Love of sports drives park and recreation chief

Rebecca Miller brings devotion to work for people of Elizabeth

Geraldine Smith
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 3/4/19

Rebecca Miller is the programs and special events coordinator for the Elizabeth Park and Recreation District. For three years, she has coordinated each step of every event or program, and she deftly …

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Love of sports drives park and recreation chief

Rebecca Miller brings devotion to work for people of Elizabeth

Posted

Rebecca Miller is the programs and special events coordinator for the Elizabeth Park and Recreation District. For three years, she has coordinated each step of every event or program, and she deftly juggles the many components of her job from start to finish with enthusiasm and dedication.

An avid sports enthusiast, she grew up in the Lakewood area and graduated from what is now Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction with a degree in sports management and business. Sports were always an integral part of her life and she played softball all through school and fast-pitch softball at Mesa. Now, as she says,” I play old-lady ball - slow pitch.” Sports remain a priority to Miller and she shares that love with students as a softball coach at the Elizabeth Middle School and helps with the JV team at Elizabeth High School.

For Miller, Elizabeth’s appeal is its rural setting where she can spend her leisure time pursuing outdoor activities and sports— passions she shares with her parents and siblings who live in the Denver area. The Miller family gatherings are not complete without a sporting event at the local park, often lasting until dark. Obviously family-oriented, she strives to give the members of the community a variety of events, programs and activities that provide safe places for families to interact.

Miller answered questions about her job working for the Town of Elizabeth:

How do you determine community wants and needs?

We get community input by doing a survey after each event and class that we send out to all participants. We want to see what they liked and did not like. The biggest help in my job is honing down on what the community wants. As park and recreation department employees, we are of service to the community and strive to give them what they want.

Without a recreation center, where are programs and events held?

We use the Evans Park, Casey Jones Park, Casey Jones Pavilion, the campground, Cimarron Park open space and at Wild Point, the Legacy Academy soccer field, all in Elizabeth. We do not have a swimming pool but hope to have a splash pad with a variety of water features installed by Memorial Day in one-half of the old hockey arena. The rest of the arena will continue being basketball courts.

What sports programs do you offer and which is the most popular?

The biggest sport is the soccer and our soccer camp is popular. We also have flag and tackle football, baseball, and we are in the middle of our basketball season with sixteen teams. Another favorite program is frisbee golf. The first nine holes are at Evans Park and we just got approval for an additional nine holes. I was amazed at how popular it is. One weekend there were 100 cars there and the players had put together a tournament on their own.

Do you offer adult classes?

We have pottery classes, dog training, and recently held a yoga class with essential oils instructions and singing bowls. We are always looking for community members to teach the adult classes and are open to most ideas. This is the first year we were able to get volleyball league for adults going. We had six teams this year and play at the Elizabeth Middle School. We also have a softball league.

Will recent housing developments affect your programs?

It is inevitable that Elizabeth will grow, and I think we are ready for it. In the last three years, the participation has already grown, but we do receive impact fees from the developers. The community has really gotten involved.

Do you have activities for teenagers?

The biggest struggle is reaching out to the teenage kids. I do use them as sports officials and to help with community events and concessions. I hire the high school kids so that they are still involved even though there aren’t as many activities for them. For instance, we try to involve the teenagers in our day camps and ask our high school athletes to participate in our sports camps. We do have movie nights in the park, one in June, July and August on a Saturday night.

How do you control costs so that all can participate?

It is costly to do this. We try to keep costs as low as we can for the community because we want everyone to have the opportunity to participate. We do give families that are on free and reduced lunches at the schools a 50 percent reduction.

What are your overall goals as programs and special events coordinator for the parks and recreation department?

A lot goes into planning any sport or event and I try to make it the best that it can be because it is for the community to really enjoy and to know their families have a safe place to bring kids to the parks. I want everyone to get out and play.

For more information visit the parks and recreation website at elizabethpr.com.

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