VOICES: Recreation Activities Update

Opinion By JOE DAVIS, Hoopa Valley Tribe Recreation Director

As Recreation Director, it clearly states in my job description that I am to “develop a public relations program to increase community awareness of the activities available by the Recreation Department and to obtain community support of its programs. Public relations shall be provided through the Hoopa Tribal Web Page, Hoopa Newspaper, and KIDE Radio Station, but not limited.”  With that being said, I feel that it is my obligation to inform the public of what has been going on at Hoopa Recreation as of late.

To start with, I am very happy to announce that the Hoopa Youth Center Renovation Project is coming along as planned. Hoopa Roads delivered the sand for our outdoor beach volleyball court on Thursday April 24, Home Depot delivered the bamboo flooring on Wednesday April 30, and the slate countertops for the new concession stand will be delivered this week. We would like to thank Hoopa Tribal Forestry for committing to remove the tree that would otherwise block the standard 52 X 26 foot volleyball court. The new center should be up and running by the end of May.

On today, Tuesday May 6, we will be conducting interviews for the hiring of a lifeguard. The pool has been cleaned and should be open by the end of the week. Also, with the exception of bad weather days, we have mostly kept the batting cages open from 3 to 7 pm from Monday through Friday. On the weekend of April 5 and 6, 2014 we hosted a free baseball clinic featuring a former NAIA College World Series Champion Mr. Matt Duryea as well as a former Division 2 College World Series participant Coach Eric Giacone who is currently the head Varsity baseball coach at Eureka High School and will be the Humboldt Crabs pitching coach this summer.

We are now in the process of teaming with Hoopa Tribal TANF to conduct a free Softball clinic which will feature College of the Redwoods Head Coach Maggie White as well as some former local college softball players and possibly HSU pitcher Hannah Williams. The tentative date for this event is May 18, 2014.

We are also proud to announce that we got to help the Hoopa Tribal Education Department with their week-long spring break activities at the Hoopa Community Center which featured Indian Card games, stick making, beading, and Hupa Language. During this same week, we also co-sponsored the motivational speaker Chance Rush’s presentation which was brought about by Norma McAdams and the Native Aspirations Program which donated the food for the community barbeque which we put on with Hoopa Tribal Education on “Good Friday” April 18, 2014.

This week we will wrap-up our 3rd through 6th grade basketball leagues with the end of the season playoff tournaments. Unfortunately, this year’s season started later than usual due to unforeseen circumstances and we have had to endure a lot of scheduling conflicts with not only wrestling and softball/baseball season but we had to postpone the tournament from its original dates of April 21 through April 27 due to coaches being out of town at that time. With that being said, we have already been working with the school district to be able to use some of their facilities next year in order to ensure that there is enough gym time and space to have all of the leagues done with by the end of February next year. This will prevent further conflict with the other sports.

Finally, the men’s and women’s adult basketball leagues kicked off two weeks ago with 7 teams in the Men’s Division and three in the Women’s division. On June 16th we will be starting the Co-Ed Softball League which will run through August 3.

In other news, we have been working on: developing system policies, regulations, rules, procedures, short and long-term plans and a mission statement. All of these things still must go through the LPA process but we have a tentative mission that reads, “It is our mission to provide the members of our tribe and community with every possible opportunity to succeed when it comes to education, athletics, health, fitness, and building social skills and opportunities. We will do this my making sure that all facilities are well maintained, there is an adequate amount of educational resources available, and there is ample structure, unity, and communication amongst all stakeholders.”

Some of our short-term plans include a free football clinic featuring USC fullback Soma Vainuku which is tentatively set for May 30 and 31 as well as a basketball referee clinic which we are hoping to have sometime this month. We will also soon be holding movie nights on the big screen at the NF and there will be story telling nights featuring local elders as soon as the Youth Center opens.

Some of our longer-term plans include: partnering with Hoopa Roads to resurface and level our baseball/softball fields later this year, helping Hoopa Forestry with their valley-wide trails project, partnering with Councilman Shane McCullough to hold a rodeo clinic featuring Native steer wrestler and calf roper Chris Bird who is currently ranked in the world, and getting a new floor at the NF gym. Eventually, we want to obtain enough grant funding get a whole new gym. This is something that our Vice-Chairman has made very clear to me that he wants to see pursued. Also, we are currently working with tribal consultant Joseph Arthur on exploring the possibility of a Tribal Skatepark. Mr. Arthur has already secured $25,000 in funding from the Tony Hawk Foundation for the project and we will soon be conducting a survey in conjunction with the Hoopa Tribal Youth Council in order to gauge the community’s interest in pursuing this venture which would require a considerable amount of additional funding.

On Thursday April 17, we gained council approval to purchase a tractor with grant funds provided by the Humboldt Area Foundation that will be used in combination with Hoopa 4-H primarily at the Hoopa Rodeo grounds for arena up-keep and agricultural activities. We also purchased: a new drag for our ball fields at Pookey’s Park, 10 new basketballs, 7 new baseball and softball bats available for checkout, new bases for our fields, and new balls for the batting cages. I also submitted a grant application that would give us $50,000 to build a new turf football field at the rodeo grounds that could also be used for track and field events, native stick games, and soccer. We would like to thank Land Management for their assistance with drawing up the field plans. Finally, we were also able to remove the graffiti from the playground at Pookey’s Park.

As a reminder, Hoopa Recreation is open from 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM Monday through Friday. As always, please feel free to come in to the office at any time with any questions, comments, concerns or requests that you may have or give us a call at (530) 625-4211 ext. 133.

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