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Great Memories

Being born and raised in Reno, I spent most of my childhood in our parks. From playing Little League at Dick Taylor Memorial Park, to camping at Davis Creek, to riding the train at Idlewild Park. Growing up, the chances were good that I was in a park either having fun at the playground, playing fetch with our family dog, having a bbq, playing youth sports, or just taking in the scenery. I can honestly say that many of my best childhood memories happened while in a park.

After leaving the area for college and starting my career, I came back to the Truckee Meadows and took a position through AmeriCorps with the Parks Foundation as a Student Stewards educator. This is when I became aware that the parks in Reno had a major impact on who I am today. I also realized the true impact of a healthy park and trail system and its effect on the environment, aesthetic, and recreational benefits to our region.

My love affair with parks began when I was just three years old. I learned at a young age that the best family memories are the ones that we shared in a park. Here are two (of my many) favorite Truckee Meadows parks memories growing up.

Rancho San Rafael Park with my dad in 1984.

Great Reno Balloon Race at Rancho San Rafael: Getting up at 4am and bundling up in jackets and blankets, I remember being fascinated with “dawn patrol” and watching those huge flames illuminate the colorful balloons. You can only imagine how big these balloons looked to a three-year-old. When the sun came up and the race began, it was incredible to see those vibrant balloons glide across the blue sky. It was magical.

Rancho San Rafael Park with my dad in 1984.


Crystal Peak Park with our family dog Blade in 1990.

Family Picnics at Crystal Lake Park: Every fall my family would have a picnic at Crystal Lake Park. It was so fun to gather everyone up and drive out to Crystal Peak because there seemed to be something special about the fresh air, the natural surroundings, and the delicious food that lifted everyone’s spirits. I can remember my dad’s hamburgers and my mom’s macaroni salad tasting even better when we were at our family picnics. Whether it was fishing in the Truckee River, tossing the football around, or rolling around in the grass with our dog; it was so nice to just kick back and have fun with the family.

Crystal Peak Park with our family dog Blade in 1990.


These memories were created in our parks and will forever be in my heart, always. They have positively impacted my life, they helped me grow and shaped me to be the person I am today. I am so grateful for the quantity and quality of the parks that we have in the Truckee Meadows and I know these parks will continue to provide memories that will enrich my life. If you’re reading this I’m sure you have similar memories, and I know you realize that parks build a sense of community and improve our quality of life. I hope you will join the Parks Foundation in making our parks even better for generations to come.

I love our parks!


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