Ask Rip

Rip RobertsonRip 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.

This is one of those months where I feel like there’s so much going on in our Parks and Recreation Department that I just want to dive right in. So without further ado, let’s step up to the plate and swing into…

…baseball! That’s right, America’s pasttime is alive and well here in Tucker. Our first ever Parks and Recreation spring baseball league gets started on Saturday April 17 at Fitzgerald Park. We are pleased to have Mayor Frank Auman joining us to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. It’s not his first first pitch. You may remember a few years ago when he was selected by the Atlanta Braves to throw out the first pitch at a Spring Training game down in Florida. I’m told he threw a strike then, so let’s hope he finds the plate this time around. 

Adult-Field-Day

In all seriousness, we have more than 100 young men and women signed up and ready to show off their talents at the bat and in the field. They’ll learn the fundamentals and rules of the game and, most importantly, they’re going to have fun while playing in our league. Speaking of fun…

…the weather is just right for getting outside and getting some exercise. Thanks to our Mayor and City Council, we’re soon going to have a new destination for folks to go and break a sweat; we’re installing an outdoor fitness court. This court will be located on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished old DeKalb County library building, which is owned by the City. You may not have seen these fitness courts many places around metro Atlanta, but I’ve seen them get a lot of use throughout parts of California. When put in an accessible area, they are incredibly popular. Whether you’re looking to do a HIIT workout, some incline pushups, dips or planks, these fitness courts give you the opportunity to get a great workout in an open space, rather than being cramped inside a gym. And there’s no contracts or monthly membership fees; just show up and get to work! And while we’re getting to work…

…we have a new staff member who I hope you’ll get to know. Jen Young started last month as the newest member of our team. Jen comes from a long background with the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, so she knows recreation! You can read more about Jen in our Team Tucker Spotlight on page 14. What I really want you to know is she is part of a team that is critically important to achieving our mission of getting Tucker residents of all ages active. Jen and Joe Stewart, who I’m sure you know by now, are our Recreation Leaders. They are responsible for everything from sports leagues to special events like the Pi Day Pi K and Adult Field Day. If there’s something fun happening in our city’s parks, chances are they’ve got a hand in it. Which brings me to their biggest responsibility…

…youth camps. Signups are underway for our popular Summer Camp, which will start in June. Just like last summer, this year’s camp will be socially distant, with all the CDC protocols being taken. Our counselors and campers will be masked and much, if not most, of the camp time will be spent outside. We will extend our hours to the pre-pandemic 7 a.m.-6 p.m. to accommodate working parents. I am so proud of what this camp has become and could not be more excited to have Jen step in to serve as the Camp Director. Telling you that your kids will be in good hands? That doesn’t even begin to explain how good I think our camp is going to be.

Before we get there, we’ll have a good trial run with our Spring Break Camp happening April 5-9. While space is limited, I invite you to send your youngsters to try it out and to get to know our staff. I think you’ll be glad you did!

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