Green River Star -

By Brad Raney
Parks and Recreation Director 

Notes from Town Square: Winter is a busy time

 


During the summer, the parks staff has a very visible presence throughout our city.

I am certain you have seen brightly colored T-shirts busily scurrying throughout the city, cutting the grass, trimming weeds, and getting sports fields ready for play; those are the seasonal staff we have to assist with the miles and acreage of turf, parkways, trees, weeds, shrubbery, etc.

Yet it is our full time staff that is left to continue once summer has gone. One would think the workload would lessen, and oftentimes I am asked if things do slow down for our parks staff during the winter. The truth is that the parks department is just as busy throughout the winter months as they are during the summer with endless tasks and less staff to complete them as the summer hires have left for school.

The Parks and Recreation Department is truly more than just parks and recreation; an area we take care of that one may not be aware of is maintenance of all city buildings, which includes snow removal at the recreation center, Child Development Center, Green River Police Department, City Hall, Green River Visitor’s Center and many more. Snow removal on walks around the buildings is done by hand, no comfortably heated plow truck with a cushy seat.

On days when snow and ice is present around buildings (which seems to be most days of winter) staff starts shoveling and de-icing before the sun comes up and making rounds to all the buildings. Once the building walks are cleared of snow, they move onto miles and miles of pathways, parks, parking lots, and the cemetery.

They have a few ATVs and pickup trucks with plows to help them with these tasks.

On the rare days when there is no snow falling and the temperatures are bitter cold, parks staff has many tasks to complete in their shop; from equipment maintenance to building office furniture. Yes, we have talented craftsman working in the parks department. Take a walk through City Hall and note the many pieces of oak office furniture handcrafted by parks staff, saving the city money.

This and many more talents are provided by the parks staff. Just this winter staff handcrafted a new parking fence at Expedition Island out of recycled drill pipe. The fence was cut, welded, painted and installed by staff.

The signs for all of the parks are also handcrafted by parks staff and each winter the signs are brought into the shop to be repainted and refurbished.

On the recreation side of our department business really picks up in January.

The recreation center sees its highest usage January through March with residents looking for a warm place to exercise and reach their health goals. On Saturdays the gym is packed with kids playing pick-up basketball and football games who also head over the warm pool to play. Fitness classes fill up in January with people eager to accomplish their resolutions and work off the holiday pounds.

There are all sorts of fun programs for kids and families including swim lessons, gymnastics, after school programs, indoor soccer leagues, adult sports leagues, and the Frostbite 5K, 10K, and family 1 mile fun run.

Staff works hard to plan these programs and keep the facilities running with such high demand over the winter.

This is just a highlight of the many tasks staff completes during the cold months.

In addition to these special tasks we still have regular ongoing duties that do not slow down for the winter including cemetery operations, playground inspections, trash removal, and the constant building maintenance.

I am thankful to work with such great people that share their talents and efforts to make Green River such a wonderful place to live.

 

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