Day- Lend a hand this holiday season |

Day- Lend a hand this holiday season

Janet Day/Talk of the Valley
Winter Park, CO Colorado

Making a Big Splash: The new Grand Park Community Recreation Center was abuzz when it opened on Friday. Kids swam and splashed and laughed in the huge indoor pool area (a big slide, fountains, plenty of room to play) while adults lifted weights, ran on treadmills or the track and teens participated in gymnastics. Toddlers investigated the Playful Penguin day care room and the large gym was waiting for a hoops game to begin.

But the lovely new building isn’t hosting just sports and recreation. Its lobby is being used to display work by local artists who have been involved in rec district classes. Pottery, paintings and quilts are among the items being displayed.

The building still has that new-car smell so go take it for a test drive. A variety of pass options are available from single-day drop-in to yearly family packages.

It may take a while for people to figure out the traffic patterns, so be careful turning into the center’s parking areas and back onto US 40. I watched a few cars almost drive across the bike path and into the ditch before realizing there was not a direct turn into the large parking lot on the building’s north side.

Help for the Holidays: There’s still time to give this holiday season. I mean really ‘give’ in the traditional sense – giving from the heart and the soul to help others in need. The Angel Tree at Cooper Creek Square still holds some tags with lists of items requested by local needy families.

The heart-breaking element of this year’s Angel Tree is how many applicants are asking simply for food or gift cards that can be used for purchasing food. Most of them are children. Sure, there are the wish lists that include snow boots, toys, jackets and such, but hunger seems to have pushed its way to the top of the lists. Stories abound in the national media about the increase of childhood hunger in America, but the Angel Tree lists bring the issue close to home.

Do some good in the ‘hood and fulfill one of the remaining gift lists in the next day or two. Wrap your gifts and drop them off at the shopping area. Or, donate to any of the many other non-profit organizations in the county. The animal shelter can always use food and supplies. A donation to Middle Park Land Trust can help save our scenery. Or simply call your favorite organization and ask them what they need.

If a cash donation just isn’t possible this year – everyone understands times are tough – consider volunteering or simply writing a letter.

A letter can help represent Grand County’s interest in Denver’s proposal to take even more water out of our streams. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has extended the public comment period for the Moffat Firming Project until March 1, 2010 and public input is encouraged.

The project, if approved, will divert more water from Grand County to the Front Range. The Moffat Tunnel and other diversions already take about 60 percent of the Fraser River’s stream flow.

To learn more about the project’s impacts, go to, the web site of Colorado Trout Unlimited, which is leading resistance to the project.

Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to Follow me and local tidbits at or

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