Scores of visitors travel to the American Canyon wetlands each year to take in the natural beauty of the marshes and wildlife. But anyone seeking a drink of water on a hot summer day or needing a restroom won’t find either amenity at the parking lot used by hikers and day-trippers.
The city’s new parks foundation, however, wants to change all that.
For its first fundraising campaign, the new American Canyon Community and Parks Foundation wants to raise $3,000 in July to go towards the building of a water fountain and permanent restrooms at the parking lot located just off Wetlands Edge Road.
Currently, the lot has only a couple portable toilets for visitors to use, and no drinking water supply at all.
Considering the volume of human traffic that goes through the area, the upgrades are much needed, said Parks and Recreation Director Creighton Wright.
He estimates that as many as 500 people daily travel on the Wetlands Edge Trail and the nearby Wetlands Bay Trail.
Wright welcomes the fundraising, given the limitations of the city budget for parks improvements.
The foundation “saw a tremendous need in the community and have charged head long into trying to satisfy the need [for changes],” Wright wrote in an email to the Eagle.
Janelle Sellick, the foundation’s president, said the wetlands “is our most used recreation amenity in the city and we are seeking to improve it with these needed facilities.”
“These new facilities will provide clean drinking water for the community and access to permanent restroom for Wetlands Edge users,” she added.
The foundation is also hoping to eventually raise money for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to add “water wise native landscaping in the area,” according to Sellick, who also chairs the American Canyon Parks and Community Services Commission.
The total cost of the project ranges between $15,000 and $195,000. Funds raised this month will go toward this goal.
The foundation, which only launched earlier this year and is still building its membership, is trying to raise just $3,000 this month.
July was chosen for the fundraising campaign because it is National Parks and Recreation Month.
Sellick was confident of meeting the campaign goal, thanks to the generosity of one anonymous resident.
“We even have a local community member that has generously offered to match all donations up to $1,000,” said Sellick.
Sellick and supporters were at the Wetlands Edge parking lot last Saturday to greet visitors and solicit donations for the proposed work, which would be carried out by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“We have had the chance to meet many people this past week and are thrilled to take donations and welcome new members,” the foundation posted on its Facebook page. “Thank you to all of the community members that have supported us so far this month!”
Contributors to the campaign so far include Steve and Jin Green, Rae Lucero, Julie Douglas, Karen Brorby, Magen Yambou, Vincent Lin, Marti Franco, Maria Young, Marilyn Ableon, Richard Hamati, Dr. Singh at American Canyon Veterinary Hospital, Arvind Nischal at The UPS Store, City Councilmember Mark Joseph, Charles Pearson, Joann Fischer, Tracey Jones, Richard Peterson, Stephen Hilton, and Connie Adams.
Those wishing to donate to the Wetlands campaign can visit the foundation’s website, www.acparks.org.