Thanks to the novel coronavirus, Broomfield families and organizations were forced to get creative with outdoor activities — from hosting neighborhood chalk art festivals to drive-in concerts — since many annual outings ended up being canceled.
Broomfield City and County recreation camps were open. Participants received daily temperature checks and health screenings, were encouraged to wear masks,and camp classes were limited 25 for outdoor activities and 10 for indoor. Outdoor pools are permitted up to 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. Parties must maintain 6 feet physical distancing on all sides, according to the city, and masks should not be worn in the water.
As students and families wrap up summer activities and head into fall, Broomfield’s largest community event remains in the air.
Broomfield Days, an multiple-day event that draws thousands to Midway Park, is technically still on for Sept. 18
“We are still exploring our options and plan to make a decision in early August,” Broomfield spokeswoman Carolyn Romero said July 17. “We are putting out a smaller revised program guide next month with a lot of virtual programming options for the fall in consideration of the changing COVID conditions.”
“Traditionally, Broomfield Days is filled with activities including a 5K race, clown contest, parade, trade fair, craft festival, food booths, three stages of entertainment, demonstrations and great community spirit,” the guide will read. “This year, as COVID-19 remains a concern, we are taking a cautiously optimistic yet intentional approach to the planning and hosting of our community’s largest annual gathering. At the time of this printing we are waiting for official guidance on large gatherings from the Governor’s office and local health officials.”
Event details will be available in early August at Broomfield.org/BroomfieldDays and B-Rex.com by searching Broomfiled Days.
Edie Mann was named this year’s Broomfield Days Logo & Theme Contest winner. There were nine logo entries, which were turned in throughout February.
Mann’s design was inspired first and foremost by the year, which goes along with the tagline “Remember Yesterday. Celebrate Today. Envision Tomorrow.” In mid-March, she said 2020 is an iconic year, both visually and literally.
Keri Dillingham, executive director of Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities, said BCAH holds the contests. The Broomfield Days Poster contest often draws entries from members of the Broomfield Art Guild.
“We are waiting to find out if the City will hold Broomfield Days to see whether we will have a contest,” she said.
Other city events
Originally Wednesdays on the Waterfront, the city’s outdoor summer concert series, was postponed because of COVID-19. Later it was turned into a livestream concert.
Since the Bay Aquatic Park was closed for the season, the annual Dog Daze was likewise canceled. The decision to close was made after consideration of public health guidance, significant financial implications and the required one-month preparation time needed to reopen the facility, according to the city.
Every year the Broomfield Open Space Foundation, City and County of Broomfield and Colorado Parks & Wildlife sponsors a free Kids’ Fishing Derby for children 6 to 12 years. After a brief fishing clinic, children are typically given a pole and bait and turned loose to fish while supervised by an adult.
Broomfield’s annual Fishing Derby was canceled, along with the city’s Great American Picnic. The intent is to bring the derby back in May 2021, Pritz said.
Last year, more than 70 children caught fish on May 4, which set a new record, according to the city.
Broomfield Council on the Arts & Humanities
Logistically it was too difficult to organize a community Summer Sunday event, Dillingham said, but organizers tried to make the new event entertaining by adding art and live music and performers all while keeping it low-contact.
Those working at the event wore masks and residents were encouraged, but not required, to wear them. People who handed out goody bags wore gloves. Entertainment — from a hula hoop artist to musicians with the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra — was spread out.
So far this year BCAH has hosted two Summer Saturdays drive-thrus, socially-distant replacement for the decades-long Summer Sundays free family festivals, redesigned to accommodate COVID-19 related health precautions.
For the first two Summer Saturday events, artists musicians and dancers have contributed their talents, including people from Dance Arts Studio, Broomfield Art Guild, Broomfield Symphony Orchestra and Boulder Ballet.
Broomfield County Commons, home to the first two physically-distanced events, is not available for the August event, Dillingham said, because sports tournaments needed the space. She still hopes to find a new location, but it was unclear as of late July where that would be.
