Why Parks Matter to Jessica Bee I

Welcome to the next series of blog posts where we asked Columbia Valley residents to share their fond memories of parks and explain why parks matter. The first few posts in this series come from our very own CVPRD commissioner, Jessica Bee.

When Jessica was a teenager, in 9th grade, she participated in a dance class with her friends through the high school. The high school presented the students with an opportunity to audition to perform either a duet or solo dance routine. The students had to come up with their choreography and music.

Jessica and her friend knew that they wanted to audition for the dance routine, but neither had the proper space to practice. Their living rooms were not suitable for dance choreography. Their yards, even though sizable, were not set up adequately for their needs. Luckily, Jessica’s friend lived across the street from a neighborhood park.

The girls used the grassy and blacktop areas at the nearby park to choreograph and practice their duet. They were even able to invite their friends to the park for them to critique and help out with the routine. Finally, after enough practice, the girls auditioned for the dance duet and got the part!

Jessica explained how she had kept this memory close to her heart over the years. It reminds her about how her accessibility to a local park allowed her to achieve her goals as a young teenager. Jessica hopes that by bringing neighborhood parks to Columbia Valley, other teenagers will be able to make similar memories that they will then take through life.

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