Posts tagged “Parks and Recreation

Fall events move forward with focus on safety

By Katie Kwiatkowski, Tourism Events Supervisor

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has sought to safely conduct sports tourism events. Our seven summer events attracted more than 550 teams and brought millions of dollars into our local economy.

That success led to more events being scheduled this fall.

Our basic procedures remain the same — the city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining facilities, and tournament organizers provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators. And of course, our hospitality and unmatched operations staff continue to provide outstanding service.

Some of our fall events have been with us for many years, while others are newcomers. Of the three new events, two are with existing partners and one will see us work with an organization for the first time.

Here’s a look at the fall schedule with estimated participation:

OCT. 2-4, SOUTHWEST REGIONALS 2.0 (NEW EVENT) >> 1,360 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

OCT. 17-18, USSSA BUDWEISER INVITATIONAL >> 2,800 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

NOV. 6-8, 5 TOOL EXPOSURE WEEKEND (NEW EVENT) >> 1,360 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

NOV. 13-15, TEAM1 FAST PITCH (NEW EVENT) >> 1,600 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex, Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, Bee Creek Park

DEC. 12-13, SOUTHAMPTON CUP – TEXAS >> 1,125 participants
Veterans Park & Athletic Complex

DEC. 12-13, BCS MARATHON >> 2,000 participants
Wolf Pen Creek Park

We remain resilient and flexible while making public health and safety our priority. We continue to base our operational decisions on federal, state and local guidelines and directives.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/parks.

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Katie Kwiatkowski joined the Parks and Recreation Department in 2019. She previously served as sports services manager at BCS Sports + Events. A native of Brenham, Katie earned a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Fall recreation schedule looks different this year

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. (more…)


Pandemic spotlights vital role of parks and recreation

 

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The services and programs provided by municipal parks and recreation departments have always been indispensable to a community’s well-being and overall quality of life. If that wasn’t clear before the COVID-19 pandemic, it certainly is now.

A survey by the National Recreation and Park Association found that 83% of adults say exercising at local parks, trails, and open spaces has been vital to maintaining their mental and physical health during the outbreak.

We celebrate Park and Recreation Month throughout July by highlighting the powerful role our College Station Parks and Recreation staff and professionals across the country play in health and wellness, conservation, economic impact, and social equity.

In College Station, our nationally-recognized program ensures that residents and visitors have adequate access to parks and green space. Our inventory includes 54 developed and seven undeveloped parks covering almost 1,400 acres. Amenities include: 

  • 35.5 miles of walking trails
  • 44 exercise stations
  • 58 play units
  • 28 swing sets
  • 3 dog parks
  • 1 skate park
  • 10 ponds

We invite you to join us in celebrating Park and Recreation Month by picking up a grab bag filled with parks-themed coloring pages, activities, monarch-friendly milkweed seeds, and more. Stop by the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office on weekdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you call 979-764-3486 when you arrive, we’ll bring it out for curbside pickup.

 


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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Parks & Recreation: What’s open and what’s not?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The post was updated on June 18.  

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

As Gov. Greg Abbott continues his plans to open Texas, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has been making plans for reopening spaces, facilities, and programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We base our discussions on federal, state, and local guidance to prioritize public health and safety.

Regrettably, budget reductions resulting from a significant decline in sales tax revenue are also a factor. Remember also that phased reopenings aren’t an immediate return to normal operations. They include necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.

Here’s a look at our current situation, including some answers to your most frequent questions.

Open Facilities

  • Basketball courts
  • Community and neighborhood parks (Directory)
  • Disc golf courses
  • Dog parks
  • Larry J. Ringer Library
  • Lick Creek Park
  • G. Hysmith Skate Park
  • Pavilions and shelters
  • Playgrounds (use is discouraged)
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Stephen C. Beachy Central Park office
  • Tennis courts

Facility Reopening Schedule

  • Athletic Fields – June 1 for practices; June 15 for tournaments
  • Lick Creek Nature Center office and restrooms – June 1 (open Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m.)
  • Park restrooms and water fountains – June 1
  • Veterans Park & Athletic Complex – May 23

Remaining Facility Closures

  • Adamson Lagoon
  • Cindy Hallaran Pool
  • Fun For All Playground and splash pad
  • Lincoln Recreation Center
  • Meyer Senior & Community Center
  • Southwood Community Center
  • W.A. Tarrow splash pad

Canceled Summer Programs

  • Tsunami Swim Team
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Water Safety Instructor Certification
  • Swim Lessons
  • 5V5 Basketball League
  • Summer Youth Basketball
  • Summer Softball & Kickball Leagues
  • Starlight Music Series
  • Challenger Bowling
  • Water Aerobics
  • Mini Summer Camps
  • College Station Senior Games (Sept. 25-27)

For your convenience, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Are playgrounds open?
Yes, but their use is discouraged. Citizens should stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with them and follow other CDC guidelines.

