Parks make our lives richer, and Lakewood is blessed with some wonderful parks.  And the Rotary Club of Clover Park is blessed with nice people who are devoted to service.
Notes from the February 22 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
We had Alan Billingsley staffing the welcome desk, and collecting prizes and entries for the March 17 CPRI event, right next to rafflemeister Tom FaubionMike Killen once again had everything set up and running right.  And longtime friend of the club Ralph Lockhart was with us, and led us in the salute to our nation’s flag.
Jeannie Hill kicked things off with some inspirational quotations:
1. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.  - - - Steve Jobs
2. Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.  - - - Will Rogers
3. Fall seven times, stand up eight.  - - - Japanese proverb
There was no sunshine to report, but Joyce Oubré brought a great cake for us all to share, and to celebrate February weddings and anniversaries.  Those are Scott Adams, Marie Marth, Alan Billingsley, Paige Hansen, Jeannie Hill, Sheri Hodson, and Becky Newton.
Future Programs
March 1    Committee meeting day, no speaker       
March 8    CPRI Practice, No speaker
March 15  Paige Hansen, Classification Talk - Radio DJ
CPRI Update
The Clover Park Rotary Invitational is set for March 17 starting at 5:30 PM.  Joyce Oubré noted that about one third of the squares are sold.  She said her blood pressure is starting to get elevated, even though she knows that these things usually do not get settled until just before the event.  The auction items and prizes are also coming in slowly.  Please get them in to Alan Billingsley.
And mark your calendars: The Golf Tournament Fundraiser is August 12. 
Foundation Minute
Georgene Mellom shared word from Rotary International about the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria.  RI has already responded, encouraging local district governors to apply for grants.  And all donations received through March 31 will be used for earthquake relief.
Membership Minute
The first social committee event is set for Feb. 24, 4 PM at the Lake City Pub.  Come for happy hour, and some socializing with fellow Rotarians. 
Gretchen Allen also noted several changes to our club’s web site,, to make it more inviting to new members who are interested.  New pictures and signup link are included.  Thanks to Mike Killen for all the work.  And please think of community members who would be great Rotarians. 
President’s Minute
Becky Newton read a thank you note from Partners For Parks, acknowledging our donation last week.  She also promoted the upcoming District 5020 conference in Victoria.  Plus the District Governor-Elect Bill McGregor is looking for testimonials about why you like Rotary.  Send them to
Fun And Fines
Katelyn Billingsley served as our guest Finemaster Du Semaine, and kicked things off by noting that Becky Newton paid off her IOU for her recent birthday.  And Katelyn also noted her own recent family ski trip to White Pass, tossing the floor to her father-in-law Alan Billingsley.
Alan celebrated that he has been able to go skiing at White Pass on his birthday every year for the past 50 years, now happily with grandchildren in tow.  So he paid $50 for his birthday, and $50 for 50 years of skiing.
Katelyn watched it all from within the warmth and safety of the lodge as husband Ian took their youngest son Harrison out for his first foray on the bunny slope.  While there, she ran into Shelley and Tom McClellan having lunch in the lodge after morning 1 of a 2-day ($10) ski weekend.  Tom noted that day 2 was not so good, with high winds and blowing snow.  When winds at the summit reached 60 MPH, the resort shut down all but one of the lifts, so all of the skiers crowded onto that one.  Still better than 3 weeks prior, when the temperature got down to 6°F!
Sydna Koontz was in the house, visiting from their most-of-the-time home on Maui, and she brought her checkbook to pay $100 for birthdays, etc.  Our guest speaker Mary Dodsworth brought up the memory that Sydna had once led a cleanup team at Springbrook Park, cutting weeds and removing garbage as part of a Rotary Club effort, with others. 
Joyce Loveday joined us via Zoom, and confessed to having made a recent trip to Chicago with several members of the Clover Park Technical College staff for a conference of community college honchos.  
