According to Town of Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Division Manager Michael Marshall, 2016 presented itself as a banner year for recreation in Camp Verde.
“The mid-year hiring of an additional full-time person greatly improved our capability to plan and implement quality programming,” Marshall said, adding Parks and Recreation Coordinator Shawna Figy’s contributions should allow for expansion of programs and plans for future growth. “As always, our focus on working with partners allowed us to expand the reach of our programs while maintaining a limited budget.”
Marshall said that one of his major focuses continues to be offering low-cost recreational opportunities that do not impact the Parks and Recreation budget, balancing fees with the cost to provide services and thus keeping the impact to the town — and the taxpayer, by extension — minimal.
“The majority of our programs are designed to mostly support themselves through user fees,” Marshall stated. “As one measure of our efforts, last fiscal year’s program revenues increased by 35 percent, indicating an increase in participation. Our expenses in these same areas only increased by 15 percent, an indicator of our efficiency and effectiveness.
“We continue to support a philosophy of trying to say yes to each and every request or suggestion brought to us in order to improve opportunities for Camp Verde residents.”
Partnering with other organizations, Marshall said, helps reduce costs while keeping facilities in use.
“Working cooperatively with local volunteers from Little League, Youth Football and American Youth Soccer Organization, we have been able to support their efforts on behalf of youth sports in Camp Verde by providing playing fields and other support assistance,” Marshall said. “Partnering with the Camp Verde Community Library has allowed us to host Free Family Friday Movie Nights as well as support their Summer Reading program with activity space and staff assistance.”
According to Marshall, the opening of the new library during the latter half of 2016 not only provided a better venue for movie nights, it “opened the door to increased opportunities,” including use of the soon-to-be renovated Rezzonico Family Park, located next door to the library. Taking advantage of the park’s proximity, the library will be working with Parks and Recreation to deliver nature-oriented programming.
CVCL Director Kathy Hellman praised the increased collaboration between the two departments, saying that it would allow for a greater variety of recreational, educational and civic-oriented options.
Other partnerships are successfully moving forward, according to Marshall.
“Our partnership with Camp Verde Promotions helped to make Fort Verde Days, Corn Fest and the increasingly popular Pecan and Wine Festival possible,” Marshall said.
“Over $1,200 in funding from the Kiwanis Club of Camp Verde helped to support Grasshopper Basketball, as well as an expanded Trunk or Treat Main Street .... Our support of the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office and their National Night Out also helped with its success.”
Marshall stated that Bread of Life Mission continues to use the community gym to provide meals to upward of 100 people every Tuesday.
“Our program of day trips to museums and other places of interest in the state utilizing our new-to-us shuttle bus showed tremendous growth [in 2016],” Marshall said.
“The Town Council’s decision to support this program with funding for our used shuttle bus paid off with nearly 250 people coming on our 23 trips. In addition the shuttle bus was used by the Community Library to improve transportation opportunities for their Teen Advisory Board as well as other library programs.”