Valerie Egland, for the Mission Village Voice , 2-22-2016


Once a month, currently on an ‘as needed’ basis, but always quarterly, the PRC meets in the Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) Chambers, 4thStreet, Hollister.  The Commission is made up of one Commissioner per County Supervisorial District, a Veteran’s Park Representative and the SBC Historic Park Caretaker.  The Agenda is posted each month on the County Parks website www.sbcparks.org and the county website, cosb.us, and the public is welcome.


Among other things, the PRC reviews Developers’ plans for Parks Element compliance and design, recommending changes where observably needed.  Planning then submits to the Planning Commission and on to the BOS for final approval.  The steps may go back and forth depending on the complexity of the development.


This time of the year county Staff reports the full list of park projects with funding approved by the Board of Supervisors for review.  Commissioners receive an update on the project status for these approved projects, and discuss new potential projects for the fiscal year for recommendation to the BOS.


Currently SBC is below par with the averages in California:  53% of the 55,467 residents live further than a half mile from a park, and 67% live in areas with less than 3 acres of parks or open space per thousand residents.  The County, and Parks, General Plans address these important issues by implementing a River Parkway, the Historic Park Capital Improvement Plan, and the Regional Park Plan.


The County Parks and Recreation Commission long ago recognized that the county will need help in maintaining its parks, just as all other counties, states and the nation; therefore R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Foundation was created by a few dedicated souls. R.E.A.C.H. IS essentially, the “Parks Foundation” for San Benito County, and as such works toward building its Endowment Fund held by the Community Foundation.  As the funds grow, projects will be funded for parks maintenance and improvements for posterity.  Reach Across America with Jim Ostdick is the current fundraiser you can tap into to support our parks.