Our View: Pavilion is a symbol of peace
August 5, 2014
Progress is being made at the Peace Pavilion at Rotary River Park structure now under construction at Rotary Park along the Yampa River Core Trail. On Tuesday, wooden trusses were placed by crane onto the foundation to create the structure's main shell, which now is visible from U.S. Highway 40 south of Mount Werner Road.
The project is being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs in honor of the club's 40th anniversary. It is an extension of the Yampa River Boardwalk, another project the local club funded and built more than a decade ago.
The pavilion will be gifted to the city of Steamboat Springs and is designed to serve as a gathering place along the popular Core Trail where visitors and local residents can find shelter and rest. It is envisioned as a space for contemplation, and it represents a huge investment in the community
We applaud the local club for taking on such a sizable project and then donating it to the city for the public's use. We view the project as emblematic of the true spirit of community that thrives here in Steamboat and makes this town such a wonderful place to live, visit and do business.
When the Peace Pavilion and surrounding landscaping are completed, Rotary will have invested over $140,000 in the project. The two local Rotary clubs already have raised over $70,000 themselves in support of the project and other funding has come in the form of generous in-kind donations from local businesses. A crowd-sourced online fundraising drive to involve those not affiliated with the local club also has been launched and is gaining traction.
The overall vision for the project goes beyond a structure, according to members of the Rotary Peace Pavilion Committee. They say they would like to see the pavilion become a catalyst for a community-wide peace initiative that starts with providing a beautiful, serene spot for people to stop and reflect.
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An example of what the club is envisioning occurred just last week.
Steamboat Springs resident Carolyn Gibson learned about the project and reached out to the club to find out if they would be willing to accept a donation of trees in memory of her son, an arborist who was killed at age 30, leaving behind a wife and two young children.
Gibson said she wanted to donate two trees to the project in memory of her son, which she thinks will help her and her family with their healing process.
And this week, a couple from Boulder was enjoying the Core Trail when they saw the work being done at the pavilion. They found out that Rotary Club was championing the project so they came to the noon meeting to let the club know they wanted to support the project by purchasing three memorial pavers in honor of their loved ones.
This project also is unique because Rotary Club not only is gifting the pavilion to the city but pledging to maintain the building into perpetuity. An escrow fund will be established to cover future maintenance, and the club will be taking responsibility for facility upkeep and trash pickup in the area as it already does for the Boardwalk and Rotary Park.
Rotary is just one of many local service organizations whose members give of their time, talent and resources to better the Routt County community. The Peace Pavilion is the most recent example of extraordinary giving that has become a symbol of what is best about living in the Yampa Valley.
As club members have stated, the new Peace Pavilion is not a Rotary building. It's a community space being created for the public with a mission of promoting peace. And it's a welcome gift.
Disclaimer: Two members of the editorial board, Suzanne Schlicht and Lisa Schlichtman, are members of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, but this editorial is not a reflection of that involvement. The Rotary Club has been contributing to the community for a long time before either woman became a member, and the current project is a reflection of the club's history of community service to Steamboat Springs.