Thursday, September 24, 2009

Father of Parkway

William Pond, a wonderful public servant who accomplished great things for our region has died and his obituary in the Sacramento Bee is very moving.

Our condolences to his family.

An excerpt.

“If the American River Parkway is the crown jewel of the Sacramento region, then William Pond was the visionary jewel maker.

“Pond was Sacramento County's first parks director and is often referred to as the father of the 23-mile recreation area along the American River.

“Pond died Sunday after a protracted battle with a number of ailments. He was 91.

"Anyone that enjoys the American River Parkway – the kayaking, the hiking, bike riding – owes a debt of gratitude to Bill Pond," said former Sacramento County Supervisor Illa Collin. "Every time I think of the parkway, I think of Bill."

“The county hired Pond in 1959 after a national search for a director of its newly formed Department of Parks and Recreation. There wasn't much to the department at that time, said his son Steve Pond.

"It was pretty much a (title) and a bare office," said Pond's son. "I don't even think there was a budget."

“Over the next several years, Pond used the strength of his personality and his ability to build relationships to generate the funds needed to acquire the land – from the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers to Folsom – from private landowners.”