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City Scene: Partnerships in the community benefit all

By: Kerry Miller, City Manager
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Collaborative efforts benefit our community on many levels. We work with a variety of partners including the prison, schools, employers and citizens in an effort to make Folsom the best possible place to live, work and play. One creative partnership involves California State Prison, Sacramento, our city Zoo Sanctuary and Wal-Mart. Warden Tim Virga and City Parks and Recreation Director Robert Goss devised an innovative concept to have inmates grow vegetables on prison grounds. Their goal was to reduce the cost of feeding zoo animals and provide a constructive project for prison inmates. Our local Wal-Mart store donated vegetable seeds that the inmates planted last spring. Prison officials say the inmates take pride in meaningful work that helps rescued animals. The fresh vegetables that the inmates harvest are part of a nutritious diet that helps maintain the health of zoo animals and reduce the cost of veterinarian expenses. Intel Corporation, Folsom's largest employer, partners with the city and other local entities on many outstanding projects. The latest example is a joint effort to construct a water efficient landscape garden at the City's Hinkle Creek Nature Center on Baldwin Dam Road. Intel provided a generous grant to fund the program. In addition, Intel employees will join city staff and community volunteers to plant drought tolerant ornamental and native plants on Oct. 2. The demonstration garden created that day will help educate residents and school children about the importance of water conservation in landscape design. Call Folsom's Water Management Program, 355-7252, if you would like to join the volunteer garden planting team. Tonight's Drug Awareness Forum at Folsom High School is another example of a partnership that benefits parents, students and our community as a whole. Each year our Police Department and local schools join forces to share up-to-date information about drugs that pose a danger to our youth. We also partner with our high schools to raise awareness about the dangers of teenage drinking and driving through the dramatic and highly effective “Every 15 Minutes” program. On a neighborhood level, civic-minded citizens partner with the city through participation in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. During the two-month training program they learned important disaster preparedness skills to help them assist family, friends and neighbors if police and fire professionals are not immediately available to help. Twenty-five additional residents recently began fall CERT classes. When they complete the program, we will have more than 200 trained volunteers ready to provide assistance. Folsom City Manager Kerry Miller can be reached at kmiller@folsom.ca.us.