Families gathered on Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Kachemak City Park. The park is a testimony that “Our Dreams Came True,” as a sponsor sign at the park proclaims. The Kachemak City Council created and renovated the park in partnership with the Homer Foundation.
The park near the Kachemak Community Center had been in bad shape before the renovations, with crumbling tennis courts and a playground. Now, the park features newly paved tennis and Pickle Ball courts, improved playground equipment, and a large dirt biking course or pump track — the first such pump track on the southern Kenai Peninsula. A soccer field has been seeded and will be ready next spring. The improvement project was started more than a year ago.
The celebration on Saturday, Sept. 17 presented benefactors and supporters to rejoice in the new community space. People were encouraged to “play like crazy” — a saying of the late Homer High School volleyball coach, Alice Witte — and the courts were full with athletes of all ages playing various sports. Kids gleefuly explored the new playground structures and the dirt racing mounds for their bikes.
The celebration also featured live music by Silas Jones and the Pipeline Vocal Project, hot dogs served by the Kachemak Bay Lions Club, a bouncy house, massages and face painting.
In a report on the park from park committee members Bill Fry, Connie Isenhour, Chris Perk and Jeanne Walker, they noted volunteers raised $235,000 in donations and $100,000 in in-kind gifts. They especially noted the support of the Homer Foundation in helping to pay for the new courts, a fence replacement and new playground equipment.
“The Foundation’s support was a critical vote of confidence in the project, putting wind in our sales that helped raise awareness about the volunteer effort and the need for community support,” the committee wrote. “Support from the Homer Foundation has helped make possible an investment in community health and wellness that will pay dividends for years to come.”