By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator
In March, our entire world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, schools, travel, and parks and recreation facilities were shut down across the country.
Just six months later, many activities have returned, but COVID-19 remains a severe threat. As we approach the fall, the Parks & Recreation Department is faced with tough decisions as we make plans to reopen our facilities and programs.
We base our decisions on federal, state, and local guidance that prioritizes public health and safety. They include necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.
Facility reopenings certainly don’t signal a return to normal operations. Our indoor programs have been impacted, and we’ve faced significant budget reductions due to the substantial decline in sales tax revenue.
Our fall programming looks a little different, but we’ll continue to serve the public with resilience and flexibility.
- American Red Cross Lifeguard Training & Recertification
- Kickball League
- Softball League
- 7-on-7 Football
- Fundamental Field Hockey
- Start Smart Football in Your Own Backyard
- High-Performance Tennis Academy
- Junior Beginner Tennis
- Junior Intermediate Tennis
- Competitive Drill Tennis
- Beginner Tennis
- Round-Robin Tennis League
- Intermediate Tennis
- Jingle Bell Fun Run
- Walk on the Wild Side
- Exploring Experiments
- Texas Hunter’s Safety Certification Course
- Wilderness & Remote First Aid Certification
- After-School Program
- Parks Pal Adopt-A-Thon
- After-School Program
- Babysitter Training
- Christmas in the Park
Frequently Asked Questions
Are playgrounds open?
Yes, but we discourage their use. You should stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with you and follow other CDC guidelines.
When will splash pads open?
We’ll decide at the end of August about possibly opening splash pads in September.
When will senior programs resume?
We hope to resume senior programs in the spring. People 65 years and older and those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.
When will indoor sports resume?
Indoor sports have been suspended for the fall due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, and sanitation.
What about facility rentals?
We’ll start accepting indoor rentals on Monday, Aug. 17. If a COVID-19 exposure or confirmed case is detected in a facility, we may postpone, reschedule, or cancel a rental for at least 24 hours for cleaning and sanitizing. Full refunds will be given for cancellations related to COVID-19.
Will refunds be issued if programs are canceled?
Due to the pandemic’s evolving nature, we continually evaluate the safety and compliance of our programs. As federal, state, and local mandates adapt, programs may be affected. Once a program has started, no refund will be given since many of our expenses derive from the initial planning and implementation stages. Every effort will be made to complete the program.
Are you accepting volunteers?
We aren’t accepting volunteers for now.
Who will enforce minimum health protocols for non-city-sponsored sports and events?
User groups and organizers are responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing minimum health protocols for their events at our facilities. The city is responsible for sanitizing restrooms, trash cans, and grounds.
About the Blogger
Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.
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