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Parks, Recreation looks back on six months under RCS

It has been six months since Russellville City Schools took control over Russellville Parks and Recreation, and Russellville Superintendent Heath Grimes said things seem to be going in the right direction.

Since the school system took over, Parks and Recreation has had signups for fall volleyball, flag football, basketball and soccer and is currently holding signups for softball and baseball.

Grimes said the department has seen an increase in the number of signups, and he believes the new things Parks and Recreation has been doing have helped boost these numbers.

“One thing we’ve been doing is we’ve been hosting a clinic inside the school before signups,” Grimes said. “This has helped introduce some students who might not be as familiar with the sport, but it has also helped parents be more aware that signups are coming up.”

Grimes said he knows when information about signups is sent home with students, it can be easy for that information to be lost on its way to parents. The hope is that the clinics will help spread information and give parents a chance to sign up without having to make time to visit the parks and recreation center.

Another change has been maintenance of the fields. When Grimes first presented the idea of RCS taking over Parks and Recreation, he said a turf management class would be beneficial to students while helping maintain fields.

Grimes said there are currently not enough students involved for a full program, but students and coaches have been working on the fields.

“I joke that people who aren’t as familiar with what we are doing probably think we are doing a terrible job with the fields because we are in the process of killing everything off right now,” Grimes said.

He said officials are killing off the remainder of the grass on the fields so there will be a fresh start.

“I have found a lot of people don’t mind if the field is brown in the offseason as long as it is uniformly brown,” Grimes said. “That is what we are trying to do right now – make everything uniformly brown so that in the spring things can be uniformly green.”

Grimes said taking care of the fields is a slow process right now, but residents will start to see a difference in the way the fields look in the spring.

He said Parks and Recreation is also looking at potentially laser grading the fields. Another idea is the possibility of expanding to include other sports, but right now Parks and Recreation is just working to be successful with what is currently available.

“We are still not exactly where we want to be, but we are moving in the right direction,” Grimes said.

Russellville Parks and Recreation also recently made a new Facebook page, where residents can find the latest updates on signups and activities. The department can be found on Facebook at Russellville, Al Parks & Recreation Department.