SEASIDE - The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District will participate in the ninth annual Down By the Riverside Enhancement and Appreciation Days May 21 and 22.

Executive Director Mary Blake presented the program to the board at its regular meeting Wednesday. The program, sponsored by SOLV, recruits volunteers to clean Oregon's rivers, streams and lakes.

In partnership with the city, Blake will act as a site coordinator for the program in Seaside, which will help clean up Broadway Park and the portion of Neawanna Creek by the park. Blake, SEPRD Operations Manager Craig Kennedy and Human Resources Director Mike Marshall will work with the Broadway Middle School science department May 21 to teach students about the impact of trash on the environment.

Students will clean the area from the school to the creek's edge.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 22, the public is welcome to participate in the cleanup at the park. Participants should meet at Sunset Pool. Projects include picking up trash, removal of berry bushes and other riverside enhancements, Blake said.

"We'll collect everything from cigarette butts to Safeway carts that may be thrown in the creek," she said.

SOLV suggests these tips to make your participation in the event beneficial:

• Bring work gloves, drinking water and a lunch.

• Bring garden tools clearly marked with your name.

• Wear sturdy shoes and clothing.

• Dress for the weather.

• Do not touch any hazardous waste. Blake has been specially trained to handle hazardous waste.

• All children must be supervised by an adult.

Scholarships highlightedDonations continue to trickle in for the district's scholarship program. As of April 16, 38 scholarships have been distributed, representing 19 families, at a cost of $1,344.48. Seven scholarships have been granted since the March 17 report. The scholarship fund began with a $1,000 donation from the SEPRD Foundation and three donations have raised $350. An Easter bunny photo fundraiser garnered $81 and a "free swim" jar has gathered $11.61, leaving a balance of $98.13. To donate to the scholarship fund, stop by the Sunset Pool at 1140 E. Broadway Drive or call 738-3311.

Spring break a successSpring break activities provided by SEPRD reached more than 1,500 people this year, Blake reported to the board.

"We had good weather, good back-up, things were low-key and nothing disastrous happened," she said.

A weekend car show had 35 entrants and an estimated 150 spectators, while a Frisbee tournament attracted 16 competitors and about 500 spectators throughout the day. Several java jam teen concerts captured the attention of 385 youth and attendance was high at the Seaside Youth Center, open gyms at Broadway Middle School and Sunset Pool. SEPRD provided approximately $3,500 in in-kind services for spring break activities.

Budget eyedThe budget committee met for the first time after the regular meeting. The committee includes SEPRD board members Trish Downey, Dana Phillips, Mike Hinton, Judy Ann Dugan and June Stromberg. Appointed members are Lynda Campbell, Babe Price, Joyce Williams, Carolyn Wells and Lisa Wallace.

The committee received budget packets and set its next meeting time for 5:45 p.m. May 17. Joyce Williams was elected budget committee chairwoman; Lisa Wallace, vice-chairwoman; and June Stromberg, secretary.

Copies of the budget are available for public review at the Sunset Pool and the Bob Chisholm Community Center. The public will have a chance to comment on the budget at the next board meeting, May 19.

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