Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Keefer Park dedication in Woodside today

Largest public park in Hailey was 12 years in the making

Express Staff Writer

A group of impassioned Hailey families and government officials will see their grand vision become reality today in the Woodside subdivision of Hailey. A dedication ceremony for Keefer Park, the largest public park in Hailey, will take place at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon on Moonlight Drive. The ceremony marks the end of more than 12 years of politicking and community organizing to bring increased recreation and community opportunities to the families of Woodside.

Keefer Park is named in honor of longtime Hailey park advocates Becki and Steve Keefer. They were joined in 1996 by Pat Cooley, Kristy Turco, Craig Levitan and Anne Marie Renaud with the goal of building a park in Woodside.

"I want to thank all who made this dream a reality," said Becki Keefer, who is Hailey Parks and Land Board Parks Projects Coordinator.

She credited Councilwoman Martha (Beaver) Burke and numerous volunteers with supporting the effort to build the park.

"While Steve and I are very honored that this park has been named for us, this park could not have been possible without the commitment of the city and a great many volunteers, and the Parks and Land Board," Keefer said.

Roughly twice the size of Hop Porter Park in Hailey, the nine-acre park includes basketball courts, a regulation soccer field, restrooms, a picnic pavilion, a ball field and a trailhead to the popular Toe-of-the-Hill Trail.

The park took two years to build and was funded by grants, in-lieu fees from developers and other development partnerships, with an approximate 50 percent contribution from tax dollars.

Despite differences over the years between the city of Hailey and the developers of Woodside—Sprenger, Grubb & Associates—about nine acres were set aside in 1999. The city received $116,000 for improvements in the park through grants from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The Keefer Park turf will be christened this weekend by the Sawtooth United girls soccer team tournament.

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