By Mayor Tammy
The City of Meridian is a
place for families, where our children are a priority. We are constantly
striving to provide meaningful programs for our youth. In continuation of this
tradition it is only fitting that our newest venture, not only answers a
long-time community request but has a focus on youth. It gives me great joy to
announce the Meridian Youth Farmers Market will debut in September.
I mentioned in my State of
the City that we would explore bringing a Youth Farmers Market to downtown
Meridian. Today I can tell you that we are taking the next steps to do
just that, and will be launching an expo on Thursday, September 10th, at
Meridian City Hall from 4:30pm – 7pm. This year’s one day only event will serve
as a springboard into next summer (2016), when we plan to have youth vendors
marketing their products on a weekly basis.
We are issuing a ‘call’ for
youth vendors who want to sell a variety of products such as fresh fruits,
vegetables, herbs and baked goods at the first ever Youth Farmer’s Market Expo
on September 10th. We will even provide them with a table and canopy
cover thanks to a grant from Blue Cross of Idaho. The market will also provide
some basic information about what is being planned for next year - including
opportunities to sign up for space at local community gardens. We will
have applications for next year’s event on hand. In addition, this event
will consist of educational displays, cooking demos, food trucks, music and
We will be utilizing funds
from our Blue Cross High Five grant to help make this event happen this year
and into the future. By providing access to fresh and healthy food to our
community, we are creating an environment that is more supportive of healthy
lifestyles for kids and families alike. Taking these types of steps can
have a positive impact on our community and ultimately reduce childhood
Our community has been asking
for a Farmers Market in our Downtown Meridian for some time, but we wanted it
to be unique. With this focus on youth – we’re giving kids an opportunity to
learn and profit from their hobbies and projects, but most importantly their
passions. I can’t think of a better way to connect the youth with their
community while providing a service and event that residents have longed for in
We are eager to find youth
vendors for this year’s event as well as next summer’s weekly market. Our
community has said getting a Farmers Market is a priority, so I am asking for
your help in making September’s launch of the Meridian Youth Farmers Market a
huge success! To apply to be a vendor, learn more about this event, or see what
will be taking place over the course of the next year, visit our website at www.meridiancity.org.
The Association of Idaho
Cities (AIC) held its annual conference this month and it was a bittersweet
time for me. This conference marked the completion of my term as
President of AIC where it has been an honor to serve the cities and state of
Idaho. As the conference wrapped up I was extremely proud to see Meridian’s
Historic Walking Tour be recognized by AIC with a City Achievement Award for
The origins of the Meridian
Historic Walking Tour date back to the 1990’s, but it was updated and launched
in 2014 through a partnership with the Meridian Historic Preservation
Commission and the Meridian Development Corporation. Visitors on the tour
not only have the opportunity to read about Meridian’s past, but can also use
their smart phones and the QR codes on the brochures and signage, to access
videos hosted by local historian Lila Hill. You can even enjoy it at
historic walking tour is important to our City because it reminds us of our
heritage and the importance our history has played in shaping the community we
are today. The walking tour gives the public, both young and old, the
opportunity to explore the wonders of Meridian’s history in a fun and engaging
you haven’t checked out the historic walking tour – I would definitely
recommend it! The tour through Downtown Meridian’s past and present is a great
activity for people of all ages.
top of our historic walking tour we also offer tours of City Hall to local
students. In fact, we are currently looking for tour guides to lead these tours
during the next school year. You can visit our website for more information (www.meridiancity.org).
said, it was a bittersweet time for me at the AIC conference. As we were being
recognized with the award for our Historic Walking Tour, our community lost a
champion of our community’s past with the passing of Dr. Tom Hammond. Dr.
Tom played a vital role in preserving the history of Meridian through his
service on the Centennial Committee, his involvement in the renovation of the
Pine Street School, and his leadership on the Meridian Historical Preservation
Commission in which he served as Chairman for at least 5 terms. His
service, generosity of spirit and life-long sharing of time and talents will
leave a lasting legacy in our community and stand as an inspiration to others.
because of outstanding volunteers like Dr. Tom that we have great programs like
the Historic Walking Tour. I look forward to seeing more programs like this
grow in our City! And I’m pleased to see such a fantastic City activity and
resource acknowledged for its contribution in making our community a
destination to live, work and raise our families.
By Mayor Tammy
With all the celebrations behind us now - I can honestly say the
1st year of our Mayor’s Walking Club was a smashing success! It was so
fun getting out to the schools in April and walking alongside such fantastic
students in our community. A huge thank you to the
students, staff, and volunteers at the five elementary schools that
participated in the inaugural Mayor’s Walking Club: Ponderosa,
Peregrine, Discovery, River Valley, and Siena elementary schools. I had
I want to thank the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for
sponsoring this spin off from last fall’s Mayor's Walking Challenge.
They provided a nutritious lunch for the winning classes from each school – I
was lucky because I got to join each winning class for lunch! The second place classes received jump ropes and third place
received sports clips (carabiners). These were great incentives to be
active, but most important, was the good time had by all.
