Florida’s Recreation Programs also felt the pain of COVID. Jessica Tharp, from the City of Stuart’s Recreation Department, sat down with me to discuss some of the processes they changed and the outlook she now has with events going forward.
“In Stuart, events seem to come back faster in our community due to it being a smaller and in the parks department our events are mainly outdoors.” said Jessica. They were unable to do events for approximately six to seven months in their city. Community Events and Green Markets started back up in November.
At some of their first events, they did have to look at processes and how to create ways to keep things safe for the people that were attending. They painted circles on the ground to create socially distanced areas for people to be in pods, like many organizations did to keep events happening outdoors. One of the main changes they made was for their races. The water stops changed from volunteers handing out cups of water to each runner to having a table of recyclable water bottles for each runner to grab or the runner could bring their own water bottle. They had a sponsor for water bottles to reduce costs. People understood the rules and trash was not a problem at the race.