Open Space and Trails
“The outdoors provides an ever-changing and wide range of experiences — something we all need at this time to renew our spirits and to sustain our health,” Director of Open Space and Trails Kristan Pritz said.
Twenty ideas for creative outdoor activities for any age group can be found on Broomfield’s website at Safer at Home Activities by visiting broomfield.org/3125/Safer-at-Home-Activities. Recommendations run the gamut from building a fairy house and fishing at a local pond, to navigating the stars.
“Simple, fun, outdoor education activities” for children are highlighted through the Outside Everyday Challenge, she said, which can be found by visiting outsideeverydaychallenge.org. These activities are described in Spanish and English.
Hikers and trail enthusiasts — or people looking to explore the outdoors more — are also invited to take part in the Broomfield 100, a city and county program that gives residents the opportunity to explore the beauty and diversity of nature in their own backyards.
In light of COVID-19, Broomfield created a Broomfield 100 GIS application, which officials said became available June 6. The app can be accessed by visiting broomfield.org/Broomfield100 and clicking on “Virtual Passport.”
Hikers can use it to plan each trail visit, find areas of interest along the way and add their name to the community guestbook to share trail adventures and engage with others while still physical distancing. To “complete” a loop or trail, hikers do not necessarily have to cover the entire trail, but rather visit to learn more about the area.
The 2020 Broomfield 100 kicked off on National Trails Day, June 6, and continues all summer long. The app has had nearly 1,000 hits on its website for this challenge.
The program promotes outdoor exercise, healthy living and learning and may feature pieces of public art. For more info on Broomfield’s public art pieces, visit BroomfieldPublicArt.com.
According to the Broomfield Public Health Department, residents are not required to wear masks while using Broomfield’s public trails, but officials encourage everyone to wear a mask when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
Park Services has witnessed an increase in trail users since the COVID-19 restrictions took effect, Pritz said, but individuals and groups have also stepped up to assist in keeping the trails clean. Broomfield also partners with individuals and groups through the Adopt-An-Area Program where a designated section of trail, open space, or park is cleaned up a minimum of four times per year by the group. Those interested in participating can visit broomfield.org and search Adopt-An-Area-Program.
In the near future, the Broomfield Open Space Foundation is planning to launch an Open Space Ambassador program to provide on-site information to people visiting a specific property, Pritz said. Background on the site’s history, flora, and fauna is intended to enrich the visitor experience. Metzger Farm Open Space (120th and Lowell Blvd.) is proposed to be the first site for the program. Learn more about the foundation by visiting broomfieldopenspacefoundation.org.
“Broomfield staff is implementing several individual trail counters in 2020 to track trail usage in key locations, including the Lake Link Trail and the Sheridan underpass at Highland Park,” Pritz said. “Anecdotally, both Open Space and Parks Maintenance staff have noticed an increase in trail usage during the period of COVID restrictions.”
Here is some basic information about enjoying the trails while physical distancing:
- Please observe all posted regulations, bring water, sunscreen, first aid equipment, and insect repellent. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- All trails allow dogs (on-leash) and are open to bikes, walkers, etc.
- All trails are ADA accessible, although some segments fall outside of ADA guidelines for slope and trail width. Before any mobility devices are used on the trails, trail users should refer to our ADA Trail information at broomfield.org/TrailUsage.
Basic Trail Etiquette
Here are some guidelines to follow while on the trails:
- Stay on the right side of the trail moving with the flow of traffic, except to pass. Pass on the left.
- Do not block the path by standing in the middle; leave at least half of the trail open for passing.
- When bicycling, slow down and notify other trail users before passing.
- Bicyclists must yield to hikers.
- Stay on existing trails. Avoid creating new trails and causing damage to the landscape.
- Full trail etiquette can be found on the Broomfield Trail Map at Broomfield.org/trailmap.
- So long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of six feet from people who aren’t part of your household while wearing a face covering/mask, it is OK to go outside for exercise or fresh air. City and County parks without shared equipment and dog parks are open.
Tips courtesy of CCOB