In total, the students
at the five schools ran or walked a combined 25,403 miles. For those who might
not remember, that is just a little more than the circumference of the Earth at
the equator. That is amazing!
Really, each person
who took part is a winner and I’m so proud of everyone who was a member of our
first Mayor’s Walking Club. If you see someone wearing one of the
Mayor Tammy Walking Club buttons around town, make sure you congratulate them
for participating and encourage them to continue to stay active.
Ultimately, I hope all
of the students, teachers, and volunteers enjoyed the experience as much as I
did and I look forward to the walking club next fall. We plan to expand
the program to additional elementary schools in Meridian. I look forward to
meeting more students in our community and you never know –the combined miles
could be equal to the distance from here to the moon and back next time around!
Ponderosa Elementary : 1st Place –Mrs. Zamzow’s 2nd grade class, 2nd
Place –Mrs. Brekke’s Kindergarten class, 3rd Place –Mrs. Segraves’ 3rd grade class
Peregrine Elementary: 1st Place –Mrs. Arnell’s 3rd grade class,2nd place – Mrs.
Lambson’s 1st grade class, 3rd place –Mrs. Inga’s 1st
Siena Elementary: 1st Place – Mr. Willoughby’s 5th grade class, 2nd
Place – Mrs. Logsdon’s 4th grade class, 3rd Place
– Mrs. Larson’s 1st grade class
River Valley Elementary: 1st place- Mrs. Price’s 5th grade class tied with Mrs.
McDowell’s 5th grade class, 2nd place –
Mrs. Preston’s 1st grade class,
3rd place –Mrs. McCathron’s 1st grade class
Discovery Elementary: 1st Place –Mr. Runyan’s 3rd grade class, 2nd
Place –Mrs. Howard’s 1st grade class, 3rd Place –Mrs. Wright’s 5th grade class
I can't believe we are at the end of
another school year – and I can tell you it has been a busy one! It’s also the
time of year when the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) activities wrap
What a year it has been! From brand
new projects, to the continued success of ongoing and annual events, MYAC has
once again surpassed all expectations!
This year over 100 teens joined MYAC.
Together they gave nearly 8,000 hours to the community in the form of community
service, events, activities, and advocating for issues important to our teens.
MYAC kicked off the fall with another
successful Trunk or Treat that brought in donations for the Meridian Food Bank
and over 7,500 people. They also planned and executed another successful
Treasure Valley Youth Summit. Last September’s event brought in over 200
students from Meridian area high schools to Wahooz for interactive lessons,
guest speakers, and school specific workshops. They learned the dangers of texting
while driving by simulating the act with go-karts and they wore fatal vision
goggles while playing mini-golf to learn the affects drugs and alcohol play on
judgment. They also participated in unfair laser tag to better understand
bullying. The youth summit gives teens and “MYACers” a way to be part of the
solution in addressing issues teen’s face.
Keeping in line with teen safety –
MYAC produced a Public Service Announcement called iCLICK. The purpose of the
video announcement was to enforce the importance of wearing seatbelts and was
part of the council’s presentation to our area legislators to make not wearing
a seatbelt a primary offense.
MYAC held great events such as Ignite
Youth which gave teens in our community an opportunity to prepare a 5-minute
presentation on whatever topic is important to them. This year 12 teens
participated on topics including renaming Idaho to Star 43 and bullying.
Another big event for MYAC this year was the City’s Do the Right
campaign. The teens in MYAC really wanted to host a day-long, community-wide
event that would promote kindness, because they realize bullying and sadness
affects people of all ages. The first event was a huge success and next year is
sure to be even bigger – with more people doing something kind for the person
to their ‘right.’
MYAC wrapped up the year with the
Ball at the Hall – A Prom for Grown Ups. The Ball at the Hall also doubled as
an end-of-year group celebration and raised critical operating funds for the
Treasure Valley Youth Summit. Our teens are all looking forward to once again
bringing this important educational event to their peers across the community
in Fall 2015.
This was such a fantastic year and I
am thankful to all of the teens who serve on MYAC and would like to give a
special acknowledgment to those who served as officers on the Executive
Council. They give so much back to their community – in terms of service and
hosting events. These teens are an inspiration and a reminder of the bright
future we have in the next generation. Thank you as well to this years’
advisors Ken Corder, Patrick Dilley, Jake Garro, Debbie Shaner, Officer Gomez,
and the number of parents who help throughout the year.
While our graduating seniors will be
missed and the community appreciates all they have done, I look forward to next
year as these teens continue to make a positive difference across our
By Mayor Tammy
Recently we held a Town Hall meeting at Siena Elementary focused on
the future of our beautiful City. We shared feedback about the Listening Tour I
just completed, the results of the Parks and Recreation master plan survey and
an update on the South Meridian YMCA.
I kicked-off the meeting with a report on my latest Listening Tour in
which I met with Meridian residents to get their feedback and additional
insight into specific questions from the 2014 Meridian City Survey.
