While it’s important to focus work hard on encouraging good housing and good business, let’s never forget the whole point:  Happy, healthy, and thriving people.  Real people.  Women, men, children.  Old and young, parents and childless, married and single, and everyone in between.  And we all have one important thing in common:  We love to play.

Over the past twenty-three years I have seen the city take substantial steps toward improving the recreational quality of life here.  Many big successes come to mind immediately - such as expanding river access at Badger Park; establishing the Community Center and classes there; the rejuvenation of Recreation Park; the creation of a cross-town biking and walking path.  And wow, the biggie:  Acquiring the top of Fitch Mountain for permanent public access.

With the well-proven talent and resources of the Parks & Rec department - which, incidentally, is funded largely by tourist TOT dollars - we can create even more opportunities for the entire community to play.  

Let’s establish something I envision calling “The Healdsburg Institute,” which would be a largely self-funded program where individual community members can share their skills and passions by creating and teaching classes for other residents and visitors.

Let’s create a Healdsburg Loop Scenic Trail that connects downtown with Fitch Mountain, Healdsburg Ridge and the Open Space District property.- with the first step being a safe way to ascend North Fitch Mountain Road by foot.

Let’s work with the community to create more special events that bring all elements of the community together - such as a community tamale-making day during the holidays, where the city supplies the raw materials and the facilities, and residents come to show and to learn the art of making tamales.

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