Friday, January 14, 2011

Becki Keefer steps down from public service after 14 years

Keefer Park, Toe of the Hill Trail and Rodeo Grounds were among her projects

Express Staff Writer

Becki Keefer stands in front of what was then called Woodside Central Parkónow called Keefer Parkóduring its construction in August 2005. Photo by David N. Seelig

The Hailey City Council and Mayor Rick Davis gave a grand sendoff, with flowers, to Becki Keefer on Monday as she stepped down from the Hailey Parks and Lands Board.

It was the third position Keefer held in city government over the last 14 years. During that time she worked to secure trails, parks and recreational opportunities for Hailey residents.

"This is an honor," Keefer told the council. "But none of us could have gotten anything done without city staff and elected officials."

Keefer was appointed to the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission in 1996. She eventually served as its chair before leaving to serve on the Hailey Parks and Lands Board. Keefer later worked on contract with the city as parks project coordinator, and served briefly on the Hailey Arts Commission.

Keefer was instrumental in bringing skateboarders, cowboys and hockey players together for a redevelopment of the Hailey rodeo grounds.

"Her role was coordinating communication between all the stakeholders, documenting conversations and bringing them forward," City Administrator Heather Dawson said. "She worked hard for two years on this. Becki has truly been a champion of parks and trails in Hailey and recreational experiences at all levels."

Keefer was also instrumental in applying for grants and tracking in-lieu park fees from developers for planning and developing Woodside Central Park in southeast Hailey. The park was later renamed Keefer Park, in honor of Keefer's service to the community.

Keefer also worked to develop the Toe of the Hill Trail in Woodside subdivision, which may one day connect Hailey with Bellevue along the east side of the Wood River Valley.

Mayor Rick Davis said Monday that Keefer was more than an organizer.

"She was out there with a pulaski, pounding away at the ground on the Toe of the Hill Trail with a lot of other volunteers," Davis said.

Keefer also established the nonprofit Hailey Parks Foundation.

The sole mission of the foundation is to finance Hailey's parks and trails.

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