Parks and Recreation

Master life-saving CPR through blended learning

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

Becoming CPR certified is an empowering thing. 

Employers are impressed by CPR-trained candidates because it demonstrates their level of dedication and an ability to act quickly and efficiently. CPR certification also enhances self-confidence while providing the skills to save lives.

More than 325,000 sudden cardiac arrest cases are reported each year, making it the leading cause of death in adults. Proper CPR raises the survival rate by 40%, which means it’s often the difference between life and death. 

CPR classes are incredibly beneficial, but who has time for that? Your schedule is busy enough juggling work, the kid’s after-school activities, and every other curveball life throws your way.

That’s why online CPR classes have gained such popularity, especially blended learning programs.

The blended learning format is for ages 12+ and combines online learning and in-person skills with instruction like what you receive in traditional classes. But blended learning reduces the time needed for class and allows you to finish the online learning at your own pace. You can even finish ahead of the scheduled class. 

The online learning part takes 2-3 hours and must be completed before attending the in-class session. In class, you use a mannequin, practice real-life scenarios, and a certified instructor evaluates your skills. After completing both portions, you’re issued a two-year certificate from the American Red Cross. 

In-person classes at the Meyer Senior & Community Center are scheduled for 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.  

Registration ends the Friday before each class. Register online or by calling 979-764-3486. The cost is $75 per person.
For more information, contact me at or 979-764-3450.


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as the aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from A&M.


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Registration underway for Friday Night Lights 7v7

By Samantha Holman, Event Specialist

Although the Super Bowl marks the end of football season for much of the country, it’s just the beginning in College Station, thanks to the new Friday Night Lights 7v7 football league.

Unlike traditional youth recreational leagues, Friday Night Lights 7v7 focuses on fast-paced, competitive play for teams preparing for their school’s next season. 

Registration is team-based with no individual signups. Teams must provide two sets of jerseys, — one light color, and one dark — and play one or two games a night. Games are governed by high school 7v7 rules, with each team providing an age-appropriate football. Teams submit a roster before their first game that verifies participants and their current grade.

Age groups are grades 3-4, grades 5-6, and grades 7-8. Registration closes Sunday, Feb. 28, and the season runs March 5-April 30. Register online or by calling 979-764-3486. The cost is $550 per team.

Games are scheduled on Fridays between 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park. Times are subject to change based on the final number of teams. 

For more information, go to or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger Samantha Holman is in her second year as an event specialist in the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of San Antonio, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Texas A&M in 2018.


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Reopening of city’s senior programs delayed

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The recent rise in local COVID-19 cases has led the Parks and Recreation Department to delay the reopening of senior programs at the Lincoln Recreation Center and Meyer Senior and Community Center. Limited programs had been scheduled to resume on Jan. 19.

As we’ve been making plans to reopen spaces, facilities, and programs, we’ve understood the harsh reality that phased re-openings aren’t an immediate return to normal operations. They include tough decisions and necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.

These considerations don’t mean senior programming won’t return in the spring. We’ll re-evaluate the program every two weeks starting on Jan. 25. We’re also thinking about more outdoor programming to keep our senior demographic socially engaged and moving. 

We recognize the essential role we play in our community’s quality of life, especially during these challenging times. We are faithfully working to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities while responsibly addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. 

We encourage you to get outside and enjoy one of the 54 developed parks with fun-filled amenities near you. We’d love to see and hear ways you are using the outdoors to change your outlook during the pandemic.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or


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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Senior programs return Jan. 19 on limited basis

UPDATE (1/14/21): The recent rise in local COVID-19 cases has led the Parks and Recreation Department to delay the reopening of senior programs. We’ll re-evaluate the program every two weeks. 

By Katy Peterson, Senior Services Coordinator

The Parks and Recreation Department is delighted to start 2021 by welcoming senior adults (ages 55+) back to our facilities. The staff has worked diligently on a smooth return to our programs in the safest possible way.  

The Meyer Senior and Community Center and Lincoln Recreation Center open for limited programming on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Class sizes are limited to 10 and require advance registration. Programs include shading with colored pencils, Foreversize, line dancing, bingo, movie club, computer club, and basic jewelry making.

Members can rest assured that the Parks and Recreation Department follows CDC and local COVID-19 guidelines. Members must:

  • Follow facility policies regarding behavior, hygiene, health practices, social distancing, and CDC recommendations. 
  • Wear a mask at all times, except when eating or drinking.
  • Register for programs and pass a wellness screening that includes a verbal questionnaire and temperature check when entering the facility.
  • Enter the facility no more than 15 minutes before the scheduled class. When your class is completed, exit the building within five minutes to allow the staff time to sanitize appropriately and prepare for the next session.  
  • Bring their coffee, drinks, and snacks. Refreshments aren’t provided.

The changes will take getting used to, but we’re all looking forward to our new normal while welcoming old and new faces into our programs.

To learn more about our senior programs and protocols, visit or call 979-764-6371.


