Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Community Park origins documented

To the editor:

“Pay it Forward” and “Freedom Writers” are examples of movies that share the value of individuals whose purpose and actions are provided for the benefit of others.

Many of us who grew up on South Whidbey personally received the rewards of the contributions from such individuals. This remains true and is revealed in Susan Knickerbocker’s Hometown Heroes stories and is also true in communities across these United States of America.

The original 43-acre site for the complex that is known as the South Whidbey Community Park was initially being purchased with the donations from community members through the use of an option agreement signed by me and Bud Waterman on Feb. 27, 1981. During the purchase process the option agreement was set aside and the property was donated to South Whidbey Recreation, Inc. by Bud and Margaret Waterman.

The story of the acquisition of the park site and the eight-year volunteer development process that followed including the establishment of the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District is  now available on Dr. James Talbot’s Western Washington University website (http://faculty.wwu.edu/talbot/) and in a newly published book titled “The Origin and Early Development of the South Whidbey Community Center.”

Pictures of who did what and when are provided and explained in a documentary format. On the website are also additional items of interest including the February 1982 Preferences Survey completed by WWU students under the direction of Dr. Jim Moore of the WWU Recreation Department and the book titled, “The Birth of a Vision,” by Edith Buck with Dorothy Gray.

The South Whidbey Historical Society is working out the details of involving itself with the distribution of the book. Organizations and businesses are encouraged to participate as the story belongs to the South Whidbey community. It is felt that sharing the story by involving the community at large is consistent with the cooperative and collaborative eight-year process that was used for developing the original 43-acre complex.

My entire personal collection of pictures, documents and newspaper articles have been digitalized and placed onto the Historical Society’s website thanks to board member Craig Williams. Craig’s work provided an important foundation for my work with Dr. Talbot.

If an Eagle Scout or South Whidbey High School student with public speaking interests and an appreciation for what many people achieved building the park complex in the 1980s would like to utilize Dr. Talbot’s WWU website link to do a PowerPoint presentation and share the community park’s history we will welcome your participation.

Our purpose in documenting the community park story is intended to be a continuation of the giving spirit that we all enjoy and benefit from as Americans.

Timothy Dean Scriven


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