CONWAY — The Conway Parks & Rec. building will be closed to the public at least through April 3 due to the national public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Director John Eastman and Assistant Director Michael Lane announced on Monday afternoon on Facebook.
“I think everyone is a little unnerved right now,” Eastman said by phone Tuesday.
The Facebook post states:
“Due to recommendations towards social distancing, we ask the general public not to come to the recreation building located at 176 Main St. in Conway. Recreation staff will continue to work and offer information through email or by phone (603-901-1139). Recreation staff hours through April 3 will be Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Our new online registration will go online Monday, March 23. This is a new option offered to parents that will allow you to register online for future programs without leaving your home. Please refer to our website for continued information about this new feature.
“Over the coming days, the Conway Parks and Recreation Department staff will provide online challenges for virtual recreation activities to encourage children to keep active and stay healthy. Check each day on our social media pages for a challenge or activity that you/child can participate in and then send a video clip back to us of you/child completing that challenge/activity to win a prize.
“Social media: Staff will continue to disseminate reliable information about the current crisis. Please follow us at Facebook: @conwayparksandecreationdepartment; Twitter: @conwayrecnh; and Instagram: @conwayrecnh.
“The Conway Parks and Recreation Department is committed to the safety and health of our staff, volunteers and the public. We wish everyone good health through these difficult times. We look forward to seeing you in the building once the crisis abates and are happy to serve in these ways until then.
“For information about the COVID-19 outbreak and how to protect yourself, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control website tinyurl.com/vdw6rls.
“If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, please do not hesitate to contact us.”
The department kicked off the first of the activities on Monday.
“The Conway Parks & Recreation Department wants to see what you’re going to be up to for the next few weeks,” was the message on Facebook. “Every Monday is going to be #SlowMoMondays! Message us a slow-motion video of you and the kiddos doing something unique, funny and creative. Maybe your video will be featured on our social media pages. Feel free to post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We’re excited to see what you come up with. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s daily challenge.”
“We’re trying to keep things as normal as possible for the kids and keep them connected with us and for them to have a little bit of fun,” Eastman said. “We want them to be ready to go when we open back up.”
Tuesday night, Eastman unveiled that day’s challenge of basketball trick shots with he and Lane, along with Robbie Moody and Todd Gallagher making a variety of shots that would make the Harlem Globetrotters smile.
Eastman didn’t want to spoil Wednesday’s surprise which may have something to do with juggling. There may also be an outdoor scavenger hunt in the works.
“The Friends of Rec have been great,” Eastman said. “We’re teaming with them to offer Dairy Queen cards for challenge winners.”
He added: “Mike and I encourage the kids from Conway Rec to go to our social media and participate. We want them to look forward to the daily challenges.”