Broad view of recreation and desire for more participation

Chad Taylor is the newest member of the Advisory Committee for County Service Area 36 (Idyllwild and Fern Valley) Here he poses with son Jack and his daughter Charlotte. Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington appointed him last month. Photo by JP Crumrine

Chad Taylor is the newest member of the County Service Area 36 (Idyllwild and Fern Valley) Advisory Committee. Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington presented Taylor’s nomination at the Board of Supervisors’ April 16 meeting and he was unanimously approved.
Taylor and his wife, Ellen, have been Hill residents for more than decade. For several years, they commuted from Long Beach. Ellen Rosa-Taylor is the chair of the Dance Department at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.
As their family grew —son Jack and daughter Charlotte — they decided to move here full-time.
Taylor grew up playing sports, primarily football and volleyball. But his view of recreation is broader than sports. Married to a ballerina and dancer, art in its various forms — dance, drawing, painting and more — are all part of his definition of recreation.
For several years, he has given his time to volunteer work at Idyllwild School, is a member of the Parents-Teachers Association and School Site Committee, as well as coaching different youth teams. The breadth of his community involvement was among the reasons that attracted his attention to Washington’s staff.
Promoting the availability of recreation opportunities in town and expanding the types of opportunities will be one of his goals while serving on the committee.
But he wants to make the committee’s presence much more visible to residents. This transparency, he hopes, will attract more people to the meetings, and result in more ideas of possible activities and programs for the community.
“In the unincorporated area, there is no city council nor mayor. It’s not a one-stop process,” he said. “They need to know what the CSA is, when we meet, and then come and make their point. I want to encourage ideas. They need to show up and talk about their ideas and concerns.”
He noted that the April 25 CSA 36 meeting had eight or nine members of the public attending. This was many more than the January meeting, which he attended as a member of public.
Taylor acknowledged that Idyllwild School Principal Matt Kraemer helped notify parents of the meeting. That is a first step Taylor hopes to seeing the public involvement grow.
Sports are not the only form of recreation that should be offered, he said. Taylor stressed that the recreation programs should “mirror what distinguishes Idyllwild — artists …
“There are national assets here,” he added. And from his current involvement with students and parents, he has observed “… how much parents enjoy seeing the children participate and advance in whatever activity they choose.”
Adult and parent involvement in organization of the recreation programs and children’s participation in the programs are important to Taylor. And their importance will grow, in his opinion.
He believes Idyllwild may be on the cusp of population growth. Coming from the coast, he sees the opportunities for more people to retire here, more people to work from home here and more support for a larger population.
“We’re a long way from any traffic,” he noted.
The committee has had a vacancy for more than two years. Taylor’s appointment brings it to a full complement of five members.
CSA 36 is responsible for recreation and street lighting in Idyllwild and Fern Valley. Currently, the county has a contract with the Idyllwild Community Center for provision of the local recreation programs.