Government / Politics

COMMENTARY: R.E.A.C.H. to help the Parks and Recreation Commission

The public is invited to interact with the county Parks and Recreation Commission to help promote a healthy lifestyle locally

Once a month, currently on an as-needed basis, but always quarterly, the San Benito County Parks and Recreation  Commission meets in the Board of Supervisors' Chambers at 481 Fourth St. in Hollister.  The commission includes of one commissioner per county supervisorial district, along with a Veterans' Park representative and the San Benito County Historical Park caretaker.  The commission agenda is posted each month on the county parks website and the public is welcome to attend meetings. 

Among other things, the commission reviews developers’ plans for Parks Element compliance and design, recommending changes where needed.  Planning then submits to the Planning Commission and on to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.  The steps may go back and forth depending on the complexity of the development.

At this time of the year, county staff reports the full list of park projects with funding approved by the Board of Supervisors for review.  Commissioners receive an update on the project status for these approved projects, and discuss new potential projects for the fiscal year for recommendation to the board.  

Currently, San Benito County is not up to par with the following averages in California:  53 percent of the county's 55,467 residents live farther than a half mile from a park, and 67 percent live in areas with fewer than three acres of parks or open space per thousand residents.  The county's and parks' General Plans address these important issues by calling for the creation of a River Parkway and implementation of a Historic Park Capital Improvement Plan, and a Regional Park Plan.

The County Parks and Recreation Commission long ago recognized that the county will need help in maintaining its parks, just as all other counties, states and the nation; therefore R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Foundation was created by a few dedicated souls. R.E.A.C.H. is essentially, the “Parks Foundation” for San Benito County, and as such works toward building its Endowment Fund held by the Community Foundation.  As the funds grow, projects will be funded for parks maintenance and improvements for posterity. 

Reach Across America with Jim Ostdick is the current fundraiser the community can tap into to support local parks.  Please give any small amount you may spare per mile at  You may also donate directly to the R.E.A.C.H. Endowment Funds held with the Community Foundation.  Your endowment legacy will go on forever maintaining parks in San Benito County.


valerie egland