Parks Commission Talks Winter and Summer Programming

By Seth Kinker,

The Chelsea Parks and Recreation Commission wants to do a better job of showcasing the parks the city has to offer.

On Feb. 5 they talked about what they can do in these parks, including working with local entities like SRSLY, the Chelsea School District, and local wellness committees to put together programs teenagers, kids, and families can use.

First, they talked about programs for the spring and summer before talking about winter, too. Parks commission member Andrew Thomson, also the representative from the Chelsea Community Education, told the commission he had reached out to the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation about putting together weekly activities and was working on possibly setting something up for the next quarter.

While discussing programming the commission came to the consensus that drop-in activities would be ideal with long term commitments to classes or programs more difficult in the summer with families spread out with various activities.

Parks commission member Erin Brayton put together a draft event for a potential winter program. “When I was looking into a lot of the events, the really successful ones all seem to have had a back story,” said Brayton. “Or some kind of mythology or reason for the winter event. To have some sort of backstory, I made up a department.”

Brayton noted that while drop in events for sports are nice, different types of programming could bring more people to the city.

“I figured we’d do something with a festival or something that is a little more unusual,” said Brayton. “That way it would bring more people into town than just a winter sport thing.”

Johnson noted that programmatically, a storyline like Brayton’s that could plan out activities for weeks in advance. Johnson also said that there should be a focus towards wanting to work towards activating the parks weekly and that a sweet spot between events like Brayton’s and festivals could get more activity in the parks.

The next step for the commission is to refine their storyline and check with other local entities on potential dates for activities in the parks.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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