Bartnik: We’re thinking big at Mountain Recreation | VailDaily.com

Bartnik: We’re thinking big at Mountain Recreation

Janet Bartnik
Valley Voices

Every day at Mountain Recreation we make it our mission to ensure that our community members know that we’re here for them. We arrive at work eager to make our facilities and programs better than the day before. We don’t accomplish this alone — our incredible community drives us to be better.

Our community members do so by participating in our programs, by visiting our facilities and by sharing their honest opinions of how we can better meet their needs. There are many different versions of healthy and happy; we want to help all of you achieve yours.

What we’ve been up to

The board of directors has challenged Mountain Recreation staff to think big, so we’re doing just that. Your feedback tells us where to direct energy and where to distribute our human resources and capital investments. With three planning processes underway  — the Eagle Sports Complex improvements, the Edwards Field House reimagination, and a joint planning project with the Town of Eagle to master plan the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink and adjacent park, Mountain Recreation should have solid direction on the future of all district facilities and programs by the close of 2019.

The past year has set the stage for a new era in serving the community and was marked with transition, transformation, and transparency.

Transition

In 2018, WECMRD became Mountain Recreation. The district’s new name, mark, tagline, mission, vision, and values speak to our breadth of services, affordability, accessibility and enrichment. The new tagline, “We believe everyone deserves to be healthy and happy,” speaks to the compassionate and inclusive values that our community can depend on. 

Mountain Recreation’s website and registration software were rebuilt from the ground up to provide more intuitive and user-friendly access to our growing services and programs. For example, our all-new lineup of summer camps. Our staffing structure has also been reorganized in order to deliver consistent and cohesive service across all three service hubs. 

Transformation

We’ve embarked upon a journey to improve the quality of life for Eagle County residents — listening and delivering. In 2017, we asked Gypsum residents what they wanted. We then delivered a $500,000 facility facelift at the Gypsum Recreation Center in cooperation with our partners at the Town of Gypsum.

We completed the remodel without raising taxes and removed barriers to health by including fitness classes, child watch, and tumble tots with memberships. Staying true to our new brand, our membership rates remained among the lowest in the Vail Valley.

Neighborhood Navigators and Eagle County partners recently conducted a survey in Dotsero. With their assistance and input, we helped jointly deliver a new KaBOOM! playground, adult exercise stations, and an artificial turf field at the Dotsero Mobile Home Park. This was accomplished last June with the help of over 180 volunteers. We then chased down yet another grant in order to add swings.

We’re proud of the partnerships with Eagle County Schools, Our Community Foundation, and AmeriCorps Vista volunteers that have allowed us to publicize and host the summer lunch program. Additionally, we’ve implemented an updated policy to prevent and address bullying, harassment, and anti-discrimination and to promote positive youth development in our programs and facilities.

We’ve also formalized our youth scholarship program which affords financial assistance for families with children. This has been brought in-house and we’re pleased to share that over $20,000 has been awarded for the 2018/19 school year.

Transparency

Building trust begins with open and honest communication. Starting several weeks prior to moving to the valley I began sending weekly updates to the Mountain Recreation Board and many of our key partners. It was and is important to keep them updated both on the community’s input and our staff’s response. We’ve also made board information, meeting agendas and meeting e-packets available on the newly redeveloped website. Better still, you can actually find them. We’ve also started to communicate in Spanish and English, something that we feel is important to an inclusive district.

To ensure that we’re properly caring for the investments that we’ve made, we’ve gone to great lengths to anticipate capital repairs. Maintenance and, when needed, replacements at our facilities are being modeled against available funding to ensure that levels of service remain consistent. 

Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts with us as we re-imagine Mountain Recreation. We look forward to delivering programs and services that meet your needs and ensure healthy and happy for everyone.

Janet Bartnik is the Executive Director of Mountain Recreation. To be added to her weekly message to the board, send her an email: JBartnik@MountainRec.org.