Ascension Parks Foundation to fund capital improvements to parish parks

Ascension Parish Council is scheduled to consider an agreement whereby Ascension Parks Foundation, Inc., a recently formed non-profit corporation, will be authorized to “make capital improvements to projects authorized by the Recreation Department.”  Council approval a foregone conclusion having been proposed by the Finance Committee, the Foundation will be empowered to “market sponsorship/advertising opportunities on behalf of the parish throughout recreation facilities in the Parish.”

The Foundation Board of Directors seems uniquely suited to that effort, all six members employed by business interests not unfamiliar with civic fundraising.

The Mission of Ascension Parks Foundation is to improve the health/wellness and quality of life while conserving green space in the Ascension community by working with the Parish of Ascension Recreation Department to improve access, functionality, and availability of different recreation options including programming in Ascension Parish.

Foundation Goals:

  • Raise funds toward capital projects for Parks and Recreation
  • Transform and beautify parks in order to promote residents staying local
  • Organize and promote community engagement with the Parish Parks and Recreation Department

Ascension Recreation Director Michael King presented the endeavor to the Finance Committee on March 7, introducing Board President Tia Starr to the Council.

Its non-profit status affords willing industry and commercial interests an avenue to donate to Ascension Parish-owned parks which has not existed heretofore.  Any project and/or fundraising effort going forward will be the subject of additional Cooperative Endeavor Agreements that will allow Director King and the Recreation Department he heads to exert some control over the direction and construction of capital improvements at parish parks.

A clear area of need in Ascension, rampant population growth having outpaced the Recreation Department’s ability to keep up, this is an idea whose time has come.  Kudos to all involved.