by Genevieve Mellott
“Quality of life.” According to Brittanica, the phrase means “the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events.” In reality, it means different things to different people. It even means different things depending on one’s stage in life. So how can an entity which facilitates the pursuit of the ideal quality of life be all those things? We are blessed and lucky to have an excellent parks and recreation district that grows to meet as many needs in the community as possible and meet them with excellence.
In 1983, Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District was formed to provide opportunities and programs that enhance Tri-Town and nearby rural residents’ lives. But that begs the question, “What is a district?” In Colorado, localities can create a “district” when services are needed that the local governments alone cannot provide. As such, a district is a branch of government that is cooperative and specialized, such as with recreation and school districts.
Over the years, there have been many changes to our parks and recreation district. 2002 saw an expansion and master plan corresponding to the incredible growth here. Voters passed a mill levy at that time to fund it. Our parks and recreation district has provided swimming lessons, gymnastics, youth sports, special events for all ages, and senior programs, while facilitating even more, such as dance classes and BMX.
Even during 2020, Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District jumped in with both feet to continue to offer services to the maximum extent they could safely do so, knowing that patrons’ mental and physical health depended on them. They modified programs to be safer and offered virtual classes. They provided reservation times for the pool. They moved equipment to meet distance standards. They hosted drive-in events for seniors, including Friendly Fork, a county program that provides lunches for persons aged 60 and over. And through support from local Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs), the recreation center remained open and fully functional most of the year, and “The Studio” for smaller classes opened at 8350 Colorado Blvd. Ste 170 in Firestone. With proceeds from Colorado Lottery funds, the district was even able to purchase new cardio equipment. All of these plans succeeded without increasing fees for guests.
The recreation services we enjoy are indeed a large part of what makes life in Carbon Valley so appealing, and more exciting progress is on the horizon. How many of us have used the recreation center or senior center? How many have kids who have participated in sports, swimming, or gymnastics? With activities anticipated to resume fully in 2021, the parks and recreation district desires to meet our evolving needs. In 2019 the 2002 General Obligation Bond mill levy was paid in full. Now we have a chance for our recreation services to grow with us again. A comprehensive feasibility study conducted in 2019 highlighted several fundamental desires in our community. Many residents responded that we want an outdoor pool, another recreation facility, and more athletic fields. The number one location for expansion is at Firestone’s Central Park on Sable Ave. With the help of the IGAs, the goal is to bring a second recreation center and pool here and more athletic fields throughout the valley.
Five years ago, few could have foreseen the population boom the Carbon Valley has experienced. Luckily, we have a parks and recreation district managed by forward-thinking individuals who care for our community members’ wellbeing. A such, 2021 holds promise for more programs and facilities. When the voters agree with the need for further growth and enhancements to parks and recreation, it will greatly benefit the Carbon Valley’s overall health. The district will be conducting further information sharing and updates regarding the growth plan and election throughout 2021. For more information, visit www.cvprd.com, or drop by the Carbon Valley Recreation Center in Frederick to get updates and see which programs fit your quality of life.