Community members enjoy the Los Alamos Community Concert Series at Ashley Pond . Photo by Vint Miller/LAC
Scene from the Leisure Lagoon at the Aquatic Center. Photo Courtesy LAC
BY CORY STYRON
Community Services Department Director
Los Alamos County
July is Parks and Recreation Month and what better place to get outside and celebrate than in Los Alamos County. This national designation reminds us that parks and recreational activities are essential in positively impacting our community’s physical, mental, and economic health. This month’s editorial is the perfect time to highlight the Recreation Division under the Community Services Department (CSD) and the wide range of services and programs it offers to get you and your family outside.
Recreation Division and Special Programs
Heading up the Recreation Division is Supt. Katherine Hudspeth. She oversees the division’s programming and events, the Aquatic Center, Golf Course, and Ice Rink. Under Katherine is Senior Recreation Leader Brandon Tuning. Together, they are responsible for the special programs and events throughout the county, ensuring plenty of fun for everyone of all ages. They kicked off the month last week with the July 4th Independence Day Celebration. It was great to collaborate again with other community organizations and bring this tradition back to Overlook after a several-year hiatus due to the Pandemic and wildfires. A sample of other summer offerings include well-known activities such as the County Fair & Rodeo, the Summer Concert Series and Movies in the Park. Some lesser-known activities include Roller Skate Nights at the Ice Rink, the High Mountain Mudfest Mud Volleyball Tournament, and the summer Horse Exhibition.
I encourage people to try something new! A complete listing of activities can be found in the 100 Days of Summer Activity Guide, located at most County facilities and on the CSD webpage at https://lacnm.com/rec.
Ice Rink in Summer
In conjunction with the First United Methodist Church, the Recreation Division hosts Roller Skating Nights at the Ice Rink (4475 West Road, Los Alamos). The next scheduled events are July 15, 29 and August 5 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. The rink also serves as the home rink for the Los Alamos Derby Dames, an independent organization and full member league of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Competing against El Paso, the Derby Dames will be at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink on August 12. To learn more about this organization and their summer schedule you can visit their website at http://laderbydames.com.
The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center (2760 Canyon Road, Los Alamos), led by Dee McCoy, is a full-service facility with something for everyone in the community. This indoor facility includes a Leisure Lagoon, therapy pool and Olympic-sized pool.
Leisure Lagoon: The Aquatic Center doubled the fun this year by opening the long-awaited Leisure Lagoon. This new addition is designed for young children and families. It features a zero-entry pool, lazy river, water features, and a two-story slide to provide several hours of fun for all ages.
Therapy pool: This specialized pool is heated to a comfortable temperature of 94-96 degrees and is ideal for individuals with various physical conditions or injuries. The warm water helps relax muscles, reduce pain and increase blood circulation, making it easier for individuals to exercise.
Olympic-sized pool: One can learn to swim or improve their skills through group or private lessons, partake in water fitness classes, swim laps, or simply take the afternoon to play. The Aquatic Center is home to the Los Alamos Aquatomics, Mountain Swim Club, and the Los Alamos Hilltoppers Swim Team. These developmental and competitive teams represent Los Alamos at the highest level, winning four state titles in the past five years, proving to be the team to beat at the NCAA State Swimming & Diving Meet.
Other activities: If swimming is not your cup of tea, the Aquatic Center also offers other activities, such as Open Boating, and Lifeguard Training and Certification. You can rent putters and golf balls at the Aquatic Center front desk for putt-putt golf at East Gate Park or disc golf sets for the two courses in town. Do you have a family reunion or a birthday celebration to organize? Call the Aquatic Center at 505.662.8170 to rent a pavilion at one of our parks. More information about the Aquatic Center fees, activities, offerings and schedules are on the Aquatic Center webpage at https://lacnm.com/Aquatic.
The Golf Course (4290 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos), led by Mike Lippiatt, is our oldest recreational facility, originally established in 1947. Today it hosts tournaments, lessons, and practice for players of all skill levels and ages. The course is open for golf from March to November, depending on the weather. The Golf Course Club House has additional amenities as well: Cottonwood on the Greens restaurant, a Community Room that is available to reserve for events and meetings, and the Golf Shop! For more information on the Golf course visit https://lacnm.com/Golf.
Mark your Calendars
Now that you know more about the Recreation Division, mark your calendars with the upcoming community events, and look for ways to get outside and get active right here in Los Alamos:
July 11 & 25 – Open Boating
July 12 – Movies in the Park, featuring Wall-E at Ashley Pond
July 12 & 26 – Splash & Dash
July 14 – Sep. 1 – Friday Night Summer Concert Series (visit https://losalamossummerconcertseries.com)
July 15 & 29 – Roller Skate Nights at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink
July 22 – Triathlons, including Jr. and Kids Triathlon
July 26 – Movies in the Park, featuring Encanto at the Rio Arriba County Fair and Rodeo
August 11 – 13 – Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo