Recreation Update

The Village of Wappingers Falls has entered into our Reopening Recovery from the Covid-19 quarantine. Our community has sacrificed much over the past few months. Prudent financial decisions are necessary as our Village government moves forward facing a drastic cut in revenue. Our Village recreation funding has been drastically reduced and we find ourselves in a position of not having many of the summer programs and activities that our Village community and neighboring municipalities have enjoyed participating in here in Wappingers Falls. Here is an update on our current programs.

Summer Camp: In 2019, the Village of Wappingers Falls committed to applying for and obtaining a permit to operate a 7 week summer camp at Vet’s park in the Village. The camp was restructured to include weekly visits to the Grinnell Library, bowling at Spins Bowl, daily crafts and activities, water fun on Fridays and weekly bus trips to offsite locations. We had onsite visits from our Village Fire Department instructing our campers on fire safety and a Bike safety program presented by our Village Police PBA and Dutchess County. Special thanks to our PBA for adding a barbeque lunch to top off their program. We expanded our hours to offer before and after camp care. We participated in the Dutchess County subsidized child care program giving families the opportunity to apply and receive funds to pay for camp. Our staff attended training in first aid and safety, programming and planning activities and in methods of behavior management and child development. Looking forward to the 2020 camp, we had plans to initiate a Jr. Counselor-in-Training program and continue to provide our staff with additional training to offer new activities and additional onsite programs. Unfortunately, our plans will need to wait another year to be implemented. Despite our best efforts it would be impossible for Village Recreation to put all the necessary policies and procedures in place to comply with the CDC guidelines that have been recommended for summer camps. We would like to thank the Mayor and Village Board for supporting our efforts to develop a plan for 2020 camp. We have waited to pull the plug until we were 100% certain that we could not provide a service that was a safe and enjoyable experience for our camp participants. We realize that many of the families from last year will now find themselves in need of alternate child care options. We have been in contact with all of our local child care facilities and asked that they offer school age programs for the summer. Contact info on these programs will be posted on the Village Facebook pages and website.

Village Marketplace: We will not have the Marketplace this summer but do hope to bring it back next year.

Summer Concerts: July 24, 2020 at 7pm in Mesier Park by the Southern Dutchess Concert Band. August 21, 2020 at 7pm in Mesier Park by the Big Band Sound. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. 6 feet social distancing is required.

Lake: Docks and launch ramps for lake access are open for kayaking, row boats and fishing. The Weed Harvester will be on the Lake addressing the water chestnut and weed growth. They will do their best to keep the Lake usable. Social Distancing or wearing a mask is required at all times when there are multiple people in the parks.Please follow the recommended guidelines.

Hanging Baskets and Planters: The Mesier Homestead will once again have hanging baskets and our East Main downtown will have planters. This is a joint project with the Wappingers Falls Business & Professional Association and will continue this year.

Fall Events: We plan to keep our options open as we move towards the Fall. If we can, we will make some adjustments to our Halloween Trunk or Treat and parade to allow for social distancing. We are sure we will have many new and creative masks on display… perhaps consider channeling your inner Lone Ranger. Christmas in the Park is already booked for the Saturday after Thanksgiving… and a backup date of Sunday. Start brainstorming ideas for floats for the Light Parade. Santa reached out to assure us that he will arrive. He was quite pleased to inform us that he will be wearing a clear protective mask if necessary when greeting all his friends in Wappingers Falls. He also asked us to remind everyone that he would like to see every family hang a personal ornament on the tree in the Gazebo. This is a great opportunity to show our solidarity as a community.

Next Year…as we continue to emerge from Covid-19 and deal with a new normal, our Village of Wappingers Falls will celebrate its 150th Birthday! SW Johnson Fire Company will also be celebrating a significant milestone as well. Big plans are coming! And a Big Celebration in the Summer of 2021. Stay tuned for details.