What's new at Milton Recreation?

What's new at Milton Recreation is a weekly column written by Milton Recreation staff and published on Wednesdays — sharing events, activities, news and more. 

Park and recreation departments across the country have been challenged to find creative ways to engage their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Milton Recreation has worked hard to find ways to offer essential, high-quality recreational services. 

As we adapt to this “new normal,” the struggle to bring recreational activities to the Milton community continues. Many park and recreation departments are jumping on the rising trend of online recreation, including eSports and virtual classes. Many are restructuring existing outdoor programming in order to follow health and safety guidelines. Innovation has never been more critical in order to strengthen community engagement.

This fall, Milton Recreation is offering eight virtual programs. Some programs, like the First Time Home Buyer Workshop coming up on Oct. 21, are one-time events. Others, like Intermediate Ukulele starting on Oct. 19, are several days or weeks long. We also offer a balance of free and paid programs, including six free programs this fall. 

However, we recognize that virtual programming is not the end-all, be-all solution to offering recreational programs during this pandemic. For families without the resources and tools for virtual programming, there needs to be safe alternatives.

In order to provide safe and equitable recreational opportunities for Milton citizens, Milton Recreation has been exploring non-traditional methods of hosting indoor programs. We have had huge success with hosting indoor programs at the Milton Grange by utilizing masks, hand sanitizer and proper social distancing techniques.

Our Fall Inspired Pebble Art Workshop was a great success on Oct. 13, and we will be offering more craft programs starting in November.

We encourage youth and people of all ages to utilize Milton’s wonderful outdoor spaces for healthy outdoor recreation. Our natural areas — the Milton Town Forest, Eagle Mountain, and the Lamoille River Walk, remain open to the public. 

Bombardier Park and River Street Park are open as well, and Milton Recreation is developing new ideas to engage the community in outdoor recreation. Through the work of dedicated volunteers, we are revamping the Milton Eagle Disc Golf Course,  improving the Bombardier Park trail system and exploring other avenues of outdoor recreation. (Look for the Explore Milton Challenge — coming soon!)

Our goal is to be able to provide safe and equitable recreation for all Milton residents. A balance of virtual, indoor and outdoor recreation is essential for the Milton community to lead happy, healthy lives. This challenge grows as we move into the colder months, but we look forward to the opportunity to find creative solutions.

In order to develop innovative programs that cater to the needs of our community, especially during a pandemic, we are asking for your input. We want to know what you — Milton community members — would like for recreational programming. Give us your ideas for virtual classes. Send us your thoughts on safe indoor programs. What would you, your children, your friends and your parents like to do this coming winter in Milton? 

We are confident that if we all work together as a community, we will find fun, safe, equitable recreational programs that interest all groups of community members. Community health and togetherness has never been more important. 

We look forward to your ideas! Send Jenna Tucker and Ben Nappi an email at recreation@miltonvt.gov.

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