On Friday, February 27th, the Visalia Parks & Recreation Department attended the California Parks & Recreation Society (CPRS) District VII awards program in Fresno, California. Held annually to recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions towards community parks and recreation programs, over 13 different parks and recreation agencies from throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley area were in attendance.
Visalia Parks & Recreation was happy to take the opportunity to recognize their Outstanding Volunteer of 2014 and awarded the honor to Mr. Bill Huott. Known for his tireless efforts in advocating for the central core of the City, known to many as the Oval Park Neighborhood, Mr. Huott has been an advocate to improve existing parks, expand and create newer parks, and expand recreation programming in this area.
Mr. Huott routinely volunteers to assist with recreation programs and participates in numerous clean-up efforts in the community. Serving as eyes on the area, Mr. Huott is quick to report maintenance, vandalism, and illegal activities to the proper authorities in the City of Visalia.
Visalia Parks & Recreation took the occasion to also present the Community Service Award for 2014 to University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Tulare/Kings County.
The mission of the Master Gardener program is to provide research-based information for gardening practices and technologies of home horticulture, integrated pest management (IPM), and environmental resource conservation. Master Gardeners answer questions, conduct demonstrations, diagnose plant/pest problems by telephone, newspaper, public speaking, and public contact.
Since 2004, the UC Master Gardeners has maintained the Ralph Moore Rose Garden at Mayor’s Park in Visalia as a project site. Along with maintaining the rose garden, the Master Gardeners provide outreach projects in the community where they education about proper gardening practices.
This group currently has 84 Master Gardener volunteers and last year they provided 3,292 hours of outreach to the community reaching approximately 5,500 people. The City of Visalia is proud to recognize the Tulare/Kings County Master Gardeners for their outstanding community service efforts.
Thanks to community members like Mr. Huott and agencies like UC Master Gardeners, Visalia continues to be a great place to live and play.