Heidi Wachter also joined from Zoomland, and noted that her 17 year old had gotten a hold of Heidi’s debit card, and so Heidi has no ability now to pay for any transgressions.
This Week’s Program
Parks Director Mary Dodsworth has been with the City of Lakewood for 21 years, and she embraces the City’s mission to “Create a Healthy and Vibrant Community”.  She launched into a rapid fire presentation of lots of things going on in the City’s parks. 
First up was a rehabilitation of the playground at Fort Steilacoom Park, which our club helped to construct under the direction of the Lakewood Rotary leading the project.  Playground equipment has a finite life, and the new playground has an improved toddler area designed for “all abilities”. 
The City has partnered with University Place and Pierce County for a Chambers Creek Canyon bridge project, spanning the creek near Bridgeport Way.  The goal is to open a trail all the way to Chambers Bay, a project that will start in 2024.
Springbrook Park is a project that was started by our Rotary Club years ago, and which has improved and expanded.  There is great support from the local community residents.  The City is buying 3 adjacent parcels to expand the park area.  Mary shared the plan to add a dog park, a basketball court, and a bicycle “pump” track.  What is a pump track?  See
American Lake Park in Lake City is one of the City’s most popular park destinations, but still needs more upgrading.  It has a beach, a playground, and importantly a restroom facility.  But they are not laid out well.  The City is working on an improvement plan, which is still in the works, and will include an ADA-capable playground expansion, moving the restroom, tearing out a retaining wall and stairway to the beach, additional parking, and a relocation of the swimming dock.  
Wards Lake Park is the only open space in its area, at the eastern edge of Lakewood, abutting I-5, near the Lakewood Cinemas and the old Levitz furniture store.  It is a 26 acre site that is heavily vegetated, and also has a small pond (hence the name).  It is wedged between a housing area and a mobile home park.  There have been problems with homeless people setting up camps there.  It is hoped that improvements will bring in more good people and activities to keep the naughty ones (in Mary’s description) away.  The City will be adding a dog park, a pump track, and a hiking loop trail with a bridge across the lake.  There will be additional parking, a special design of a restroom, a BMX track, 2 new play areas, and picnic shelters.
The City’s biggest park is Fort Steilacoom. The City got a grant for new turf infields for all 4 ball fields, the better to handle our web springs.  And Pierce College is donating money to make ball field #1 into an all-turf field, with additional improvements to make it compliant with NCAA requirements. This will become the Pierce College baseball team’s home field, but under the City’s ownership.  In exchange for the donation to pay for the ball field’s improvements, Pierce College will get dibs on the ball field’s usage.  The improvements will include new dugouts, a batting cage, additional seating for 300, and new signage. 
Mary briefly addressed the upcoming $7.5 million H-barn project, but noted that Hallie McCurdy of Partners For Parks will be giving us a fuller briefing on March 22.
Upcoming Park Events
  • April 22 is Parks Appreciation Day, at multiple parks around the City
  • There are multiple youth/family outdoor education events that the department is sponsoring
  • Public art on signal boxes is expanding, and warding off graffiti.  Plus there is an April 1 unveiling at 1100 of new artwork by the old QFC. 
  • May 13 is a kids fishing event at American Lake
  • June 10 is the Youth Summit, 1100-1400 at CPTC
  • There are to be street festivals June 3, August 12, and September 9 at the Motor Avenue Plaza
  • Farmers Market will run June 6 to September 19, every Tuesday, 2-7 PM at Fort Steilacoom Park ballfields
  • And you can stay after the Farmers Market for Tuesday night Concerts At The Pavillion
  • July 15 is SummerFest
  • October 14 is Truck and Tractor Day
  • December 9 is Christmas Tree Lighting at City Hall
With $234 in the pot, Becky Newton had the winning tick, but no joy on finding an ace or a joker.
And Finally…
More dog parks is a good thing.  Because we made a deal, long ago, and need to live up to it.