In light of the closures brought on in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Lake County, community organizations have shifted to offering much of their existing programs to remote platforms and creating ways to engage the public remotely.
A number of local organizations which are regularly involved in offering recreational and other programming to the community have begun collaborating to adapt to the closures and cancellations, and are supporting one another in creating and providing options for remote programming, according to Jackie Radilla, community hub coordinator for Get Outdoors Leadville.
Get Outdoors Leadville will begin providing recreation equipment to people who want to engage in physical activities, such as balls for solo sports and, hopefully, if GOL is able to figure out a way to do it safely, begin checking out equipment from the gear library, Radilla said.
In a collaborative effort with Lake County School District, this week GOL began offering supplies to families of students to help supplement the packets students are taking home to continue their education during the school closures. GOL will provide activity packets with suggestions for crafts and at-home activities, decks of cards, and more as they learn what students and families want, Radilla said.
The Lake County Recreation department, instead of canceling all of their scheduled in-person programming, such as exercise classes, has shifted to offering much of the same content online, Amber Magee, recreation director, said.
The recreation department has adopted a weekly schedule to engage community members, targeting a different sector of the community each day of the week with appropriate programming. Friday, their toddler-specific programming day, the recreation department uploaded a video to their Facebook page with instructions for how to make playdough, and offered to deliver the materials necessary to interested households, Magee said.
The recreation department has developed a blend of new programming designed specifically for remote participation and existing programming adapted to virtual forms like videos, Magee said.
Videos, like exercise and stretching routines, as well as links to resources for other remote activities, are hosted on the recreation department’s Facebook page, and will continue to be offered throughout the closures, Magee said.
Magee emphasized the network being formed between the Lake County recreation department and other organizations regionally and beyond. Many towns, cities, and counties are doing similar programming and offering it to organizations outside of their areas, allowing the Lake County recreation department to connect interested community members to a wide variety of remote programming, she said.
In addition to the recreation department and Get Outdoors Leadville, the Lake County Public Library is offering a variety of remote programming.
The library is launching a journaling project for community members to submit entries describing their experiences during this pandemic in an effort to collect and archive first-hand experiences, according to a press release from the Lake County Public Library.
The library is also offering curbside pickup and drop off of books Tuesdays and Thursdays and delivery to households with a high-risk member. The library’s online resources remain available, including signup for library cards.
Through the collaborative efforts of local organizations, Radilla hopes to maintain the relationships that have been built between GOL and community members through their in-person programming and not let the closures disrupt the access to resources her program has to offer, she said.
“None of us were prepared for a pandemic, but here we are, and we’re trying to keep serving our community,” Radilla said.