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Clubs donate for paths in Jensen Park
When it comes to getting something done, three heads are better than one.
The presidents of the Willows Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs presented more than $1,600 to the Willows Public Works Department Tuesday to build new pathways in Jensen Park.
The long-desired paths will be made of decomposed granite and will run from the handicapped parking areas to the large and small gazebos and playground areas, said Lions Club President LaVonne Hinton, who initiated the project.
Hinton was president of the Willows Lions Club in 1998 when the club built the small gazebo in memory of member Bill Powers, with a donation made from Powers' family.
It was the Willows Rotary Club that put in electricity along the street, which was eventually extended to both gazeboes.
Hinton said the pathways have been desired for some time.
When the Lions put in the benches near the small gazebo in memory of the late Frank Nunes and Smoky Henry, both charter members of the Willows Lions Club, and then added the table with seating, the club had wanted to install wheelchair-friendly facilities as well.
"At that time, the Lions discussed putting in a handicapped-accessible table, but since there was no solid pathway in Jensen Park from the parking areas, it didn't seem feasible or appropriate as it would still be difficult for the handicapped to make their way to the gazebos," Hinton said.
Hinton said when the Lions Club revisited the project last year, she began working with Public Works Director Skyler Lipski, which led to the design and material that would be best suited for the project.
"Decomposed granite will be used for the pathways as well as around the gazebos, which hopefully will eliminate the mud holes which develop there," Hinton said.
After receiving the estimated cost figures, Hinton approached the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, both of whom were receptive to sharing the cost.
Each club contributed $555 to the project.
"Rotary loves to support projects throughout the community," President Lynda Kelly said Thursday. "This park project was a great fit for us because it's a project that will have impact on the entire community. Many of Rotary's service projects focus on a single demographic so it was nice to be involved in one that would have a broader impact."
Kelly said so many club and community activities take place at Jensen Park, such as the annual Car and Bike Show and Lamb Derby, that it is important that the park be maintained year round.
"If the city doesn't have the funds for park improvements, it is our responsibility to step in and help where we can," she said.
Hinton said it was unknown when the project will be completed, but that the city has agreed to do the work.
Members of the three service clubs have also indicated a desire to help with the project, depending on schedules, other work loads and weather.