Residents of two suburban neighborhoods north of Spokane are rescuing their local park from Spokane County budget cuts.
Spokane County commissioners commended the neighborhood volunteers for stepping forward to maintain Camelot Park – at 910 W. Percival Ave., north of the North Division Y – with their own labor and coin.
The 6-year-old park was one of seven slated to lose nearly all services this summer. It would have gotten no garbage service, no irrigation and just enough mowing to prevent a fire hazard. It doesn’t have restrooms.
Neighbor Kathy Spencer said the park’s relatively young trees might have died without water, and “we’re just not willing to see that happen.”
Instead, neighbors who have been trained by park workers will maintain the park and pay its water and garbage bills. Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with the neighborhood group Tuesday.
“This is exactly the kind of effort we were hoping for,” Commissioner Todd Mielke told Spencer and fellow volunteer Greg Windsor.
Some previous offers of assistance at other parks ended in disappointment when people asked to be paid for their efforts.
Lynda Steinman, Windsor, Spencer and her husband, Lee Spencer, spearheaded a plan to resurrect and redirect a nonprofit organization, Citizens for Neighborhood Preservation that was formed in 2002 to fight a proposed Walmart store.
Nonprofit status allows the group to collect tax-deductible donations from businesses and some 440 homes in the Camelot and Forest Glen neighborhoods. Kathy Spencer said the group is asking each household to chip in $25.
In nine days, Spencer said, the organization has raised about $3,000 from neighbors.