raider-park-pioneers

Raider Park Pioneers

This park would not have been possible without the leadership of these four individuals. Their work shows what passionate people committed to community and open spaces can achieve.

In 2017, math teacher Seth Keene had a vision that a park could be created on the vacant land north of Stevens High School. He presented his idea to interested peers and the vision began to take shape. Joined by fellow math teacher Tom Keck, the two created an image of what the park could support. Seth’s knowledge of and involvement in sports, combined with Tom’s education and experience in landscape architecture resulted in a team that fed off each other’s ideas and those of their colleagues.

Gaining approval from the school board to create a park on school land and without any accompanying financial support, Seth and Tom put plans into action. During walks through the 38 acres, maps were made for the best hiking, running, and biking trails. Educational and other recreational opportunities were also identified. They consulted experts, collaborated with other teachers and community members, and connected with commercial partners.

Daily use is evident by Stevens High students, athletes, teachers, park neighbors, community members, and the resident wildlife. With continued support, what is on the ground today in 2020 is only the beginning of a truly remarkable connection to this land.

In 2018, Bill and Diane Tschetter, created the Tom Pfeifle Memorial Inc, a 501(c)(3) organization to honor the life of Tom, and assumed responsibility for the Tom Pfeifle 5k Run/Walk started by Tom’s friends, Jackson Dorsey and Brad Drake in 2017. Since then, all funds raised from this race have been used to benefit the Tom Pfeifle Trails at Raider Park, and the park itself. Bill and Diane could also be called pioneers. Never having organized a race or created a non-profit, they’ve done both and have raised significant funds for the park with the assistance of a hard-working board. ­

The promising piece of landscape that holds the Tom Pfeifle Trails

— and his memory —

is a place worth getting to know and love.

Kevin Woster