Our Town: Fairfax has hundreds of kids involved in parks programs

“Only had about 35 kids when we started and eventually grew it to that 500 to 600 registrations per year.”
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 6:23 PM CDT
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FAIRFAX, Iowa (KCRG) - In the nice summer days, the parks are full of families playing on the playground and splash pad in Our Town Fairfax. The parks have changed a lot through the years, as now hundreds of kids take part in summer rec programs.

Jeremy Griffith coaches some of the hundreds of kids involved in summer rec programs in little league, machine pitch, coach pitch, softball, and T ball. The parks programs have grown a lot through the years.

Fairfax Parks and Rec director Joe Kell started out volunteering with the program.

“Only had about 35 kids when we started and eventually grew it to that 500 to 600 registrations per year,” Kell said.

He says the focus is all about the kids.

“The kids are always our priority, that’s always our number one priority,” he said.

There is something for everyone, among the five miles of trails and eight parks across 25 acres.

“For not a very big town, either geographically or population wise, that’s a pretty big number,” said Kell.

There is disc golf, playgrounds, a dog park, and a newly offered community garden.

“They are scattered all throughout town, even though this is the complex and kind of the crown jewel of our town,” Kell said.

The locations are done intentionally, so people can use them easily. The city is building a pocket park in a new housing development too.

“We’re at the one right next to the house almost constantly, we have one right down the block from us, one here in town with the splash pad that everybody’s at, it’s great,” said Griffith.

The parks department can also be a first job for kids who used to play on the field.

“These 14, 15, and 16 year olds I’ve known since they were 3 and 4 year olds playing T ball,” Kell said.

All while keeping with the goal of doing the best for the kids.

“If we don’t do something to help the kids, or if we don’t do something to put the kids in a position in a safe environment, then we’re not doing our job,” Kell said.

“When you see the look on the little kid’s faces when they’re playing that pretty much says it all,” said Coach Griffith.