As coronavirus continues to spread in this new calendar year, the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District announced business operations will continue; however, adaptations will be made based on positivity rate and adjusted case rate.
As of last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom had lifted the stay-at-home order as California returned to the four-tier opening system. Kern County is now in the purple tier, which allows outdoor dining, salons and other businesses to open.
So what does this mean for TVRPD?
"Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District is working hard to offer community activity in our upcoming year. As we enter 2021, a lot has changed for the park district and what we are able to offer to our Tehachapi community," TVRPD Recreation Manager Ashley Krempien said last week.
As of now, TVRPD is not planning any large in-person events. This includes the Fishing Derby, Easter Egg hunt and in-person run events. It also includes the popular GranFondo bike race.
Since the annual GranFondo attracts a large number of participants and spectators, TVRPD spends a great deal of money promoting it to ensure its success.
"With so much unknown, we could potentially lose quite a bit of money if we have to cancel that event like we did last year," Krempien said. "We have chosen to wait one more year and hopefully run it in 2022. Large events and gatherings will not be permitted until we hit the orange tier, and that's a lot further away."
Krempien said TVRPD is working on alternative event ideas for virtual runs and gatherings, hopefully starting in May.
Since stay-at-home orders have been lifted, TVRPD reopened overnight camping at Brite Lake as of Jan. 25.
According to Taylor Davis, office specialist for TVRPD, bathroom and shower facilities at Brite Lake will be open to the public and campers.
"The only way we will get rid of camping is if we go back to stay-at-home orders," Davis said.
Brite Lake features 42 camping spots, and hookups are available. No swimming is allowed at the lake.
Reservations are required for overnight camping, with payment due at that time. To make a reservation, call the camp host at 221-2832.
Normally, TVRPD's youth baseball program starts at the beginning of April and runs through the end of May.
"TVRPD is watching regulations and guidelines carefully for youth sports and are confident that we will be able to hold a youth baseball season," Krempien said. "We will be pushing the start of the season back to May, to allow for more time to move into the required red tier for youth activity."
Krempien went on to say that TVRPD will continue to monitor guidelines.
Said Krempien, "As for now, we will open registrations for our May youth baseball season on Monday, Feb. 1."
Youth baseball will operate as a co-ed sport for children ages 3 through 6. It will feature T-ball and coach pitch. Games are played at Meadowbrook Park.
Space will be limited to fit the guidelines so early sign-up is recommended. Registration will continue through April 2.
According to Krempien, the Dye Natatorium pool will not open in the spring as is usual.
"We are not sure what is going to happen this year, because the guidelines bounce around quite a bit," Krempien said.
Since it is not yet "pool season," TVRPD has not yet addressed what this will mean to the community's only public pool. However, should regulations allow, TVRPD hopes to open the pool for the summer months of June, July and August.
TVRPD has assigned a community committee to come up new designs for the future skate park, which will replace the old skate park that was dismantled last year due to safety issues.
TVRPD will have close to $400,000 to install a new park, with production to began hopefully this fall.
For more information, visit the TVRPD website at tvrpd.org or call 822-3228.