Bedford Parks Open – Social Distancing Recommended

(BEDFORD) – Bedford Parks Director Barry Jeskewich is reporting that the Parks and Recreation Department is starting to get back to normal following the cancellations of many programs and the closing of playgrounds, basketball goals, and other facilities throughout the parks department due to COVID-19.

Mia Mitchell enjoys the Wilson Park playground equipment Friday morning.

The newly renovated Wilson Park playground is now open and the playground equipment is sanitized every morning.

Alyce and Bryanna Jackson go down the slide at Wilson Park Friday morning.

The Brookside Park playgrounds will be closed today for renovations to the playground equipment.

19-year-old Colton Caraway uses the skate park on Saturday morning. The skate park is one of many attractions now open throughout the Bedford Parks System.

The skate park is open and the basketball rims have been put back at the basketball courts.

Disc golf is one of the newest attractions at Otis Park. Emily Lauritsen (left), Xch Blackwell (middle), and Issac Titche (right) play disc golf Saturday.

Signs have been placed at all the parks reminding the public of social distancing and tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The 2020 softball season is underway. (Information listed below) Recreation Director Gary Dorsett says that the drainage work at the Murray Forest Park softballs fields is complete. During the COVID-19 pandemic crews were able to complete the work needed and make improvements during the downtime.

Britt Lauritsen plays disc golf Saturday at Otis Park.

Otis Park is now open. The one major change is that the concession stand is only selling pre-packaged snacks. This will likely not change any time soon.

Golf Pro John Bertges was introduced to the Bedford Parks Board Tuesday evening. WBIW will be doing a feature story in the near future to introduce John to the community.

“Looking at the numbers from June 1 to June 15 from last year to this year the number of golfers is about the same,” said Bertges. “People are just dying to get out there and are now able to do that.”

The restoration of the Red Brick following a fire earlier this year is still a work in progress. There are many things that are being done to preserve the historical features of the building.

Bertges will be able to teach lessons and have the pro-shop open. Prices for lessons will available shortly.

Many are taking advantage of social distancing by playing golf. On Friday many golfers made their rounds at Otis Park.

Barry Jeskewich will be meeting with a potential architect, adjuster, and those wanting to submit bids for the restoration of the Red Brick. The process has not been easy due to the building being listed on the National Historic Registry.

The restoration will have to be delicate to preserve the historical features of the building. The insurance money has been received on the project, but the renovation will take some time.

The parks department is under a capital expenditure freeze. The total completion of a new maintenance building at Otis Park will not be completed at this time. The structure is in place, but there are a few more items that will be placed on hold.

A new maintenance building at Otis Park is now in place. However, due to a capital expenditure freeze, other work to the building has been put on hold.

Softball Program Updates:

  • The sign up deadline for Softball is July 2
  • Coaches meeting July 14 at Thornton Park Pavillion
  • League will start July 20
  • Butch Fish Santa Slugger will be held on July 18 and July 19
  • USA E South State Championship will be held on July 25 and July 26
  • All-Nighter will be held on August 28 – August 30
  • Riley Children’s Hospital Tournament will be held August 22 and August 23
  • The season-ending tournament will be a 160 Tournament held on September 19

Some social distancing guidelines have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. No one is to be in the dugouts. Chairs will be placed outside the dugouts. Only on deck batters will be allowed in the dugouts.

Signs inform visitors of recommendations and precautions to take amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Bleachers will be removed, and umpires will be required to wear masks and stay 6 feet from the catcher. The softballs will be sanitized often. Umpire Chief Brian Turpen is working with USA Softball to get rules and regulations passed on and inform the coaches as to what they will be responsible for.

Children must also be supervised by a non-playing adult. There are other concerns that will be looked at and addressed in regards to the playing of the game.

The Ugly Duck is scheduled for September 12. There will be no pool and no ducks going down the water slide as the event will be held virtually.