gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 90

Morgan Hill Rotary Funds Park Improvements Written By Sherry Hemingway I t was a warm sunny day in October when several Rotarians were busily “kicking the tires” on play struc- tures under construction at one of Morgan Hill’s wonderful new downtown parks. The Morgan Hill Rotary Club had recently donated $100,000 to fund a really novel idea, a giant slide down Nob Hill, as well as a bridge in Morgan Hill’s improved Downtown Creek Park. How fast would the slide be? What would make it slower? What would make it faster? A few of the Rotarians reminisced about the days of sliding down grassy hills on burlap bags during their younger days. One thing’s for certain, almost everyone in town, regard- less of age, is going to give this 56-foot slide a try when it opens in December. Nob Hill helps to define the unique skyline along the western edge of Morgan Hill’s downtown. The starting point for the City’s forthcoming plastic slide will be located near the landmark green water tank at the top of the hill. It’s being constructed in two segments, a slower 21-foot-long slide, followed by a faster 35-foot slide. At the landings for 90 each segment are observation platforms with spectacular views of the downtown and the valley looking east. Adjacent to the slide will be meandering, wooded walking trails, with a Second Street trailhead. Be prepared for a cardio climb up the hill followed by a descent down the other side of Nob Hill to Fifth Street. The trails are a part of the city’s visionary new parks and trails system, which will expand the downtown and serve as a back yard for many Morgan Hill neighborhoods. There will be picnic tables at the base of the hill and a separate playground for children just one block from Monterey Road. Rotary Club of Morgan Hill threw its support behind the Nob Hill project after learning that the slide might be eliminated due to budget constraints. Back in 2010, the club had created a strategic objective to give a major gift to the community. Six successive club presidents set aside a portion of donations from the club’s annual fund- raisers with this objective in mind. The Nob Hill project had the potential to GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 prevent a worthwhile project from bei ng sidetracked and to serve the community broadly in a positive way. This is Morgan Hill Rotary’s largest gift since the club’s founding in 1955. Under the leadership of club board director Jeff Perkins, a committee tasked with identifying a worthy project sifted through 14 proposals and chose the park project. Championed by Rotarians John McKay and Bob Foster, the proposed donation not only included the slide, but recommended the addition of a 30-foot- long “Rotary Peace Bridge” over West Little Llagas Creek in the downtown area. The bridge will serve as a lasting tribute to Rotary International’s work toward world peace through human- itarian efforts including literacy, clean water, and the eradication of polio. In late September, Morgan Hill Rotarians proudly presented a jumbo- sized $100,000 check for construction of the slide and bridge to Mayor Steve Tate at the regular meeting of the City Council. “It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, what building you go into