City establishes parks fund for the future

The Seymour Parks and Recreation Department is getting serious about fundraising for the future.

With the city continuing to grow and facilities, such as Shields Park Pool and Westside Park, in need of major investment, the city has developed a new way for people to support the department’s efforts.

The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety recently approved the transfer of $10,000 from the parks department’s trail development fund to the Greater Seymour Trust Fund at JCB to establish the Seymour Parks Fund.

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Now, Seymour residents past and present can make donations and bequeath money to the parks department to improve the city’s parks and recreational offerings.

Parks Director Stacy Findley said the money is invested for long-term and capital campaign fundraising.

By having the money in the parks fund, it will remain there instead of rolling back into the city’s capital project dollars at the end of the year, she said.

“It’s great timing to begin thinking about our long-term financial stability and leveraging precapital dollars,” she said. “This will give our department the capability to run capital campaigns for projects such as a new aquatics facility.”

The department is in the process of completing a five-year parks master plan that will help prioritize needs and projects through 2025. Another community input session to gather public feedback is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Gaiser Park.

“With establishing the Seymour Parks Fund now, we can think about having some fundraising to meet the community’s needs and wants in the master plan,” Findley said.

Before coming to Seymour, Findley was in charge of fundraising for the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.

“I’ve been chomping to do fundraising here,” she said. “I’m excited about that.”

Her goal is to mail out donation cards to the community before Christmas.

“I feel like I’ve always had pretty good luck with sending out requests before so that way, people can make a gift in honor of someone for Christmas,” she said.

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What: Community input session for the Seymour five-year parks master plan

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Gaiser Park in Seymour