This year, the Rockville Recreation and Parks Foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen of our many accomplishments since the Foundation was established in 2008.
1) We’ve invested $125,000 in Rockville recreation activities and parks, thanks to the generosity of our donors. The Rockville Recreation and Parks Foundation was established to help meet the needs of our community and to ensure that all families can participate in recreation programs, regardless of their ability to pay. The Ken Peifer Memorial Sports Fund has contributed more than $37,000 to support youth and adult sports programs since its inception in 2010.
2) Provided the first permanent soccer goals in Rockville. The installation of permanent soccer goals at Maryvale Park, in the East Rockville neighborhood, was supported by the Foundation and the Peifer Memorial Sports Fund. Rockville did not previously have a dedicated soccer field. The addition of these goals provides a dedicated place to play the most popular game in the world and is well utilized by residents of all ages.
3) Funded more than 50 kids to attend camp and other programs. One of the main reasons the Foundation was created was to help all Rockville residents to engage in recreation programs and activities. With the Foundation’s financial assistance, Rockville youth are part of high-quality summer programs regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
4) Supported teen programming. The Peifer Memorial Sports Fund purchased Bubble Balls and GoPro cameras to expand the recreation opportunities for teens in Rockville. Bubble balls give a new twist to soccer by covering a person’s upper body and head in a large inflatable ball while they play. The purchase of GoPro cameras allowed teen participants to shoot active video footage of City-run recreational programs to engage new audiences.
5) Helped fund turf improvements at Mattie JT Stepanek Park. This project increased playing time at the athletic fields in the King Farm neighborhood. The project was supported by the Foundation and the Peifer Memorial Sports Fund and was done in partnership with the City of Rockville and the Rockville Football League.
6) Upgraded rec center gymnasiums. Both the Twinbrook Recreation Center and the Thomas Farm Community Center received upgrades. The Peifer Memorial Sports Fund provided wall pads at both gymnasiums to make indoor sports play safer, as well as new scoreboards.
7) Underwrote the purchase of snow-clearing equipment for park paths. Rockville residents use our city’s parks throughout the year, including in the winter. To help clear park paths and sidewalks of snow, the Foundation purchased a specialized snowplow attachment that is used on an existing piece of city-owned equipment. This makes our parks and sidewalks safer and more accessible for everyone in every season.
8) Recognized community achievements. Over the years, the Foundation has recognized 8 individuals and 10 organizations for their contributions to the community’s recreation opportunities. Award winners give back in a number of ways, including through financial support and volunteer efforts.
9) Funded soccer registration fees for at-risk youth. The City of Rockville runs a Latino Youth Development Program that engages low-income middle- and high-school youth in risk reduction activities that encourage physical fitness while promoting academic success. The program is free of charge, with the Peifer Memorial Sports Fund covering the costs of student participation in a soccer league.
10) Provided supplies to teach children gardening skills at community centers. Research informs us that children who garden have better health and healthier diets. In this project, the Foundation provided soil, planters, seeds, and other gardening supplies to enable seniors from neighborhood Villages to work with kids and teach them about gardening. This was a great way to engage multiple generations of Rockville residents in healthy outdoor activity.
11) City staff appreciation. Rockville’s parks and recreation programs wouldn’t be what they are without City of Rockville staff. Each year, the Foundation provides gift cards that are given to city employees at their annual staff appreciation gathering.
12) Installed a new ADA-accessible outdoor binocular viewer. The Foundation replaced an outdated outdoor binocular viewer at the Croydon Creek Nature Center with a binocular viewer that is accessible to people with disabilities and others in the general public. The viewer at the nature center allows guests to take a closer look at the birds that visit the outdoor feeders and the surrounding meadow from a seated position.
13) Provided youth karate classes. Kids at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center enjoyed karate instruction, including uniforms, paid for by the Peifer Memorial Sports Fund.
14) Financed youth swim lessons. Provided free swimsuits, goggles, and swim lessons at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center for 12 fourth graders who had never previously had lessons.
15) Improved the nature playground. The outdoor play space at the Croydon Creek Nature Center got a face-lift thanks to the support of the Foundation. The improvements helped make the playground more accessible for people with disabilities and included engaging nature-based play equipment.