Mountain Recreation wins $325,000 grant to focus on inclusivity

Mountain Recreation, the special district that operates the Gypsum Recreation Center, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink and the Edwards Field House as well as dozens of youth and adult programs, has netted a $325,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation.
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Mountain Recreation’s operations will be even more inclusive, thanks to a $325,000 grant awarded by the Colorado Health Foundation.

Over the course of three years, Mountain Recreation will use the money to focus on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across the district.

“Mountain Rec is thrilled to begin and recognizes the significant impact this work will have for full and part-time staff as well as the community,” said Eddie Campos, Mountain Recreations’s marketing and communications manager. “True to the district’s mission that everyone deserves to be healthy and happy, Mountain Rec aims to ensure each facility, program, and staff member is welcoming to everyone, regardless of their race, gender, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, economic background, age, country of origin, culture, family configuration, personal ability and much more.”

Mountain Rec was awarded the grant to focus on three areas: training, language, and financial support. Mountain Rec full and part-time staff will undergo progressive training that will build on itself over the next three years to address the unique issues Eagle County faces.

Campos noted that Eagle County, with a population that is 29.8% Hispanic and 66.8% white, has seen a remarkable increase in awareness of the racial injustices seen across the nation and the globe.

“Mountain Rec hopes to join the conversation in an effort to better serve our entire community,” he said.

Additionally, staff will participate in Spanish language classes on site and in English as Second Language classes for Spanish speaking staff and their families. As the last area of focus, Mountain Rec has now established a new scholarship fund for all those in our community who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19 and will expand its RecRX program.

Lizzy Owens, Mountain Recreation’s community engagement manager, who steered the grant application, said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of this. DEI work is incredibly eye opening and game changing. When we better understand each other, when we try to walk in each other’s shoes, we’re able to come together and be a more unified community.”

“Although we recognize the great work the district has accomplished, we will always strive for excellence. Mountain Recreation is excited and grateful to the Colorado Health Foundation for this award and the opportunity to build more equitable spaces for everyone,” said Mountain Recreation Executive Director Janet Bartnik.

For a deeper dive into this work please visit MountainRec.org/DEI and to apply for scholarship funds please click HERE.

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