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The City of Carlsbad's Parks and Recreations chair steps down from his position, following a completion of two, four-year terms. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

Carlsbad proclaims July Parks and Rec Month

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad City Council Chambers celebrated the beginning of its meeting Tuesday with the presentation of proclamations, highlighting Parks and Recreations Month. 

While the City of Carlsbad gladly accepted its proclamation, it was a bittersweet evening, because it was also a night of farewell to the chair of its Parks and Recreation Commission, Denny Cooper.

Cooper has completed his two, four-year terms.

Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin presented Cooper with a framed proclamation.

“I am so pleased to be able to read this proclamation to Denny; he is special to all of us here in Carlsbad,” Kulchin said.

The proclamation highlighted how Cooper served his term with dedication and distinction.

“The City of Carlsbad has benefited from his guidance and participation,” she said. “Denny has a genuine influence in the well being of the residents of Carlsbad, particularly our youth.”

While Cooper served on the commission, he took part in several important projects, which included Poinsettia Park Tennis Complex, The Crossings Golf Course, and Alga Norte Community Park.

“We wish to commend him for the passion he has exhibited in caring out his duties and we look forward to his continued participation in the Carlsbad community,” said Kulchin.

Chris Hazeltine, director of the City of Carlsbad’s Parks and Recreation Department said that Cooper has served both his terms very admirably and has done so for all the right reasons to helping his community.

“Denny most recently has been the chair of the commission and we are certainly going to miss the leadership and stability he has brought to that commission,” Hazeltine said. “We are a better commission because of his involvement with the city.”

Cooper, a longtime Carlsbad resident has been a teacher at Carlsbad High School for 25 years.

“I just love serving the community of Carlsbad,” Cooper said.

One way he thought he could make a difference for kids was to be on the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Throughout his terms, Cooper was impressed with the city staff. Chiefly, when they were open to the commission’s suggestions and doing what they could to accomplish the community’s recommendations.

“I believe the staff did a wonderful job putting together their parks and recreation activities in Carlsbad and I think we are one of the leaders in those areas,” said Cooper, adding how his experience with the city staff was a positive one.

For Cooper, now it’s time to pass the torch to someone else in the community which will allow them to make an impact in their town, too.

On the flipside, Hazeltine said receiving his department’s proclamation for their “Parks and Recreation Month” in July gives them an opportunity to be acknowledged while reminding residents of the good in Carlsbad. This includes their recreational facilities and amenities available to everyone.

“We have an expansive trail system because we are all about health and fitness these days,” said Hazeltine, adding how the city has 40 miles of developed trails. “We have all kinds of opportunities to get outdoors and into the open space of our trails.”

Over the years, Hazeltine said, the city council has made a great emphasis and priority on parks and recreation programming.

Just last month, the groundbreaking ceremony for the future site of Alga Norte Community Park in Carlsbad was a day for celebration. More than 30 acres large, the future park will boast pools, ball fields, a skate park, a dog park, and other amenities.

“In this day and age where lots of cities are struggling with how to maintain their existing facilities, here we are breaking ground on developing new facilities,” Hazeltine said.