Attention Readers: We're Back
C&G Newspapers is pleased to have resumed publication. For the time being, our papers will publish on a biweekly basis as we work toward our return to weekly papers. In between issues, and anytime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.
 Upon entering the Macomb Township Recreation Center, folks will be asked to use hand sanitizer, report one’s name and get a temperature check. Donna Maenza, a front desk worker, is seen here with a thermometer.

Upon entering the Macomb Township Recreation Center, folks will be asked to use hand sanitizer, report one’s name and get a temperature check. Donna Maenza, a front desk worker, is seen here with a thermometer.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Online registration begins for summer programs

Recreation center remains closed

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 7, 2020

 Several safety protocols are in place at the Macomb Township Recreation Center like the removal of registration equipment from the front counter, larger aisleways, and floor signs posted indicating where folks should stand in line.

Several safety protocols are in place at the Macomb Township Recreation Center like the removal of registration equipment from the front counter, larger aisleways, and floor signs posted indicating where folks should stand in line.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — With all the back and forth on whether or not Michigan gyms can open, one thing is for certain: The Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department plans on remaining as flexible and accommodating as possible.

The Macomb Township Recreation Center, located at 20699 Macomb St., has been closed since March 13. As of June 29, the center remained closed.   

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said the spring was a washout because the center was closed and all programs were canceled.  

“We’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for what will happen next,” he said. “Recreation is very flexible and we’ll adjust to what we have to do to make sure patrons are safe and well taken care of.”

Prior to a June 24 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, the plan was for the recreation center to open June 29.  

The ruling granted Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request that gyms in southeast Michigan remain closed.

DiCaro has spent 37 years in the industry and said he was disappointed when he learned of the shutdown, but when looking at the greater good, said it had to happen to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Safety measures which have been implemented inside the recreation center include the removal of registration equipment from the front counter, larger aisle ways, floor signs posted indicating where folks should stand in line, and touchless membership check-in.

DiCaro said patrons will be required to wear a mask inside the recreation center. Employees will also wear masks and have their temperatures taken prior to their shift beginning.

Every other fitness machine is closed to ensure proper social distancing, and the gathering limit, whatever it may be, will be enforced. The facility offers many touch-free sanitizing stations and additional spray bottles in each fitness area.

“Cleanliness will be the key to everything we do here,” DiCaro said.   

Gina Muszynski, Parks and Recreation Center facility supervisor, said staff are taking the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Chairs in the lobby are 6 feet apart as is our equipment,” she said. “We ask that folks follow state guidelines on social distancing.”

She reminded residents to frequently wash their hands.

In June, the department announced the cancellation of its summer special events due to the pandemic. Those activities include Tons O’ Trucks, Rosco’s Picnic Palooza, the summer concert series and a movie under the stars.

DiCaro said the biggest issue for the department will be navigating the number of folks who can gather at once.

As of June 25, he said the gathering number allowed by the state is 50 indoor and 200 outdoor.  

“As the state of Michigan’s reopening phases have been up in the air, early on, we decided to cancel special events because we were afraid the gathering number would not accommodate what we needed for our events which happen to be a little larger than many parks and recreation audiences,” Michelle Duda, parks and recreation programmer, said.    

In light of the decision, the department is unveiling a free activity for kids — a hands-free obstacle course — 11 and under.

The course, which adheres to social distancing, will be open on nine dates, every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning July 9 through Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Macomb Corners Park, located at 19449 25 Mile Road.

It features 25 stations where individuals can step, run, jump, hop, and kick, all spaced 12 feet apart. The line folks wait in will also be spaced out.

“We purposely schedule nine different dates at three hours each so people have a lot of options for stopping by at their convenience,” Duda said. “We will be counting to make sure we don’t go over the gathering number that will be in effect on the given dates we offer this outdoor event.”

For Duda, a positive aspect to emerge from the spring, when the pandemic was at its height in Macomb County, was that more than ever, more families were doing activities together.

“Schedules are a bit more relaxed to do the simpler things in life,” she said.

High schoolers looking to volunteer at the course each week may contact Volunteer Coordinator Tawney Brooks at Brookst@macomb-mi.gov.

Both township parks — Waldenburg and Macomb Corners — opened June 8. Social distancing is to be maintained on walking paths. Restrooms will be sanitized once a day, while play structures won’t be cleaned.

As of June 25, the plan was for online registration to begin June 29 for various summer programs and summer activities. Summer programs, like youth sports camps and adult sports leagues, were scheduled to resume after July 6.

People can register for programs at register.macomb-mi.gov.

Advertisement