by KATHY LOY | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

It may be an understatement to say it can be a “challenge” to get a community recreation center built and opened on- time when fiscal crises are plaguing city governments, but Carmel Valley resident Kelly Goodwin and the Ocean Air Recreation Council did just that! In 2008, after reading a story in the local newspaper about the project, Kelly attended a recreation council meeting and began working with city staff on the project. “I have been with the Council ever since, serving as Chair at-large, and Vice-Chair positions,” said Kelly. “It is a great group who share a vision that communities need a place to play, create, and compete.”

When she first began working with the recreation council, the Ocean Air Elementary School had opened but the joint fields had not. “The community very much wanted the Recreation Center and the park to open but also had concerns regarding the potential impact -, particularly with regard to traffic and the lighted fields,” said Kelly. “In that early period, there was an acute need for community members to facilitate the lines of communication between citizens, the school, the City, and the City Council.”

As a scientist and mother, Kelly knows the importance of exercise and competitive athletic opportunities. “This is more important than ever, now that we live in a digitally-dominated world and don’t have the same freedom our parents had,” said Kelly. “Our parents could simply yell ‘turn off the TV and get outside and play.’ Although kids can be over-scheduled, in general, formalized activities are an important defense against a variety of social ills.”

Kelly met her husband, Rob, in graduate school at Caltech. Today, Kelly specializes in coastal water quality at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The family, including nine year old son Kai, are all involved in martial arts. Kelly has been training in martial arts for 26 years and is a 4th degree Master in World Tang Soo Do, while Rob is a 2nd degree Black Belt. As if working and volunteering weren’t enough, they also run a martial arts school, Coastal Canyon Tang Soo Do, out of the Ocean Air Recreation Center.

With all of her accomplishments, Kelly is proud of the success of the recreation council. This year they look forward to holding summer concerts in the parks and have great summer camp and volunteering opportunities for anyone interested.

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