Recreation & Park Director's Message

Recreation & Parks Director's Message

Hello South Burlington!

As you look forward to the weekend and embrace a beautiful weather day tomorrow, please be aware that there may be some changes to the park system that you should be prepared for.  In order to keep our parks open, accessible and safe, WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Please take a moment and read the below information and updates. 


Status of Staff:

Traditionally we have a thriving department of five full time staff.  Currently, we are operating at about 30% of our capacity with two staff on full furlough and two staff partially furloughed, working on essential items only with our Director continuing to work full time.  With this limited capacity, we are doing our best to return all communications as promptly as possible.  The best way to reach out for immediate needs is by emailing our Director Holly Rees. Her email is


Status of Parks

  1. All play structures, swings and amenities are closed
  2. Nets on all courts have been removed and will not be replaced until further notice
  3. Signage in parks, on pathways and trails remind patrons to physically distance & leash dogs at all times in public places! YES, THIS INCLUDES RED ROCKS PARK, WHEELER PARK AND OUR OPEN SPACES! PLEASE ADHERE!
  4. NO BATHROOM ACCESS!  This includes permanent and temporary bathroom facilities- please plan ahead!
  5. NO GARBAGE CANS! Be prepared to pack in and pack out: garbage cans may not be available at all sites as we transition to can free parks in an effort to streamline park maintenance, with the mowing season upon us. 



  1. All programs have been cancelled through the end of May and refunds have been provided.
  2. Status of scheduled June programs to be determined on May 15.  Any cancelled programs will be refunded in total.  Should you opt out of any program ahead of its cancellation, you will not be penalized a withdraw fee and will be refunded at the full registered rate.


Community Gardens:

Traditionally the gardens are tilled and prepped by May 1, and while the weather may allow for that to be ahead of schedule this year, current restrictions do not. We are waiting until May 15 for an update on viability of the community garden program. We realize this is late in the planting season for some.  If you would rather receive a refund now, knowing that wait and see status, please request that through our department by calling 846-4108


Summer Camps:

  1. At this point camps are still open and available.  We will provide an update on May 15
  2. Registration is currently open on-line without payment.  Please follow the below steps to access this option:
    • When you are in your cart and proceed to checkout, it will provide you with your summary of charges and amount to be paid today.
    • You must select credit card type first, then enter in the min amount to be paid today which should be $0.
    • From there, click Finish and you will get a receipt showing the amount still due and no CC info needed.
  3. Any camp cancellation will translate into a full refund.  We will not be keeping the non-refundable $25 camp deposit for this season.


Community Events:

All community events with the Recreation and Parks Department have been cancelled through the end of May, including the Memorial Day Remembrance at Veterans Memorial Park.  Please know that our staff are doing all they can to spring clean and spruce up the park and will ensure seasonal plantings, festive bunting and a wreath adorn the Pathway of Honor ahead of Memorial Day weekend.


SoBu Nite Out

We will provide an update on May 15 and have set a final decisions deadline on or before June 1.


In conclusion, we know these are frustrating times.  We have volunteers who want to get out and clean the parks and garden beds, but simply aren’t allowed to.  We have ball players wanting to gather in teams and eager to practice, but they simply aren’t allowed to.  We have dogs who are pulling leashes, begging to run free, but they simply aren’t allowed to. 

So what are we allowed to do?  We are allowed to be safe, to take pause, to care for ourselves, to care for others, to be respectful of the rules, regulations, protocols and orders so that, eventually, we can gather altogether and celebrate the fact that our personal sacrifices were for the greater good.  We can listen, we can be patient, we can be kind and we can be thankful.  We wish you a wonderful weekend in the parks.  Please continue to honor one another and do the right thing.


Your Recreation and Parks Department Team