Is Lick Creek Park open?
Yes, the trails are open. The office and restrooms will open on June 1. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m-5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.

Is Veterans Park & Athletic Complex open?
The park will open on May 23. The restrooms and athletic fields open on June 1.

When will the pools and splash pads open?
Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season due to budgetary constraints, limited resources and continued health and welfare concerns regarding social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. We will decide at the end of July regarding the possibility of opening splash pads.

Will you have swimming lessons this year?
Swim lessons have been canceled for the 2020 season. Click here for three water safety resources to help keep your family safe.

When will the Lincoln Recreation Center’s full-day summer camp open?
The summer camp has been canceled due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. At this time, we are planning to offer the after-school program, beginning Aug. 13.

When will the Summer Parks Guide be published?
The summer guide will not be published. We are committed to providing updated information through our website.

Who will enforce minimum health protocols for non-city-sponsored youth sports and tournaments?
User groups and tournament 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 fields.

When will senior adult programming resume?
Senior programming won’t resume until the fall. 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.

Are dog parks open?
Yes, Barracks, Steeplechase, and University Park are open.

Can you fish at College Station ponds?
Yes, you can fish at Brothers Pond, Cy Miller, John Crompton, and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park ponds. You must have a freshwater fishing stamp if you’re 17 or older. For information on pond stocking, harvest regulations, and license requirements, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Are cemeteries open?
Yes, the Aggie Field of Honor and the College Station Cemetery are open for visitation. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to sunset, and on Sunday from 6 a.m. to sunset.

We understand the vital role our department plays 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.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Hysmith Skate Park celebrates 8th anniversary

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

Even in the intense heat of a Texas summer, passersby will notice dozens of people of all ages perfecting their skateboarding skills at the G. Hysmith Skate Park on the eastern edge of Bachmann Park.

Eight years ago today, the City of College Station opened the park in memory of Garrett Hysmith, an energetic, ambitious middle-schooler with a passion for skateboarding. The 13-year-old passed away in 2005 after a courageous nine-year battle with cancer. His family, friends, and community members convinced the city council to make Garrett’s dream of a local skate park a reality.

The G. Hysmith Skate Park is a popular venue for skateboarders of all skill levels. The lighted facility features a covered spectator area, a large pro-style flow bowl, a pool-type bowl, and a long, linear street course that includes hundreds of feet of varying terrain and scalable elements.

Since the park opening in 2011, the Parks and Recreation Department has added restrooms and a covered shelter atop the hill near the bowls for spectators to marvel at the skills of potential Olympians.

Yes, skateboarding is now an Olympic extreme sport and is featured as part of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. While our community may not offer many opportunities for other extreme sports devotees, we offer a superb venue for skateboarding enthusiasts to pursue their passion.

Happy Anniversary, G. Hysmith Skate Park!

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Games of Texas benefit BCS by a cool $8.1 million

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The final numbers are in for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival attracted 8,461 athletes from across the state to compete in a dozen events from July 25-29.

Only 130 participants were from College Station, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $8.1 million into the local economy by filling local restaurants and hotels.

Participants by Sport

Event Participants Venue
Archery 49 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Boxing 114 Hilton College Station & Conference Center
Flag Football 276 Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
Judo 57 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Golf 65 The City Course at Phillips Event Center
Lifeguard Competition 60 Adamson Lagoon
Pickleball 92 Lincoln Recreation Center
Skateboarding 21 Williamson Skate Park
Swimming 2,638 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Track & Field 4,459 College Station High School
Ultimate Frisbee 440 Bryan Regional Athletic Complex
Tennis 190 Bryan High School, Texas A&M Mitchell TennisCenter, Texas A&M Omar Instructional Tennis Center, Phillips Event Center
Total Participants 8,461

Here are some interesting tidbits reported by the Bryan and College Station Parks and Recreation Departments, which partnered with Texas A&M to manage the event:

  • Athletes set 53 Games of Texas records — 42 in swimming and 11 in track and field.
  • Participants and volunteers consumed 38,304 bottles of water and used 27,160 pounds of ice.
  • Local sponsors donated 1,185 meals for participants and volunteers.
  • 162 volunteers assisted, including 44 from the Texas Army National Guard.
  • 331 tennis matches were played over three days.
  • 37 boxing bouts were conducted, four involving girls.
  • The lowest golf 18-hole single round score was a 74 by 17-year-old Ethan Galvan from McAllen. Ethan also had the lowest 36-hole tournament score of 74-82=156.

College Station played host for the seventh time after hosting previous events in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. The Games of Texas will move to Corpus Christi for the next two years and to Brownsville in 2022-23.

Local GOT Participation by Year 

2019: 8,461

2018: 7,621

2015: 7,750

2014: 8,438

On behalf of the Cities of College Station and Bryan, we extend a special thank you to our volunteers, TAAF liaisons, commissioners and Texas Army National Guard Warriors. The overwhelming success of the event is a direct reflection of your dedication. We sincerely appreciate your gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support.

 


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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