The City of Richmond and its Parks Department are gearing up for spring and summer — under somewhat normal conditions.
On Tuesday, the parks board heard updates pertaining to some of their summer events, such as summer camp, Paradise Cove, and the Fourth of July celebration.
According to park administration staff, summer camp registration opened the same day.
This year, the in-person summer camp will be based out of the Teen Center on Estill Avenue.
"This was the most appropriate place to have it out of," said Mason Chamblee of the department.
As of now, the plan is the in-person camp will last about eight weeks and will cost a total of $90.
Forty kids will be accepted per session, and because of this, Chamblee encouraged those who want to sign-up to do so soon.
"The time to be signing up now is now," he said to the board on Tuesday. "With us having a smaller group, people need to get on board quickly."
In addition to camper sign-ups, the parks department is still looking to hire summer camp counselors over 18.
Parks staff has been in touch with Professional Pool Management and members of the grounds and codes departments to address Paradise Cove's safety issues.
The city announced last month in a public meeting they would move forward with plans to open the city's pool facility — with some restrictions due to COVID-19.
According to Erin Moore, the parks department director of parks administration and recreation, the city is still ironing out specifics of how the opening will go.
Some of the ideas for modification would include only allowing one-third capacity per state guidelines, which would only allow 300 to 350 people in the pool.
However, Moore said, staff of the facility have to be counted into the total number.
Additionally, another idea to lower the number of individuals would be to split the pool day into two separate sessions with time slots which would rotate families who could visit the facility.
In between these two sessions, an hour cleaning break would be taken.
Another idea is to cancel membership fees and season passes and only allow a low flat rate fee for those who are attending. As of now, ideas are being entertained of having an online registration, but nothing has been solidified.
City Manager Rob Minerich asked if the pool would still be able to operate the concessions stand.
Moore replied and said they would, but some food items would be eliminated which cannot be individualized from packagings— such as pizza or pretzels.
Popcorn, ice cream, hot dogs chips, nachos, and candy are some of the items which would remain on the menu.
"There is still a lot we can do," Moore said.
"I think it shows that we are trying to be safe," Minerich said.
Fourth of July Celebration
Things are moving forward as planned for a "more normal version" of the Fourth of July.
Already, the parks department has secured live entertainment — which will be announced in May — and are purchasing fireworks for their annual display.
"We just have some housekeeping things right now to get everything set up," Chamblee said.
The event is scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Sunday, July 4.
• A location for adult fitness equipment was discussed in hopes of having it installed later in the fall of this year. Needing a place closed to restrooms and separated from a playground, the board discussed having the facilities placed where the shuffleboard court is at Lake Reba. Moore said the court was not well used and could be easily renovated to accommodate the existing infrastructure equipment.
• Honorary tree plantings were discussed for Lake Reba.
• A fish management plan was presented.
The next Richmond Parks Board meeting will be held Tuesday, May 4, at noon. The meeting will take place at the city's Teen Center located on Estill Avenue.