Stephenville Rotary makes donation to city for Collins Street Trailhead

Special to the Empire-Tribune
Pictured from left are City Councilman Nick Robinson, Rotary Club President Moumin Quazi, Stephenville Mayor Doug Svien, Stephenville City Parks and Leisure Services head Kelli Votypka, and City Councilman Brandon Huckabee.

Moumin Quazi, two-time president of the Stephenville Rotary Club, made a presentation to the Stephenville City Council at its regular meeting on Tuesday about its last few years’ donations totaling $9,000 to the city, for the Collins Street Trailhead of the Bosque River Trail.

Following is the speech Quazi presented:

Dear Mayor and Councilors:

"For some historical context, in the fall of 2018 the City began creating a master plan for an inclusive space the brought together our Bosque River Trail, beautiful live oaks, and one of the most scenic parts of the City to create an escape. The preliminary plan created an environment for all, from pollinator and sensory gardens to a play scape fully inclusive to people of all abilities. (We now know that the plan to build the all-inclusive playground has been moved to the main City Park.) In July of 2019, over 100 teen campers with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (also known as RYLA) began the process of clearing the area and creating a brick trail loop for the future play scape site at the Collins Street Trailhead on the Bosque River Trail. The RYLA campers cleaned hundreds of 111-year-old Thurber bricks pulled from our streets, thinned trees and underbrush, and assisted with the pad site for the intended future play scape and butterfly garden.

"In the fall 2019, the City engineered running water to the site, and the local Master Gardeners donated the plant material to plant the pollinator garden. Even if the all-inclusive playground is moving to the City Park, we are still hoping that the City will continue its previous intention to create a sensory garden at the Collins St. Trailhead. The garden will provide an opportunity to experience the space with all the senses. With tactile, olfactory, visual, and auditory experiences, we will be able to reach a wide range of community members from children to portions of our community impacted by dementia. In fact, horticulture-therapy has been proven to assist in the calming and recall in patients.

"Last year, sadly due to the pandemic, the annual RYLA camp was cancelled, so we couldn’t contribute to the progress of the park construction. That didn’t keep our local Rotary Club from donating another $3000 to the City, though.

"I’m happy to say, this coming summer, 100 more RYLA-campers will participate in their service project on Saturday, June 19, all day long, on the Collins St. Trailhead again.

"As a sign of our continued commitment to the Collins St. Trailhead Park effort, I, Moumin Quazi, as president of the local Rotary Club, along with Rotarians Rosemary Nagle and Ron Henry, would like to present to the City another $3000, totaling $9000 over the last three years, during which Rotary, as a local service club, has donated time, landscaping blueprints, and over one thousand manhours. Please, accept this ceremonial check of $9,000 representing that commitment.

"We are happy that the City is planning to use this year’s $3,000 to purchase a waterbottle-filling station for the Collins Street Trailhead. We hope that the City sees by these efforts that Rotary cares about Stephenville’s general health and wellbeing, and we hope that everyone in and around Stephenville can get out and enjoy nature at its finest at the Collins Street Trailhead on the Bosque River Trail.

"Thank you."