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The Scarlet & Black

City adds new recreational activities for spring, summer

Grinnell students and community members alike are preparing to enjoy the spring and summer and the new recreation that comes with the seasons. Photo by Shabana Gupta.

The Grinnell Parks and Recreation department recently released their program guide for this spring and summer. They have added many new recreational activities in each of the sections, especially in the adult recreation section.

Jordan Allsup is the Parks and Recreation Director in charge of coming up with activities for the year. Allsup and assistant director Ian Knutsen added many new activities this year. “We wanted to diversify our program and make it more inclusive of a lot of things,” Allsup said.

The activities range from book clubs and art groups to yoga and swimming. Many are free to join as long as one signs up for the event ahead of time so they have enough materials. The events with costs take more time to get the activities running.

The city is partnering with many other businesses and companies for the activities. One event, called Books and Brews, is working with Drake Library to get copies of books for people to read, in addition to being sponsored by Peace Tree Brewing co. for the brews.

The City is also partnering with the Grinnell Regional Medical Center to hold Water Bootcamp in the Aquatic Center, where people over 16 years of age are able to do a workout routine run by a professional. Some activities in the bootcamp include weight training in the grass, a relay race in the lazy river and general acrobatics.

Another water event, called Tame the Tide, is a run/walk marathon of two miles in the lazy river while moving against the tide. This is a new event that requires early registration.

A big part of the planning was to make sure that the events were accessible for a vast number of people. “The nice thing [about] Yoga in the Park is that it’s open for beginners up to pro yogis,” Allsup said.

There are also team sports and games for all ages. Ages four to six can play T-ball, and adults can play three versus three basketball games, among other activities. One team-sport that is new this year is Youth Flag Rugby Clinic, where kids are taught the rules and different plays for rugby.

Lots of the activities are run by volunteers. “We started with the yoga instructors,” Allsup said. There are around six or seven yoga instructors within Grinnell that are able to lead Yoga in the Park. “We’re excited to see it take off this year,” he said.

Many of these newer activities were created due to a demand for more athletics. To make sure these activities were the right fit for Grinnell, Allsup and Knutsen looked at the opinions of the community and how other places were running their programs.

One of the aspects they needed to calculate for these programs was the cost. They had to get materials and find people to run the classes. “I can’t teach a yoga program,” Allsup said. “We can’t do it if there’s no instructor.”

Ultimately, Allsup said these programs benefit the Grinnell community by engaging the city. “Programs like that have the potential to get people engaged and improve the health and wellness of our community,” he said.

Sign-up for activities online is now open through the City website or stop by the registration office at 1500 Penrose Street.

Grinnell students and community members alike are preparing to enjoy the spring and summer and the new recreation that comes with the seasons. Photo by Shabana Gupta.
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