Glenwood trying to scrape together late-summer rec leagues, but school fields off limits to organized events |

Glenwood trying to scrape together late-summer rec leagues, but school fields off limits to organized events

The Tiny Nightingale ball field on the grounds of Carbondale Middle School.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Glenwood Springs Recreation officials are still hoping to offer some adult and youth sports leagues by late summer, but there are a lot of factors at play to make that happen, the city’s lead recreation official said.

The city this week opened the Community Center and outdoor facilities to public use, but with strict coronavirus-related social distancing and sanitation precautions in place.

However, no decisions have been made at this point about starting up the many recreation leagues that are usually offered during the summer months, said Pat Miller, Recreation Manager for the city.

“We are actively trying to get some of those leagues going, and are in the process of working to put the necessary safety precautions in place for that to happen,” he said.

However, with the loss of most of the city’s seasonal part-time employees due to budget cuts brought on by the economic impacts of the pandemic, those offerings are likely to be scaled back somewhat, he said.

“We are still looking to hopefully provide a product to our patrons by the middle or end of July,” Miller said.

If it’s able to proceed, the city would likely have to move forward without the benefit of Roaring Fork School District facilities and only use the fields and facilities available in city parks and at the Community Center.

The school district announced this week that it is reopening its outdoor spaces in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt to non-organized public use. That includes playgrounds, ball fields and courts, according to a district press release.

For now, though, those outdoor spaces will not be available to rent for organized leagues or events.

“We know access to our fields, playgrounds and outdoor courts is important to the well-being of our communities,” Jeff Gatlin, chief operating officer for the district, said in the release.

“We hope to continue a cautious reopening approach by allowing the public to use these facilities and amenities in a way that aligns to the recommendations of public health,” he said.

Local requirements vary by town, and signage is posted at all playgrounds to “use at your own risk,” because the district cannot clean playground equipment frequently or at all, Gatlin said.

As state and local orders evolve, decisions on broader use of some facilities could be revisited, however.

In Glenwood Springs, the following district amenities are open for use, with social distancing and safety recommendations:

  • Playgrounds are open (up to 10 people). 
  • All sports courts and sports fields are open (up to 25 people), but not for organized league play; spectators are discouraged.

In Carbondale, the following district amenities are open, but users must abide by the public health order group size limits and follow the existing protocols, rules, and regulations for use: 

  • Baseball and soccer fields are open (up to 25 people). Baseball and softball leagues are not taking place.
  • Outdoor basketball courts are open (up to 25 people).
  • Playgrounds are open (up to 25 people), with “use at your own risk” signs in place.

And, in Basalt, the following district amenities are open for use, following distancing and safety recommendations:

  • Playgrounds open (up to 10 people), with “use at your own risk” signs in place.
  • All sports courts and sports fields open (up to 25 people). Spectators are discouraged.

Miller said Glenwood Springs has enough of its own park facilities available for most leagues, should the city be able to proceed.

“We have also put out as much signage as possible explaining the dangers, the social distancing policy, and to use at your own risk,” Miller said. “We are happy to see household use of these facilities, but we also want people to be cautious.”

Meanwhile, the recreation facilities at the indoor Community Center opened this week on a limited capacity, reservation-only basis — also with social distancing and regular sanitizing protocols.

The maximum capacity of the indoor areas is now 28 people, spread out in different locations within the facility, Miller said. Workout machines have divvied up between the usual mezzanine area and the main floor meeting rooms, he said.

People can use the bathrooms and showers, but not the lockers. Users must also enter the facility with a face covering over their mouth and nose, but do not have to wear it while they are working out, Miller said.

These Roaring Fork School District fields are closed due to routine maintenance work this summer

• Glenwood Springs High School football field (practice field to the east is available for use)

• Carbondale Middle School football field

• Basalt High School football field (other BHS fields are available for use)

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