Barbara Bynum

This last year (2017) has been a transformative year for the Montrose Recreation District.

Since its creation in 1956, the district has always worked hard to provide recreational opportunities to the community. But 2017 was one for the record books!

In January, the new Community Recreation Center opened after years of planning and hard work. On that first grand opening weekend, 11,000 people came through the front doors. And today there are over 6,000 people with annual passes!

Soon after the CRC opened, MRD finished the construction of pickleball courts, outdoor trails, fields and climbing boulders as part of Phase 2 of the Master Plan. These additions were possible in large part because of a grant from GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado), who invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help communities like ours build these important outdoor spaces.

And earlier this month, the remodeled Field House held its grand opening. From 1987-2016 the building housed the indoor community pool. But through creative thinking and significant upgrades, the building is now home to a beautiful indoor turf field. I encourage you to stop by some evening and check it out. It’s a tremendous asset to our community.

And while these concrete and metal structures are certainly worth celebrating, I believe that the current environment of cooperation is the biggest win for our community. When we work together we can accomplish amazing things. It is an exciting time to be part of our community as we witness so many successful projects. Whether these projects are large civic buildings or the creation of new small business, there are many reasons to celebrate. But there are also more challenges and opportunities ahead. We must continue to ask each other for help. And we must continue to look for ways to say, “yes” when asked. Individuals, organizations, business and government cannot go at it alone.

And as a quick reminder, if you became an annual pass holder when the recreation center opened, now is the time to renew your pass. The Winter/Spring Activity Guide was mailed to all area households earlier this month and registration is underway. You can register in person, by phone or online at Be sure to check out the exciting new programs offered at the Field House in addition to the programs at the Community Rec Center.

On a personal note, after seven years of working first on the MRD Citizen Task Force and then on the MRD Board of Directors, I have resigned from my role with the District. When I was appointed to the Montrose City Council in August I knew I could not give both organizations the attention they deserved but I agreed to stay on through the MRD’s 2018 budget process. One of the greatest responsibilities of board members is to approve and adopt the upcoming year’s budget. At last week’s board meeting we did just that. In addition, the vacancy on the MRD board allows someone new to step forward with new ideas and enthusiasm. I look forward to working with them from my seat on city council. It is sad to say goodbye to the Rec District, but to work on behalf of the community has been an honor. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to new challenges and great things to come!

Barbara Bynum is the former Montrose Recreation District Board of Directors president.

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