Katy Peterson is in her eighth year with the Parks and Recreation Department. She previously served as the tourism and educational sales manager at Moody Gardens in Galveston. She also worked for The Texas A&M University System Offices, Treasury Services, and Department of Risk Management under Chancellor Robert McTeer for several years.


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January’s Dream Works in Action celebrates Dr. King

By Cheletia Johnson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor

As an esteemed humanitarian, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered many speeches of HOPE: 

  • Humanity: Treat others with decency and kindness.
  • Open-Minded: Agree to disagree and respect our differences.
  • Patience: Slow down and take a deep breath.
  • Elevate: Inspire yourself and others. 

During national turmoil in 1963, Dr. King gave his immortal “I Have A Dream” speech that created an expectation of positive change. His compelling words still resound 57 years later as our nation again faces uncertainties. 

We invite you to join us throughout January for Dream Works in Action at the Lincoln Recreation Center as we embark on another year of commemorating Dr. King’s life and legacy. Participation is free.

Here’s the schedule of events:

Wednesdays in January

Virtual Community Bible Study (ages 14+), 6:30-8 p.m.

Local pastors lead Bible studies about peace, love, and unity. Registration is required and ends the day before class. Participants will be emailed instructions to participate online through Zoom.

  • Jan. 6: Rev. Dan DeLeon, Friends Congregational Church, College Station
  • Jan. 13: Rev. Eleanor Colvin, First United Methodist Church, College Station
  • Jan. 20: TBA
  • Jan. 27: Rev. Sam Hill, North Bryan New Birth Baptist Church, Bryan

Friday, Jan. 15

Keep the Dream Alive Celebration, 7-8:30 p.m.

Join an evening of praise honoring Dr. King. Hear words of empowerment from Brandon Jakes, former Lincoln Recreation Center staff, and uplifting spirituals performed by guests. Special recognition will be bestowed on those who have made a significant impact in our community. Spots are limited, and registration ends Jan. 13.

Saturday, Jan. 16

Drive-Thru Health & Wellness Fair, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Grab a bag filled with health and fitness resources and tips, along with information about area wellness assets. Drivers should enter from the south side parking lot off Eleanor Street.

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Virtual Job Fair (ages 16+), 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Are you looking for a new job? The job fair is an ideal opportunity to connect with local employers who are hiring. It’s offered in partnership with the BCS Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley. Registration is required and ends on Jan. 20. Participants will be emailed instructions to participate online through Zoom.

Thursday, Jan. 21

Financial Literacy (ages 18+), 6:30-8 p.m.

Learn about financial literacy and understand how to make better money decisions. Topics include budgeting, saving, debt, investing, giving, and guarding against credit repair scams. Register through Jan. 20.

When Dr. King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope,” it brought a sense of calm and inspired us never to lose faith. Among the many lessons we can learn from Dr. King is never giving up — brighter days are ahead!

For more information about Lincoln Recreation Center events and programs, call us at 979-764-3779.


About the Blogger

Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor Cheletia Johnson is a College Station native who grew up near the LRC. She has worked with the City of College Station for over 25 years. Cheletia earned a bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas A&M and a master’s in counseling from Prairie View A&M.


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Practice courtesy on Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail

By Debe Shafer, Parks & Recreation Board Vice Chair

In the last nine months, we’ve seen many people discover and explore College Station’s 54 wonderful parks. We’ve especially noticed that more people are using the fabulous Lick Creek Hike and Bike Trail.


The trail opened in 2016 and provides an opportunity to walk, run, and cycle on a paved surface completely separated from roadways. It winds through beautiful wooded areas with pleasant rest stops and accessible places to view birds and wildlife. The multi-use trail is intended to be used for recreation, exercise, and enjoyment by people of all ages and abilities.

With so many people using the trail, proper etiquette is necessary if we want safe and enjoyable experiences for all. Here’s some simple suggestions:

  • Be considerate — share the trail, keep to the right, and be aware of other trail users.
  • Keep your pets on leashes and remove their waste.
  • Obey posted signs.

Cyclists should: 

  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Maintain a safe speed and slow down on curves, intersections, and congested areas.
  • Communicate before passing — say “On your left” or signal with a bike bell before passing from behind.
  • Pass on the left and look ahead and behind to make sure all is clear.
  • Wear a helmet.

We look forward to our trails and greenways’ continued growth as we strive for a system that connects all College Station’s parks. The pandemic has proven that parks, trails, and open spaces contribute significantly to our mental and physical health as well as our overall quality of life. 

We also extend a hearty shout out to the Parks and Recreation Department for maintaining the delightful parks and facilities that provide so many memorable experiences for our community. 

Enjoy your time in this treasured community resource!


About the Blogger

Debe Shafer is vice chair of the Parks & Recreation Board and recently retired from Texas A&M’s Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. In four decades as an educator, she also taught and coached on the high school and middle school levels. A native of College Station, Debe graduated from Texas A&M.


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