For almost a year, I’ve been advocating as a community and parent leader the desire to create a ‘safe’ pathway to Double Diamond Elementary School. I’ve contacted my legislators, the WCSD headquarters and DDES Administration. What I’m advocating is that the fight over jurisdiction of the creek that has a cement pathway is overlooked and that these public officials focus their energies toward problem resolution and outcomes that help children focus on education. What I’ve learned in the process is with a vision, resilience and leadership – there will be forward progress. With the help of local media leadership and advocates – we will find a new possibility for children in our communities to get to school safely. Since the time I escalated the issue, there are local families’ children who have received permanent scars, stitches and unnecessary medical bills which were the result of an unsafe pathway to this elementary school. What is this all about? What I understand to be true is that in 2000/2001, the Washoe County School District built this pathway, which was a requirement that the City of Reno made in order to build the school. This pathway connects the school to the Double Diamond Ranch Association which is owned by the South Meadows Association, which is managed by Nevada Commercial Services. The pathway is flooded throughout the year and recently someone put pavers in between the pathway – like step stones which allow children to avoid getting wet. As you see in this photo – it’s no easy task to get to school – these kids are brave – or they just enjoy getting wet. Well – I’m certain the parents who received the call from the school administration aren’t happy – nor was the child or his brother when they called 911 and Reno PD, Sheriff, Ambulance and Firefighters all arrived to take the child away on a stretcher to the ER. Was this really necessary? Why is the Army Corp of Engineers not leading the effort with the appropriate agencies to help us problem solve? Parents have called all agencies pleading for their children’s welfare, yet – thus far – the call hasn’t been answered. This is why I’m writing this blog – to document that no blood will be on ‘our’ hands as parent leaders any longer. It is time for us to take responsibility for this simple pathway and partner together – collaborate- find a way to build a wooden bridge, clean the drains or re- engineer the pathway so that children can have a safe pathway to school. WCSD has put up a barricade to deter children from using the pathway – since it’s been deemed a hazard. Although I appreciate and applaud this effort – why can’t we invest our energies as leaders in this community to make it an amazing pathway that we are proud of to walk on safely together as children, parents, grandparents or guardians? In fact, why not dedicate the new bridge or pathway to the countless children injured on it. I believe as parent advocates in partnership with public officials focused on safety for children – we can overcome the desire to focus on ‘jurisdiction’. In fact, we can feel proud to have a safe pathway not only to this school, but to education and to the futures for these bright little people who will be the future employees and leaders of this great community.