Summer programs being evaluated by local parks & recreation departments


TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Summer programs will remain suspended for at least another month in a number of local municipalities.

News Channel 11 spoke with several parks and recreation directors who said they are constantly evaluating the advice from governing authorities and health officials in determining whether to resume with the usual programs or cancel them.

However, Greeneville Parks and Recreation Director Butch Patterson said his department is looking at memorial day a target to reintroduce sports programs and pavilion use, should COVID-19 numbers decline.

“Basically what we’re trying to do is kind of pattern our programming along with what’s going on with restaurants and retail,” said Patterson. “Whatever our capacity was for our pavilions, be able to offer them to use at half capacity.”

Patterson said his department has already made social distancing seating charts for picnic tables and pavilions if they do open up reservations and use to the public again. He said they are still evaluating whether they will open the pool this year or not.

The Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County is still on track to open on May 18th, but a spokesperson said they may cancel fields trips.

Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains said the Elizabethton, Carter County girls softball and boys baseball league, which normally begins in April, is still postponed, but may see a resurgence in late summer or early fall.

“Speaking with the league officials that make those calls, those decisions, they’re looking at registration sometime in June or July,” said Mains.

Bristol Parks and Recreation Director Terry Napier said the city has cancelled all events and activities during May. The pool will also remain closed this year.

“Our big hit is our community center, our senior center,” said Napier. “We would have lots of programs going on here, classes, activities, this building is for now still closed.”

A spokesperson for the City of Kingsport said today they hope to have a plan in place for their summer programs by the end of the week.

The City of Johnson City has already cancelled summer camps, events and sports programs.

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