Relief coming for midvalley kids and parents cooped up at home

Anderson Tippet, 8, left, and Ellis Burggraf, 7, race around the Crown Mountain Park bike park in El Jebel on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. This was Ellis’ third time at the bike park. Their parents said they were trying to find new things fro the kids to do, so they started coming here this season. Tippet and Burggraf met in preschool and have been close friends since. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Family time is great but midvalley parents and kids who have cooped up together nonstop since mid-March likely will be thrilled to learn relief is coming.

From an expanded bike park at Crown Mountain Park to Arbaney Pool in Basalt, outdoor opportunities are blossoming. Parks, playgrounds and other outdoor recreation spaces are reopening with restrictions on numbers and other precautions against the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think the kids really need it,” said Rebecca Wagner, executive director of Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District. “The parents need it.”

The park in El Jebel is expanding its cycling facilities to create what it is dubbing “a world-class bike park.” The existing BMX track has reopened. New areas for beginners and progressive jump lines recently made their debut. A cross-country track with numerous features will be ready by July, Wagner said.

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Crown Mountain alerted users Monday that the 1-mile trail loop, playground, shelters, restrooms and tennis courts reopened and dogs are freed from leash requirements. However, athletic fields remain closed for an unknown time.

Crown Mountain’s lush fields typically host numerous lacrosse and soccer matches and the ball diamonds are regularly filled. Wagner estimated the facilities for team sports typically host 45,000 to 50,000 visits by kids during the summer months. While those numbers will be down, the park still provides lots of opportunities for people to get outdoors.

“Thank God we have the bike park coming in,” Wagner said. “That’s made our summer.”

Basalt’s Arbaney Pool will have a limited opening Wednesday. People can reserve times for swimming laps and enjoying the pool as a family.

“That got booked up pretty quickly for opening day,” Town Manager Ryan Mahoney said.

Individuals can reserve time in one-hour increments to swim laps, with a maximum of six participants. Families with up to five members can reserve time in two-hour increments.

In addition to the pool, the town this week opened its parks, playground equipment, most bathrooms and the skateboard park. The water fountain at Triangle Park in Willits Town Center will be turned on this month. It’s a popular draw for kids.

Both Mahoney and Wagner said parents should make sure their children wash their hands before and after using playground equipment.

The private and public sector have also adapted plans for summer camps for kids. Basalt will start camps Monday, each with a theme. The first will be “Science and Cycles.”

“The first week we will be offering 30 participant spots and (it) will be an opportunity to observe how our setup works with regard to social distancing,” the town said in a notice. “We hope to be able to open more spots in the weeks thereafter.”

TAC Fitness and Wellness is aiming to fill a gap in sports programs for teenagers. The camp will start Monday and be held twice per week for six weeks in an “outdoor, safe, fun, fitness environment,” said personal trainer Kate Lokken, who will lead the program. The emphasis will be on strength, coordination, endurance, balance, speed and agility.

The programs will be offered to seventh and eighth graders and for ninth graders through seniors. The cost is $125 per child and scholarships are available. For more information, contact Lokken at [email protected].

The town of Basalt is working on fun as well as games. Mahoney said the town and partners The Arts Campus at Willits and the Basalt Chamber of Commerce have figured out how to keep the Wednesday evening events rolling. The community has held a popular concert series for several years. That won’t be possible due to the ongoing coronavirus threat but organizers have adapted plans.

Mahoney said there will be 10 weeks of Wednesday night events starting June 24. Five or six street performers will be spread out and performing simultaneously in Willits and downtown so that no single busker draws a large crowd, he said. More details will be released closer to the June 24 launch.

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via:: Post Independent