Posts tagged “Southwood Community Center

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


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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Southwood Community Center reopening nears

By Virginia Godwin, Facilities & Events Recreation Supervisor

Droughts seem to be more common than rainy seasons in the Brazos Valley, but that certainly was not the case last year. The rain was so heavy that leaking water caused considerable damage to the 20-year-old Southwood Community Center.

The damage was severe enough that we had to close the facility for extensive repairs in early August. The facility returns to regular hours – 9.a.m-5 p.m. on weekdays – and operations on Feb. 24, but the rehabilitation is complete enough to host the initial session of the new Nia Fitness class on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The class is from 9-10 a.m. and runs through Feb. 27. Additional sessions are on tap in March and April.

When the building opened in 1999, it was christened the Exit Teen Center and served mostly teenagers during out-of-school hours. The facility began welcoming senior adults in 2005 and became the Southwood Community Center in 2010.

Last summer, senior programs moved to the new Bob and Wanda Meyer Senior and Community Center. The change allows Southwood to offer an expanded array of programs for preschoolers, homeschoolers, and adults of all ages.

To register and learn more about Southwood Community Center programs, visit


About the Blogger

Virginia Godwin is in her sixth year as recreation supervisor for the Parks and Recreation Department. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Sam Houston State in 2019.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Saturday’s Open House your key to all things summer

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

With summer around the corner, this the perfect time to start thinking about your summer plans. The City of College Station Parks & Recreation Department offers plenty of opportunities for all ages to fill your days with fun.

Join us for the Parks Summer Open House on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon at the Southwood Community Center. Our enthusiastic and experienced staff and instructors will be on site to provide more information and to answer your questions on youth summer camps, senior programs, special events, employment opportunities, aquatic programs athletic leagues and library activities.

Attending the Parks Summer Open House also comes with some perks such as early registration for youth camps and swim lessons and a $5 off coupon for programs or camps. The coupons are limited to one per household.

Keep kids active with our full day and mini summer camps, which offer outdoor exploring, nature discovery, sports, performing and creative arts, out of town field trips and more. Camps are a fun way to keep kids engaged as they create new friendships, learn new skills and build self-esteem in a captivating environment.
Nothing is better than a trip to the pool on a hot summer day. Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool offer swim lessons, special events, and activities throughout the summer. Strong swimming skills not only make kids safer in the water; they also allow them to have more fun. Our swimming lessons build those skills and teach kids all kinds of aquatic games.

Summer fun isn’t just for the kids. The Parks Department has plenty to offer to adults and seniors, too, with daily activities, open gym, workout classes, athletics, nature programs, aquatic fitness, swim lessons and more.

Looking for a summer job?

If you’re at least 16 years old, you can get paid to play. We’re hiring recreation assistants for youth summer camps to serve as counselors, activity instructors, trip leaders, and support staff. We also need lifeguards for our pools, instructors to teach swim lessons, and Tsunami Swim Team coaches. If you aren’t certified, we offer American Red Cross water safety instructor and lifeguard certification programs.

Visit the Parks Summer Open House to secure your place — you won’t want to miss all the fun!

Online registration begins Monday, April 29. For more information, visit or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as a marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


A tribute to the noble legacy of the late Bob Meyer


By Kelly Kelbly, Recreation Manager

When I worked at the Southwood Community Center, Robert “Bob” Meyer would join me every morning for a cup of coffee.

As time went on, I found myself arriving just a little earlier to greet Mr. Meyer. I came to cherish his perspective and insight as I went about my daily routine. In parks and recreation, we convince ourselves we’re here to make a difference in your life when, in reality, it often turns out the other way.

When Mr. Meyer passed away in 2013 at the age of 81, he left about $750,000 to benefit senior programs in the Parks & Recreation Department. On Tuesday, we dedicated a plaque at Southwood honoring the memory of Mr. Meyer and his lovely wife, Wanda.

Mr. Meyer was a loyal member of Southwood. He served on our Senior Advisory Committee, participated in many of our programs and activities, and volunteered each year assisting head start kids at Pool Trout Fish Out. He and Wanda never had children, and after Wanda passed away, Bob adopted the staff and other members of Southwood as his family.

As it turns out, Mr. Meyer did not just impact me. His presence was felt by many of our seniors as well. The beauty of who he was isn’t that he was a great man who accomplished great things. The simplicity is what makes him truly special. He was a simple and good man who served others.

