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Roanoke Parks and Recreation sets out spring plan

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:58 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With the weather warming up, the Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department has some fun in-person events on the calendar.

“It’s super exciting and uplifting to be able to provide these programs and events again. Obviously, they’re going to be a little bit different, but we’ve learned a lot in a year about how to operate around COVID and still do really cool events and put on fun programs while being safe,” Stephanie Long, marketing coordinator for Roanoke Parks and Recreation, said.

Long said one event returning is the Wednesday Night Disco, a bike race up Mill Mountain that ends at the Discovery Center.

“We’ll have more safety precautions; we’re not going to have a cheering section like normal, but it gives people something to do,” she said.

Also coming up is Kids to Parks Day May 15.

“It’s just encouraging kids to get outside and interact with their neighborhood park. It’s app-based this year, so there is going to be some ways to interact where we give you little challenges and you can earn prizes,” Long said.

The department is also hosting its first-ever outdoor volleyball league, a Mothers’ Day bike brunch, and registration is now open for summer camps, including some outdoor adventure and sports camps. Along with offering these events, PLAY Roanoke is focused on beautifying the city as officials work through their Master Plan.

“We’re going to be painting some stuff around greenways and open spaces and rec centers and right now, we’re trying to do a brand new mural in the tunnel at rivers edge south,” Long said.

She said the department is hosting a public campaign to raise around $10,000 to create this three-dimensional mural. You can text the words “TUNNELART” to 44-321 to help out.

The Master Plan that was pushed out in 2019 also focuses on using capitol improvement funds to update the city’s recreation centers and pools.

“Right now, we are kind of doing this Reimagine Recreation Campaign, where we are getting community feedback to see what people want these public spaces to look like when we get funding to improve them,” Long said.

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