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MCKENZIE LANGE/The Daily Sentinel

Porter Miller, 11, plays with his younger cousin Madison, 2, on the swingset at Lincoln Park on Thursday. The Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department is closing its indoor facilities due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community, but outdoor facilities remain open.

The Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department is closing its indoor facilities due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community, but outdoor facilities remain open.

Last week, the city announced the Orchard Mesa Pool and Parks and Recreation Administration Building would close to the public. Parks and Recreation Director Ken Sherbenou said indoor facilities like the hospitality suite at Stocker Stadium and the Bookcliff Activity Center are closing.

The Senior Center has remained closed throughout the pandemic.

While most indoor facilities are closed, Sherbenou said the restrooms that would normally be open through the winter will remain open.

They were closed for a short period at the beginning of the pandemic. Also, outdoor facilities like courts and playgrounds, which were closed under the spring stay-at-home order, will remain open.

“We don’t have any plans for closure of outdoor facilities,” Sherbenou said. “Even though indoor facilities are closing down or have closed we are really trying to keep our outdoor facilities open and encourage people to use them.”

Parks and Recreation staff that normally work at an indoor facility have been reassigned to outdoor roles, Sherbenou said. The department had also reassigned staff during the spring facility closures.

Sherbenou said some special holiday programs would also be canceled, including the Candy Cane Hunt and Chocolate Walk. The Santa Claus Run will be held as a virtual race. Sherbenou said it will also have a virtual Holiday Light Tour, which will be shared on their social media pages.

While many facilities are closing, Sherbenou said people can still enjoy the city’s outdoor recreation opportunities. He encouraged residents to use the outdoor facilities like the city’s trails and parks to help stay active.

“We still really want people to be active and healthy,” Sherbenou said. “Thankfully the weather is generally pretty nice in Grand Junction. The parks system is a great place to get out and be active.”

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