Mountain Recreation: Together we are better | VailDaily.com

Mountain Recreation: Together we are better

Eddie Campos
Special to the Daily

At Mountain Recreation, we believe that we have been entrusted with our community’s most prized possessions: your health, your families, and your tax dollars.

As part of finding new and relevant ways to best serve our community’s needs, we have found time after time that we are better together.

Thanks to partnerships across Eagle County we can approach programs and activities with our combined unique perspectives and areas of expertise. So far this year, this approach has allowed us to make programs and services more accessible, more affordable, more diverse, and best of all, more enriching.

Starting with our longest-standing partnerships, we recognize the town of Gypsum, the town of Eagle, and Eagle County. Their many contributions have broadened our reach across the valley, allowing us to provide year-round programming to thousands in the community. In return, our facilities also double as headquarters for those times the community comes together, whether for major community events or as emergency shelters in times of crisis.

Within each of these spaces, partnerships have provided new recreational and personal development opportunities to youth and adults.

We strongly support our youth and believe in their education, as it yields access to higher opportunities. That is why all our programs and activities are focused on complementing our valley’s school system. This means we have your back when there are late starts, when school is not in session — and new this year, even during classes.

Through our partnership with Eagle County Schools we are now able to provide teachers and students the opportunity to schedule free facility usage that complements their daily lesson plans. Additionally, we have established continuous year-over-year, free access to our facilities for middle schoolers during spring and fall break.

All of this begins with a healthy and balanced meal — which we recognize isn’t easily accessible to all and hope to better that. 

During the summer months, this means partnering with Eagle County Schools, Trinity Church, and Neighborhood Navigators for the Summer Lunch program. This program provides a free meal and activities for kids in Gypsum, Edwards, & Avon. Every child is welcome, no questions asked.

For meals during the school year, we were ecstatic to partner with Youth Power 365 and Eagle County’s MIRA Bus. We ran a month-long effort in helping bilingual communities up and down the valley to sign up for the Free and Reduced School Lunch program. This program not only provides a meal, but also waives high school AP exam fees, school sports & materials fees, as well as makes your children eligible for scholarships at Mountain Recreation and YouthPower365.

We would also like to recognize Alpine Bank and Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery for their long-time support of our youth sports leagues. Thousands of youth are able to participate in Gypsum, Eagle and Edwards every year for just $45 per league thanks to the support of those organizations.

Now that we have the bases covered: education, a balanced meal, and scholarships — let’s have some fun.

Have you heard about our new Video Production Series? Or family intro to camping? What about the new intro to stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, camping, multi-day backpacking trips? Or what about our new art camps, teen gardening camps, or Friday skate trips?

These new opportunities are a direct result of partners working together to deliver new and exciting experiences. These programs are possible thanks to our partnerships with High Five Access Media, Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement, SOS Outreach, CSU Extension-Eagle County, and more.  

As for serving adults, we have been steadily expanding our program offerings. Not only has the district expanded the number of fitness classes and improved its indoor facilities, but we have also added a number of other events of particular interest to adults thanks to our partnerships. This year, we held the Gypsum Rec Center’s annual Senior Day with Eagle County Public Health, hosted Mental Health First Aid workshops and a Public Charge Workshop on Nov. 12 and 13 with Neighborhood Navigators, and have planned a free full moon hiking and snowshoe series.

Why we don’t have all the space to recognize all our partners here, you can see why we believe we are better together. 

Thank you to our partners for helping us provide unique experiences for everyone in Eagle County. We recognize the importance of continuous learning, adapting to change, and being transparent to best serve you.

The door is always open. Visit us at the Gypsum Recreation Center, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink, or the Edwards Field House if you or your organization would like to work together in shaping the future of our community.

Eddie Campos is the Content Marketing Coordinator at Mountain Recreation. Contact Eddie at ECampos@MountainRec.org