The reply to the query of what the Fort Dodge Parks Division of Recreation and Forestry does may finest be answered by asking what they don’t do.
“To explain what Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry is now we have one thing for everybody,” mentioned Lori Branderhorst, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry
Branderhorst mentioned the division’s mission is, “To complement the lives of all of the residents of Fort Dodge by offering wholesome parks, open areas, and leisure alternatives.”
This mission is completed, Branderhorst mentioned, by way of organized actions or passive recreation actions.
“In our world, passive recreation is issues that do not have a charge hooked up, like our parks, trails, disc golf programs, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts.” she mentioned. “Then now we have the others which are programmable areas which are going to be areas just like the golf course, ball parks and swimming swimming pools. Actually, after we sit down and take into consideration who we’re and what we’re for a group, it’s about including worth to our residents who dwell in our group by way of well-being and high quality of life ”.
The Fort Dodge Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, situated within the Residents Central Constructing, provides a variety of companies, greater than Branderhorst expects most residents of Fort Dodge and Webster County to understand. .
“A false impression would in all probability be how a lot do we actually care? We now have two cemeteries that we maintain; we even have all the paths, together with water trails, onerous floor trails, mountain bike trails, some which have simply been put up in the previous few years and a few of them are our greatest stored secrets and techniques. “ she mentioned.
The most important entities served by the Fort Dodge Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry embody Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Middle, and Harlan Rogers Sports activities Complicated.
“These are our nice beasts” Branderhorst mentioned. “These are a few of our services that actually contribute quite a bit to the area. They’re cash makers, however we’re a lot larger than that. “
These services additionally appeal to extra tourism to the group and county due to partnerships, Branderhorst mentioned with native highschool districts and Iowa Central Neighborhood School, bringing state softball and state, regional and nationwide area competitions. naughty.
One other misunderstanding surrounding the Fort Dodge Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry is its packages.
“One other false impression is that every thing prices one thing” she mentioned. “We now have every thing from free packages to golf memberships. We hope now we have one thing for everybody in the neighborhood. “
Lots of the initiatives and packages by way of the Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Branderhorst mentioned, are collaborative initiatives.
“We’re proud to be a part of a robust metropolis and county crew that brings new developments and new enhancements to our group.” she mentioned. “It is a crew. Our high quality of life has grown tremendously within the final 10-15 years on account of these fantastic partnerships with the town and county and their totally different departments. “
And remember the forestry portion of the Fort Dodge Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
“We maintain all of the bushes in the best of approach of the town, that’s all of us”, Branderhorst mentioned. “We’re additionally accountable for the city panorama, these flowers and crops. We now have an amazing division and we cowl a whole lot of what you see day by day driving. “
“Like most individuals in our world proper now, we have actually needed to change what we do and the way we offer companies due to COVID.” Branderhorst mentioned. “We had to determine easy methods to preserve our group engaged and easy methods to preserve it energetic.”
Because the pandemic started to rise, Branderhorst mentioned the division’s crew sat down and re-evaluated what they may supply for companies.
“We got here up with month-to-month and weekly actions. We acquired artistic as a workers on the lookout for enjoyable issues to do. “ she mentioned. “The benefit of our group is that we’re diversified. One is a runner, she likes doing these digital 5k, coaching, exercising. One other loves doing arts and crafts packages. “
Collectively, the division got here up with a brand new set of packages and a brand new approach to current them.
“The people have been at house. The households have been at house and we try to contain folks in actions which are one thing new, each for bodily and psychological well being ”. Branderhorst mentioned. “Typically folks simply do not know what to do, the place to go and easy methods to do it, so we wished to supply some enjoyable issues that they may do. Some have zero price. Some have a minimal price. “
Branderhorst mentioned the division has been internet hosting digital occasions and different enjoyable packages, corresponding to scavenger hunts.
“That was like assembly our checkbox of taking households exterior and being energetic and doing it safely,” she mentioned.
A few of these adjustments to this system, making them just about at your individual comfort, Branderhorst mentioned will probably proceed after COVID.
“You possibly can’t at all times come to a fitness center at 5:30 a.m. M. And train, or go to a fitness center at 7 p.m. M. Or have a basketball sport or a category, however they will get what now we have and do it anytime on their very own schedule. These are new angles that now we have taken: give one thing that they will do and that their very own time permits. “ she mentioned.
Some digital actions on the horizon embody “Snow Chilly Digital 5k”. The dates of the race are from January 29 to 31. Schedules have to be submitted by February 1. Branderhorst mentioned this 5K might be achieved on a treadmill, exterior utilizing the path system, or in your individual yard. The fee is $ 20 which features a lengthy sleeve shirt.
“You possibly can run or stroll, simply problem your self to a digital 5k” she mentioned.
One other program focuses on kids ages 5 to seven. It is a craft program that will probably be carried out just about by ZOOM and can happen on February 2, 9, 16 and 23.
Branderhorst mentioned all workers carry one thing to the desk.
“Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation and Forestry works to seek out one thing for everybody and for all ages, be it swimming, golf, arts and crafts” she mentioned. “I’ve seen many packages come and go and lots of of them stem from the curiosity that every member of our workers has. It is enjoyable to have a various group of workers as a result of with a various group of workers comes a various group of packages. “
Branderhorst mentioned this new type of programming has been very properly acquired.
“The response has been good” she mentioned. “I like seeing the Fb posts and feedback that come to our web site thanking us. These issues are very heat and endearing and satisfying. “
Branderhorst is hopeful that in-person programming can resume quickly.
“We really feel that now we’re a bit beneath that 15% positivity charge for COVID, that’s our line during which we discuss becoming a member of or not.” she mentioned. “Our hope is that we’re going to launch some extra actions which are restricted, however in individual. Whether or not it is train or crafts, we need to begin getting again collectively. “
Branderhorst mentioned the Fort Dodge Division of Parks, Recreation and Forestry might be reached by way of its Fb web page, the town’s web site or by telephone.
“We’re completely satisfied to go to anybody and allow them to know the way we will higher serve their wants in the neighborhood.” she mentioned.