Generally participants agreed with the results of the 2014 City Survey as it
related to questions revolving around transportation and priorities for
investing, with pathways being one of the most talked about items - our
residents want to see more connectivity throughout the community. Looking to
the future, our citizens expressed reservations about higher density housing
and its impacts to infrastructure such as schools, but that issue has been
somewhat addressed with the recent bond passing. What was abundantly
clear was that people felt that growth should pay for growth; including new
schools, and that they need a greater commitment from the state. In addition,
people would like to see more evening activities and dining options in Downtown
Overall, people love Meridian and our small-town feel. They
believe our people are friendly, and appreciate our growing parks system. They
are also fond of the West Ada School District, and the opportunities for youth
to engage in the community. We agree!
After I discussed these results with the audience at our Town Hall –
it was GreenPlay’s turn to present. Greenplay is a company we’ve hired to help
us craft a master plan for our Parks and Recreation system over the next
decade. Their feedback collected so far has been clear as they spoke
about the community’s desire for more pathways. Preliminary ideas for the
Parks master plan include; connecting trails to each other, parks and to
schools, acquiring land for future parks, and communicating more effectively
utilizing technology. We’re about half way through the process in
creating our plan and hope to finalize it by this Fall, but you can still voice
your opinion until May 15 – just go to meridianparks.mindmixer.com.
Finally we received an update on the much-anticipated South Meridian
YMCA project planned near Eagle and Amity roads. Current plans include a two-story
elementary school that connects to the YMCA in the area where a library will be
housed and a large gym and basketball court to be connected to the
school. The YMCA will feature a health and fitness space, a track that
covers more than one floor to mimic hill runs, and an aquatic center complete
with an outdoor splash pad and possibly a water slide. This facility will
also be located next to a City park.
I am thrilled about this new project, that wouldn’t be possible
without critical partnerships including the YMCA, West Ada School District, the
Meridian Library District, and a giving community. There are still funds that
need to be raised, but I look forward to seeing the goal reached and cutting
the ribbon on this facility.
Our Town Hall
meeting was very informative and helped those in attendance better understand
the direction we are going, and we appreciated their questions and feedback.
It’s an exciting time for our City! I encourage you all to stay informed and be
part of the process. Visit us at meridiancity.org and sign up for our newsletter or follow
us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube!
here to view a video of the Town Hall meeting.
By Mayor Tammy
of the things I love most about Meridian is how generous and giving our
community is to those around them. In fact, the generosity of our citizens
is a primary reason Meridian was recognized among the top 50 best places to
live by Money magazine.
of all ages throughout the community are outstanding philanthropists!
Every time I turn around the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council is working on
another event to raise money or to give back to their City, such as the
upcoming Ball at the Hall on May 16th. It’s a prom for all ages that benefits
the Treasure Valley Youth Summit held each Fall to educate our local high teens
on ways to keep them safe and healthy.
is because we are a community full of caring and giving hearts, I wanted to let
you know that May 7th is Idaho Gives Day. Idaho Gives was launched in 2013 by the Idaho Nonprofit
Center and in its first year raised over $500,000 for 541 causes. In 2014 the
amount raised jumped to nearly $800,000; this year I except that number to
increase even more!
I’m a huge fan of movements like this because I
believe that while one person can do a lot, with the focus of thousands
statewide we can move mountains and really change the future course for many
nonprofits, including several in our community.
Currently the Boys and Girls Club is raising
money for a gymnasium next to their current facility and the YMCA is raising
funds to build a new location in South Meridian. These are just two examples of
tangible ways you can see your gift noticed with huge community impacts.
May 7th will be here before we know
it! I look forward to seeing the results of this giving day statewide and the impact it has on our local
Visit the Idaho Gives event listing on the City
of Meridian’s community calendar for more information. www.meridiancity.org/calendar
By Mayor Tammy
Turn off the TV, computers, portable games, tablets and other screens
used for entertainment in your household! It's time for your family to
celebrate the City’s fourth annual Unplug
and Be Outside Week. During the week of April 20 – 25, the Meridian Parks
and Recreation Department is offering free activities, workshops and events to
inspire and empower families to get off the couch and get active.
This annual celebration is intended to educate families about the
negative effects of too much “screen time” and challenge them to explore the
endless opportunities for screen-free fun and relaxation. Over the past 30 years, the obesity
rate in children 6-11 years old has quadrupled and researchers say there’s a
connection between the number of hours spent in front of a television and
childhood obesity. The average American child spends more than 30 hours a
week in front of a screen (TV, computer, and video games).
That’s why the City has put together a great week full of diverse
activities for the whole family such as tennis, golf, fishing, martial arts,
dance clinics, to more unique offerings like a GPS scavenger hunt, gardening
classes, family yoga, and theatre workshops. The Boys and Girls Club and
Meridian Library will also be hosting events.
One of the highlights of the week is the Family Tennis Fair and Ribbon
Cutting that will take place on Friday, April 24 from 4:30pm – 7:30pm at
Settlers Park. We will be officially cutting the ribbon to commemorate the new
complex at 5:30pm during that fair.
To learn more and view the complete schedule for this year’s Unplug and Be Outside Week, visit our
website: www.meridiancity.org/unplug/. It’s time to
get off the couch! Be Outside! Be Active! And Play!
I’ll see you out and about enjoying all the outdoor fun that Meridian has to
offer next week!