County Recreation Department enjoys banner summer season
“This was a banner summer season for Greene County Recreation.”
Those words came from Jake Blaker, director of the county’s Recreation Department, who was positively beaming with pride when reflecting on the 2019 summer season, particularly the impressive admission numbers for the three county-owned pools as well as the registration numbers for swimming lessons and the county Day Camp.
Blaker said the attendance numbers for summer recreation activities were not just significantly better than last year … they were the best numbers the county has experienced in the past decade.
Blaker attributed the increased numbers in attendance at the day camp and the three pools – Waynesburg Water Park and the Carmichaels and Mon View Pools – mostly to agreeable weather conditions.
“We were blessed with cooperation from Mother Nature most of the summer, and that really benefited our numbers and activities,” Blaker said.
Blaker said he was thrilled when he learned that nearly 29,000 people were granted admission to the three county-owned pools. Those numbers include Day Campers.
“That number is very, very impressive,” he said with another proud smile. “There were no issues reported at any of the pools all summer, and our lifeguards did a fantastic job in keeping swimmers safe and maintaining their authority. It was just simply a great year.”
Swimming lessons were once again offered at the Waynesburg Water Park and the Carmichaels pool throughout the summer, and the registration numbers were also up from last year. Blaker said an estimated 250 lessons were offered to residents.
Pavilion rentals at the pools also saw increase in usage and profit, as Blaker said they performed “steady business” all throughout the summer.
As a result of the success, revenue brought in from the day camp, pools, concessions and swimming lessons were up significantly from last year, with the pools experiencing a 15 percent increase from last year in money obtained from admission fees.
Blaker said revenue generated from the summer activities is used to fund projects throughout the county, including Recreation.
Attendance for the Greene County Day Camp, which ran from June 17 through July 26, was also significantly up from last year; Blaker said area youths between the ages of 5 and 15 signed in nearly 8,000 times during the Day Camp’s run, with more than 300 youths attending the last day.
Blaker said the programs offered to the registered Day Campers were a big hit.
“Again, great weather was a huge blessing, but the programs offered during Day Camp were very appealing to the campers, including the Upstream initiative and a whole schedule of fun and educational activities,” he said. “Of course, the pools were obviously a big attraction to them, especially on the hot days.”
Blaker commended the Recreation staff as well as those working at the pools and Day Camp for their efforts in making this a successful summer.
“They all did a fantastic job,” he said. “We had a terrific group of lifeguards, camp counselors and supervisors who were dedicated to making this a great and safe summer for our attendees.”
In addition to the success had at the pools and Day Camp, Blaker said he is excited to see progress made on the Greene River Trail over the summer season.
A 2.2-mile trail extension began this summer that will further the trail to Jessop’s Boat Club in Carmichaels for a combined 7.4 miles, and Blaker said progress has been going so smoothly that it is anticipated to be completed by October.
“We have received a great deal of positive feedback this summer from residents about how nice the Greene River Trail is and how excited they are for the extension,” he said. “It was another bright spot in an already terrific summer.”
Another summer highlight was the popularity of the Pickleball courts near the county museum. Though Blaker did not have specific numbers of how many residents used the courts, it was obvious that they were well-received.
“They were filled quite often, and we’ve already received a lot of requests from people who want us to add more courts,” he said. “That game has really taken off, and it’s great that we can provide the courts for those wishing to play. And our tennis courts continue to be very popular as well, with many area residents continuing to enjoy tennis as a recreational activity.”
One factor that has Blaker excited is that the summer recreation in Greene County attracted not just many local residents but a large number of out-of-towners as well.
“Our data strongly indicates that our recreational facilities and activities offered this summer brought in people from West Virginia and Fayette and Washington counties, more than last year,” he said. “That’s exciting, because it shows that people outside of our county are hearing good things about what our area has to offer.”
With summer in the rear-view mirror, Blaker said the Recreation Department is looking forward to continuing to offer family-friendly, fun activities during the fall and winter.
The Mon View Roller Rink Mon View Roller Rink in Greensboro will kick off the 2019-20 season with a “Skate & Dance” on Friday, Oct. 18 from 7 to 11 p.m.
Every Friday will feature a “Skate & Dance” from 7 to 11 p.m., and open skating will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission for all attendees will be $8 on Friday nights and $5 on Saturday nights. Times and prices may change for special events.
Due to the holidays and routine maintenance, the roller rink will be closed on Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30, and also from Friday, Dec. 27 through Jan 9. The roller rink will reopen on Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. for the first 2020 “Skate & Dance.”
The roller rink will be open Fridays and Saturdays through May 16, the rink’s last day for the season. There will be no skating held during the 2020 Easter weekend, April 10-11.
“Due to popular demand, we’re opening the Roller Rink earlier in the year and closing it later,” Blaker said. “There is a high demand for people who want to skate, and we couldn’t be happier about that.”
Speaking of skating, the Greene County Commissioners and Department of Recreation will sponsor a Halloween Skate and Dance at the Roller Rink on Friday, Nov. 1. Treats will be given to all skaters. Costumes will be judged and prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.
Skating will start at 7 p.m. and the dance will begin at 9 p.m. Admission is $8 per person.
Mon View is also available to rent for private parties at a rate of $150 for two hours. The price covers admission and skate rental for 20 people. A fee of $3 per additional person will be charged. Skate lessons are also available by appointment only.
Blaker said the county fairgrounds will also host a wide array of activities throughout the coming months, including the popular Essential Oils classes and arts/crafts sessions.
“Recreation is always happening in Greene County, all year round,” he said. “And as far as this past summer season is concerned, we are happy that a lot of hard work from our staff and the support and dedication of our Commissioners helped make this is a phenomenal season. I am proud of our safe, clean, well-maintained recreational facilities and our many programs and activities that we offer.
“Recreation is big in Greene County,” he said with another proud smile. “Our numbers prove it.”
Greene County Commissioners shared Blaker’s excitement when reflecting on the successful 2019 summer season.
“No doubt about it, this was a big summer for our Recreation department,” said Commissioner Blair Zimmerman. “We saw first-hand the big numbers of swimmers and Day Campers, as well as the terrific jobs done by our lifeguards, camp counselors and Recreation staff. They all did a great job, and this was once again another very memorable year.”
“Summer is always an exciting time for Recreation in Greene County, and we are very happy that 2019 saw some impressive attendance numbers for our events and activities,” said Commissioner Dave Coder. “And now with summer behind us, we are looking forward to seeing residents get excited about all of the Recreation events being offered this fall and winter.”
“Kudos should be given to the Recreation department’s staff for not only providing many summer activities for our residents but also for working diligently to train the staff and make sure that these programs and activities were successful,” said Commissioner Archie Trader.
For more information about anything pertaining to recreation in Greene County, call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323.