After enjoying a first amazing summer at the new Rosemary Recreation Center (RRC) you may have wondered what is next for the Needham Community Action Network (CAN). We wondered the same thing ourselves! After our successful "New Pool, So Cool" campaign helped to make the RRC a reality, we had to assess next steps.
The NeedhamCAN Board agreed that we wanted to stay true to our mission of supporting recreational activities for Needhamites of all ages that would be open to everyone. It would be important to us to find new ways to continue to enhance the quality of life in our town.
After some introspection and some exploration, we determined that NeedhamCAN wanted to contribute to the fabric of the community in three specific ways. Each of these initiatives is a NeedhamCAN Board subcommittee led by a Board member.
Teen / Family Programming
We had hoped that a Community Center at Rosemary, now designated space within the new RRC building, would be a destination with integrated programming for all ages. There are indeed offerings for everyone and some multi-generational programming. We would hope to foster more of that, including at the Center at the Heights (CATH), aka the senior center. A need identified in the roundtables we have held and in the informal surveys we have taken is teen programming. We are continuing to address that need and are even exploring the possibility of a teen center in town. Brookline has a great model. This CCN subcommittee is headed by Ellen Dudley.
CCN has always had a multi-generational Board in keeping with our mission. Two former high school Board members came to the larger group as we were retooling our future priorities. They asked if pedestrian safety could be a focus after the tragic death of two of their friends in the crosswalk at the high school. The sister of one of our former HS Board members, Emily Mollerus, chairs this subcommittee along with Anita Ritchie. This active team has met with everyone in town from Representative Denise Garlick to the police chief and recently did a pilot pedestrian safety program at the Sunita Williams elementary school.
So the newly invigorated Community Center of Needham has a lot going for it! What we need now is a broader group of Needham residents to move these initiatives forward. To that end, we are looking for volunteers for all of the subcommittees and some new Board members to help guide the big picture. Please stop by our table at Needham Lights (another CCN initiative) on Saturday December 7th from 2-4pm at Powers Hall on the second level of town hall.
Rosemary Recreation Center Programming
We always envisioned the RRC as a year-round destination, offering many activities beyond those associated with the pool- which has limited use in our New England climate! To that end, we want to stay involved with the RRC well beyond the floats that we donated and the boat racks built by the son of a former Board member. We would like to see ice skating, boating, bird watching, street hockey, hiking and so much more. This subcommittee, headed by Arthur Cantor, will work closely with the Needham Parks and Recreation department to see the site used for a wide variety of activities for residents of all ages.