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Gordon: Dedicated rec and parks staff continue providing safe, fun things to see and do | COMMENTARY

As you drive downtown on Main Street in Westminster one can’t help but observe the festive gnomes populating our streets this holiday season.

The city of Westminster’s Recreation & Parks Department are unveiling a new gnome on Main Street each day during the month of December located between Md. Route 27 and Longwell Avenue. Members of the community are asked to visit Westminster Recreation & Parks Facebook page daily and help name the gnomes. Those who assist in naming the gnomes will be entered to win a family prize package at the end of December.

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This is not the first time this year that downtown Westminster has been occupied by colorful creative figures.

Earlier, this fall we witnessed a creative number of Squarecrows who greeted residents and visitors alike and added some cheer to the area. These amusing and creative Squarecrows ranged from SpongeBob SquarePants to Minions as seen in the animated film Despicable Me. The Squarecrows were hosted by the Westminster Recreation & Parks Department and the Carroll County Art Council and sponsored by a range of local businesses and nonprofits.

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According to their website “Westminster’s Recreation & Parks is dedicated to providing citizens with safe and enjoyable activities, events and park services. The department is committed to organizing and promoting a variety of recreational activities and events designed to encourage family interaction and personal enjoyment.”

Westminster’s Recreation & Parks director Abby Gruber and her staff have done an excellent job since the early days of the pandemic and were able to pivot and continue to meet the needs of our community.

Throughout the course of the past 10 months there have been a wide array of challenges and adjustments that have occurred in our daily lives. The Recreation & Parks Department adjusted to meet the challenges of the pandemic while also continuing to successfully offer a wide variety of programs and projects. From drive-thru snowball stands to outdoor fitness classes this summer to virtual events and online trivia they adapted to overcome the trials of the pandemic.

In late June, the Westminster Family Fitness Center was able to reopen to allowing their members to exercise while socially distancing. As the year progressed, unfortunately large annual events ranging from the Flower and Jazz Festival to FallFest were canceled due to restrictions and health and safety concerns relating to COVID-19.

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It is through the creativity, innovation, enthusiasm, and dedication of Westminster’s Recreation & Parks staff that they have continued to provide citizens with safe and enjoyable activities and events.

Tom Gordon writes from Westminster. He writes every other Saturday. Email him at tgordonwrites@gmail.com.

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