Rip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He brings to the job years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army Reserve.
Things are still slower than normal in the world of Parks and Recreation. Of course, our hiking trails are getting worn out and spring is in full bloom throughout our parks, but we missed out on an adult league basketball season, a women’s softball season and our Spring Break camp this past month. But brighter days are ahead. We continue to host the Tucker Farmers Market as a drive-through location as it adjusts to state mandates. Our staff is working diligently to get meals out to those in need, while also planning for what’s to come after everything opens back up. TYSA is working with Georgia Youth Soccer on plans to finish their spring season. And contractors are headed up to our roof to start scoping out the new solar panels we’ll be installing this spring and summer. There’s a lot to be excited about!
Now I want to address three questions we’ve received pretty steadily over the course of the past month.
Will Tucker Rec Center be hosting Summer Camp?
At this point, the answer is yes. What that camp will look like, however, is still a question. I would love to open up that first week of June and bring in 150 campers for a great time of swimming, crafts and STEM activities. As it stands now, that’s probably not feasible. We will do as much as public health officials and our city leadership allow but know that we will always err on the side of responsibility; your child’s safety is always the top priority.
Will the summer swim season start on time?
Another question that we don’t exactly have an answer for. Our staff is preparing as if Memorial Day weekend will be opening weekend at Kelley Cofer Park pool. Last summer we shattered attendance records and really made our city pool the place to be to beat the heat. As with Summer Camp, we will be doing our due diligence to ensure a safe opening date for the pool. Keep up with us online and on social media for new developments.
And speaking of pools…
Why did the City acquire Smoke Rise Bath & Racquet Club?
I am so excited about this acquisition. For years, Smoke Rise Bath & Racquet Club has been a popular place to go swimming or to play some tennis. Now, thanks to a vote last month by the Mayor and City Council, the club becomes a City of Tucker park. This is great news for several reasons:
- This park is located in an area of need as laid out in our Parks Master Plan.
- The acquisition and upkeep of this park is cheaper than building a brand new park from scratch.
- This provides another public swim option to our community and for the same price as a season pass to Kelley Cofer Park pool.
- We get two more lighted tennis courts into our parks system and two others that will be converted into four pickleball courts. If you’ve been to the pickleball matches at Tucker Rec Center, you’ll know how big a need more courts is.
So, my message this month is, don’t let the frustration of sheltering-in-place and social distancing get you down. They are necessary steps in the near term, but looking long term there are plenty of reasons to be psyched for summer!