Thank you, Mr. Meyer, for being a bright spot in our world.

Related Blog


kkbioAbout the Author

Kelly Kelbly is in her 15th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Aggie brings Food Safety 101 tour to College Station


By Kristina Beaugh, USDA Public Affairs Specialist

Did you know about 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food poisoning every year? Infections from foodborne pathogens can lead to diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, upset stomach, fever, and dehydration.

Older adults can be more susceptible to foodborne sicknesses and related illnesses, which can have serious complications. For example, our stomachs may not produce enough acid to reduce the number of bacteria in our intestinal tract, resulting in infection.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is hosting a free Food Safety 101 for Older Adults program at nine senior centers across the country, including a stop in College Station on Wednesday, June 8 at 10 a.m. at the Southwood Community Center.

Developed with the National Council on Aging, the program aims to educate older adults about the basics of food safety and to encourage them to follow the steps needed to prevent foodborne illness in their homes. Though food safety is important all year long, Food Safety 101 for Older Adults focuses on the summer. Bacteria grow faster in warm weather, so extra steps need to be taken to prevent food poisoning.

As a former student at Texas A&M (Class of ’14), I’m delighted to bring the food safety tour to College Station. Leading our presentation will be USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety Alfred V. Almanza.

Join us to learn some great food safety information just in time for summer. We’ll serve light refreshments, and you could go home with a new digital food thermometer!

Kristina BeaughAbout the Author

Kristina Beaugh (@kebeaugh) is a Public Affairs Specialist for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Originally from New Orleans, she graduated from the Louisiana-Lafayette in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and from Texas A&M in 2014 with a master’s in health promotion and community health sciences. While attending A&M, Kristina worked for the College Station Parks and Recreation Department as facility and event supervisor at Southwood Community Center.


 If you found value in this blog post, pleases share it with your social network and friends!

Photo Copyright: brookefuller/123RF Stock Photo

Our after-school programs offer activities, responsible supervision

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

6261843642_834254905f_oAs parents, caregivers and students across the Brazos Valley gear up to start a new school year, they should also consider enrolling in the City of College Station’s after-school programs.

High-quality after-school programs help keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and serve as a source of support and comfort to working families.

According to the Afterschool Alliance, the number of kids unsupervised after 3 p.m. has declined, but 20 percent still don’t have someone to care for them after school. In many cases, cost and a lack of transportation keep families from enrolling in a program.

Infographic: America After 3 p.m. (more…)

Traveling South Koreans to teach senior fitness class

institutelogoeng-1The monumental success of the Brazos Valley Senior Games in February opened a lot of eyes in the Brazos Valley. With more than 400 athletes above the age of 50 participating, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department also needed plenty of volunteer help to make the event succeed.

Among the dozens of enthusiastic volunteers were Dr. Jinmoo Heo and many of his students from Texas A&M’s Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences Department. The games’ participation numbers prompted Dr. Heo to approach the city about a traveling fitness program sponsored by South Korea’s Global Senior Health Promotion Institute.

With Dr. Heo’s assistance, we reached out to the institute and it graciously added a stop in College Station to its busy schedule. A four-member team will lead a free one-hour senior fitness class on Tuesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. at Southwood Community Center, focusing on grace, balance and control.


Come & Skate It: They came, they skated … and we still have t-shirts!

Come & Skate It Slideshow

Growing up in a small town with a Class 3A high school, I had plenty of opportunities to participate in traditional sports. We didn’t have to try out, we just told the coach — who usually doubled as the science, history or government teacher — that we wanted to be on the team.

In College Station, the sheer size of the school district requires kids to try out for sports teams and some kids don’t make the cut. That’s why the Parks and Recreation Department works hard to encourage alternatives such as skateboarding. The G. Hysmith Skate Park, which opened in 2011, is one of the nation’s premiere skate parks and integrates street, bowl and pool elements, forming a perfect combination for skaters of all skill levels. 


Southwood Center: One of CS’s Best-Kept Secrets

Here’s a typical conversation I have just about every day:

“Kelly, where do you work?”

“I work at Southwood Community Center.”

“What’s that? Isn’t that a place for kids?”

Yes, it is a youth center, but it’s also a senior center and a rental facility.  Southwood has so much to offer that it’s quickly losing its status as one of College Station’s best-kept secrets.