Today marks a very exciting day for the Dixon Park District and the greater Dixon area. The grand opening of Water Wonderland demonstrates the power of private / public partnership and what our community can accomplish when people and organizations in our town stop operating separately and start working together. The partnership between the Park District and City has never been stronger and the support from the community has never been greater. This is just the beginning of what we can accomplish.
Under Executive Director Duane Long’s leadership, the Park District has placed a high priority on youth and adult recreational development while creating a vision for the future that fills the needs in our area. Executive Director Duane Long said, “Water Wonderland is just the beginning. This project shows what our community can accomplish when everyone works together. This project is the spark that will move the Park District forward so we can provide the services that park districts are supposed to provide for the children and families in our community. This isn’t just about Dixon. This is about the entire area we serve.”
Long added, “We have opened communications with the City, the Dixon Family YMCA, and the school district to understand the needs of these potential partners. What we have heard from these organizations so far is the need for afterschool educational programming; indoor recreation facilities like basketballs courts, an indoor walking track, and turf fields; and enhanced aquatics facilities.”
The Park District is also receiving feedback from the #DixonStrong Leadership Team, which currently consists of 15 community members whose primary goal is to identify community needs and help the Dixon Park District, City of Dixon, Dixon Public Schools, and Dixon Family YMCA meet those needs. This team was created by City Manager Danny Langloss. It connects a diverse group of community members who have demonstrated their commitment and leadership to Dixon, and its purpose is to identify ways the people of Dixon want to add layers of greatness to our great community. Current #DixonStrong Team Members include:
The team is currently seeking feedback from the community regarding priorities for strategic progress via a community survey. That survey was released to the entire community last week and so far more than 600 community members have completed it. The highest priorities identified thus far by the survey are: the need for recreational facilities, improved academic achievement in our schools, and business development. Everyone who uses Dixon Park District or School District services is invited to complete this very short survey.
Long announced, “Today is a very exciting day. Not only are we opening Water Wonderland, but based upon our conversations with the City, the YMCA, and the school district, and based upon the results from the #Dixon Strong Community Engagement Survey, we are announcing the next step in our vision: a Community Center. This community center would meet the demand for recreational facilities, would provide space for after school educational programming, and would stimulate commerce and thus business development in our great town. The community center we envision would truly have something for everyone.”
Long will continue to work with the #DixonStrong Leadership Team to research various issues related to this vision including: (1) Community Center Needs, (2) Community Center Location, (3) Operational and Maintenance Expenses, (4) Facility Revenues, (5) Economic Impact, (6) Quality of Life Improvements, (7) Youth Development Opportunities, and (8) Partnership Opportunities.
#DixonStrong isn’t just a team of fifteen people; it’s the truth about all of our people. Our great city is strong and getting stronger. Together, we can care for our kids, we can care for each other, and we can build this vision into reality.