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Timeline to hire new executive director

The Evergreen Park & Recreation District board hopes to have a new executive director hired by April 1, about five weeks before three new members are elected to the board.

The district has received about 100 applications for the position held by Ellen O’Connor until she resigned in November, and a committee has narrowed it to seven, board President Monty Estis said at the Feb. 15 EPRD board meeting.

Estis said he hoped the board could narrow the field to three or fewer finalists, whose names must be made public 14 days before the board in a public meeting names its new executive director. He said each finalist will be asked to make a 10-minute presentation to the board and the community.

Board members agreed they wanted a robust selection process that allows everyone to give feedback on the candidates.

No longer renting space at Alderfer/Three Sisters

The Evergreen Park & Recreation District will discontinue renting the house and barn at Alderfer/Three Sisters Open Space Park in 2023.

Board President Monty Estis explained at the Feb. 15 board meeting that Jeffco Open Space wants a park ranger to live in the house, and it didn’t make sense for the rec district to continue renting the barn year-round and the picnic area occasionally.

The items stored in the barn can be moved to temporary storage such as a Quonset hut or a shipping container near the operations building in Buchanan Park, according to Heart Cameron, park operations manager.

Estis noted that since the rec district rents the barn, it is also responsible for its maintenance.

In April 2019, HistoriCorps replaced siding and made some repairs to the barn.

Upfront contributions for Evergreen Lake North Trail

Two of the organizations helping to pay for the Evergreen Lake North Trail construction have agreed to provide their donations up front to help with cash flow when construction starts.

The Evergreen Legacy Fund and the Evergreen Metro District will provide their contributions up front, Chris Vogelsang with OV Construction, the Evergreen Park & Recreation District’s consultant on the project, said at the Feb. 15 EPRD board meeting.

Liz Cohen, EPRD’s grant and development coordinator, clarified that the Evergreen Legacy Fund is putting in $50,000 and the Evergreen Metro District is putting in $200,000,

That money plus the $150,000 that EPRD is putting into the construction will help move the project forward. EPRD has already put in additional funds to pay to design the trails, which will be a 10-foot wide concrete walkway along Evergreen Parkway and a soft-surface trail along the lakeshore.

EPRD has found a total of $4.5 million in grants to pay for the project, which is expected to start in September.

The rec district is preparing to advertise for a construction manager to oversee the project, and it has begun updating its website more frequently so up-to-date project information is available to the community.

The EPRD board, concerned with lag time for getting construction materials and the deadlines for using the grant dollars, will discuss in April whether the district should begin to order the construction blocks that will be used to create a new wall.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” Vogelsang said. “The more we talk about it, the more real it gets and the closer we get to construction.”

The Evergreen Lake North Trail was built in 1987, and in 2016, a portion of the trail collapsed, closing it for 19 months. EPRD staff managed to shore up the supports under the trail to reopen it.

Collecting usage data

The Evergreen Park & Recreation District board wants to get a clear picture of the number of people who use its two rec centers, and district employees are beginning to collect the data.

According to information provided at the Feb. 15 board meeting, between September and December 2021, Buchanan Rec Center has more than 16,000 drop-in visits, with Wulf Rec Center having more than 11,000 drop-in visits. The data showed that drop-in visitors used weight rooms at both facilities most often, and December was the month with the most usage.

Board members had many questions about initial data, learning that the numbers did not include attendance in classes or programs such as dance, swimming, gymnastics and camps; parents who watch their children in classes; or the high school and club swim groups that use the pool at Wulf.

Board members noted that complete data will be useful to both the board and district staff. Wulf Rec Center is the program center of the two rec centers, and board members know the number of people using the facilities is much higher. District personnel will continue to generate data on usage numbers.