The Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Advisory Board was created to promote a comprehensive parks, recreation and cultural arts program for the citizens of Kettering. The advisory board also fosters working relationships with schools, community and civic organizations and provides the general public with information and education with regards to parks, recreation and cultural arts programming. We’re launching a series of posts to introduce you to our hardworking board members. First up, Jamie Jarosik!
What led you to become involved with the Kettering Parks board?
I grew up in Kettering, and the parks and rec were such a big part of my childhood! I have the best memories of summer days at my neighborhood park, weeks spent at Camp Horizon, and years spent in the Kettering Children’s Theatre program. We would walk from school to the ice rink for open skate in the winter, enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools, and even have our swim team practices there for Fairmont High School. I was always at a park or the Kettering Recreation Complex growing up – and I loved it! I wanted to help make sure my kids get to have some of the same experiences, so I signed up to volunteer!
Why do you feel parks, recreation and cultural arts are vital to our community?
I feel like the parks, rec and cultural arts we have in Kettering make it a destination city – a place people want to come live. And if they don’t live here, they frequently visit. They come into town to enjoy our amazing parks and programs…and that extra traffic can really help boost the city’s economy. Also, having programs and places for kids to go after school, will keep them occupied, engaged and involved…and out of trouble!
What has been the most rewarding part of serving on the board?
I really like meeting with the PAC committee. This group “tests out” some of the city’s parks and programs, and reports back the good and the bad. We, as board members, also get out and participate… and I love comparing notes with the committee. It’s a group effort to make the parks department stronger, as we recommend what should stay the same, and what aspects may need adjusting.
Any favorite Parks board memories?
I often emcee events for the Parks, and my absolute favorite is the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting. I love that my kids get to come, and it is just a really well-planned, fun and magical event!
What’s your favorite Kettering park?
I have nostalgia for Ernst Park for sure–that was my neighborhood park growing up. It has changed a lot, with park updates, but one thing that remains are some of the best tennis courts around!! As for which park I like taking my kids to–that’s Indian Riffle Park. There is so much to do there, and I love that the same Wizard of Oz swings are there from when I was a kid!
What Kettering events are you looking forward to in 2018?
I always look forward to the opening of Adventure Reef Waterpark, concerts at Fraze, and, of course, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting!