Mast Park is now OPEN! It’s been 13 months of anticipation for the residents of Santee and let me assure you, it was well worth the wait. On Saturday at 11am, Mayor Minto welcomed over two thousand guests as they were among the first to enjoy what is Santee’s oldest park, now considered their newest! After an extensive $12 million overhaul, they truly have put the “park” in sparkle. After finding the nearest parking space at Carlton Hills School and starting my walk to the park, I laughed a little at myself realizing I could have just gone a few extra blocks and hopped on my bicycle, leaving my car at home. Nevertheless, I will next time! On my brief walk over, I was delighted to see so many others heading the same direction. There were dozens of families walking, pushing strollers, riding bikes, scooters and skateboards to make their way towards the new jewel of our city. The day was our amazing winter-warm and our Santee sunshine made her regular cameo as if summoned by the people. This park features new forest-themed play areas, three times the amount of previous picnic areas, a two-mile lighted loop trail, bike repair station, concession stand with gourmet food offerings and craft beer, a premier disc golf course, and new dog areas separated out for puppies, small breeds and large! Walking onsite I was immediately greeted by colleagues and friends and saw my son’s schoolmates making good use of the new basketball courts - seeing friends and families already enjoying the amenities was such a neat feeling – it was a brand new place I was experiencing yet it already felt like home. Congratulations to all the parties involved in this process, there are so many of you (too many to name, because I know I’ll leave some out) but in addition to congratulating the City of Santee on this thoughtful improvement, I’d like to say thank you and I hope to see many of you there soon. Thankful to have run into one of my favorite City staffers amidst the many I missed, Bree Humphrey, to sneak in a quick photo.