Parks and Recreation Department
To the Citizens, the Board of Selectmen, and the Town Manager:
Many of you are already aware of the kinds of things the Recreation Department does in our community from year to year. Between the usual summer camps, after school programs, and children’s athletic programs like soccer and basketball, we still manage to work in a few other things as well.
I would like to start by revisiting 2016. Shortly after we turned the new calendar year in 2017 I received the final numbers on revenue our department had generated the year before. In 2016 we were able to increase our departmental revenue by almost 100% over previous years, bringing us from just under $ 15,000 in revenues to near $ 30,000. 2017 looks as though we will be close to that mark again.
Thanks to the Healthy Community Coalition and the Carol M. White PEP Grant the winter of 2016-17 was our first season with our new NiceRink Skating Rink. The new boards and liner worked extremely well, allowing us keep the rink open more throughout the season. I was also able to design and build several “skating aids” to assist younger children in learning to skate and enjoy their time on the ice. The new rink was heavily used this past season and I am expecting the same for winter 2017-18. The Recreation Department is also planning to begin a new learn-to-skate program for children this coming winter as well.
This past winter also saw the continuation of our popular Adult Futsal League (indoor soccer) which attracts 8 teams of adults competing for a golden soccer ball trophy with the chance to have their names permanently engraved on it as well as receive customized team jerseys. The league was so popular that we began a fall season as well.
Early spring we began our Senior Socials programs run mostly by Eddie Yuen, one of our most valuable volunteers. Participants dabble in art and music on Tuesdays, play pickleball on Wednesdays and play/learn games like cribbage, mahjong and bridge on Thursdays. Thursday evenings Eddie teaches free Tai Chi Classes to anyone interested and Monday afternoons people come to join in a singing group headed by volunteer Eileen Liddy.
Earlier this year we also worked with Seniors Plus to establish a congregate dining sight on Mondays here at the Community Center. The meals are inexpensive with socialization and game time before. After the meal is more time for socialization as well as other interesting programming on different topics geared toward seniors.
After the resignation of our previous Assistant Director and two trying months of working alone, we were very pleased to hire Jaycee Jenckes as our new Assistant Director. Some of you may recall my mentioning Ms. Jenckes’ good work ethic and great attitude in my 2015 annual Town Report. With the help of our hiring committee, I was very pleased to offer her a full time position with our department. She has been a valuable asset over the years and continues to be. She works with children better than almost anyone I have ever seen and excels at leading programs. I look forward to what she and I will accomplish here together for the community.
I spent a good portion of the beginning of the year studying for an exam to become a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) for the Town. I am happy to report that in June I took the 150 question, three-hour exam to obtain the certification and I am committed to continue my learning to better serve the citizens of Farmington.
A few notable projects we accomplished this year were; the sidewalk project was finished as well as a few parking lot improvements at Hippach Field and the Community Center received a new Fire Alarm System. We are also continuing to improve our landscaping around the other parks and facilities.
The new floor covering system has been a big hit and rental attraction for our facility. The Rotary Festival of Trees is happening just outside my door as I write this report and it’s wonderful to see hundreds of people walking through the Community Center door!
If anyone would like more information about the Recreation Department feel free to stop by or check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/farmingtonrec.
Matthew L. Foster
Director of Parks and Recreation