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Parks, Rec provides update on programming

Life for the Russellville Parks and Recreation Department looks a lot different now than it typically does this time of year. Buildings usually busy with work are quiet, and parks usually full of children are empty.

During the spring, Russellville Parks and Recreation usually has three sports going on: soccer, baseball and softball. This year, games have been indefinitely postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parks and Recreation Director Donnie Flanagan said this would normally be one of the busiest times of the year, with baseball and softball just beginning, but this year’s schedule has looked different.

“It sort of makes you feel lost, to be honest,” Flanagan said. “There is usually so much more going on right now.”

He said fields are continuing to be maintained in hopes games can resume before the season ends.

All parks, pavilions, canteens and the A.W. Todd Center closed mid-March, leaving the normally 20 workers this time of year reduced to two maintenance workers and two work-from-home aides.

All of the fields are closed, and Flanagan said he is pleasantly surprised he has not had anyone on the fields.

“I think everyone is taking things seriously,” Flanagan said. “They know how tough this time is, so they are staying home.”

Flanagan said soccer was able to have three nights of games before fields were closed, but softball and baseball were not able to have any games.

“I’m past ready for sports to begin again,” Flanagan said. “I was really excited for softball and baseball, so I am very disappointed. I understand the circumstances and believe closing the parks was for the best, but it is still disappointing.”

Flanagan said as of right now, the spring seasons have not been completely cancelled – only postponed indefinitely.

“Hopefully we can have some time at the end of the season where we are allowed to start up games,” he said. “We just really want to encourage everyone to stay home and do their part so things can go back to normal as quick as possible.”