Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Camp Long Advisory Council

The function of any advisory council is to give advice. What differentiates advisory councils from boards is that councils do not make final decisions. 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.

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 creating connections 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.

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