundation exists.
Among the ways that the foundation has promoted itself thus far is through advertising in the district’s program activity guides and on the district’s Web site, www.carmichaelpark.com, speaking to community groups and passing out brochures and fliers at local events such as Founders Day and 4th of July events.
Tateishi mentioned the Daughters of the American Revolution as an organization that learned about the foundation and soon afterward made about a $5,000 contribution to the foundation for the nature pathway for the blind at the Charles C. Jensen Botanical Garden at 8520 Fair Oaks Blvd.
In its efforts to better serve the district, the foundation’s board meets four times per year.
Current foundation board members are: Tateishi, the foundation’s CEO, Ron Greenwood, who is a member of the Carmichael Water District Board, Mike Koerner, a former CRPD director and a retired San Juan Unified School District administrator, Paul Pennington, a financial advisor, and Gary Hursh, an attorney in Carmichael.
Tateishi said that it was these board members with the assistance of CRPD Administrative Analyst Lee Ann Yarber who “made everything happen” for the foundation.
He added, however, that special recognition should also be given to CRPD Administrator Jack Harrison, whose vision of enhancing the park district helped lead to the creation of the foundation.
Since its establishment, the foundation has raised about $10,000 for park projects.
Parks are important
In contributing to the foundation, community members and organizations can assist local parks, which are a part of our lives that Tateishi said are not always entirely appreciated.
“(Parks) are so important to the community, they’re so important to how we grow our families and how we live our lives,” Tateishi said. “I don’t think people fully understand that all the time. We kind of just take for granted that there will always be a park there.”
Fortunately for those who have the interest and the means to help support efforts to preserve, improve and develop local parks and park sites, the foundation has been made available for the purpose of accepting tax deductable contributions and directing the distribution of such funds.
Tateishi described the act of donating to the foundation as an opportunity that represents a showing of one’s community pride and appreciation for the value of the district’s parks.
“Carmichael parks are our gathering places for our community,” Tateishi said. “We’re giving you the opportunity to say, ‘Yes, I support the park district,’ ‘Yes, I support parks,’ ‘Yes, I support the recreational value of having a recreational system and I want to support this park district and I am happy to make a donation to help reinvest in my community.’”
Tax deductable donations can be made by sending a check made payable to the CRPD Foundation and mailed to: CRPD Foundation, 5750 Grant Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608.
For additional information regarding the CRPD Foundation, call Lee Ann Yarber at (916) 485-5322, ext. 24 or write to Peter Tateishi at the e-mail address email@example.com.