At School, Recreation Rules

It’s probably common knowledge that Met Rec enhances community recreation in the Gunnison Valley through funding and partnerships. But if you weren’t aware that Met Rec also boosts recreation opportunities for Gunnison schools, here’s a primer.

Met Rec’s support of recreation initiatives in the Gunnison Watershed School District has amounted to around $25,000 in grants and has connected more than 500 students to the restorative benefits of recreation over the last three years. 

If soccer’s your game, know that Met Rec has played a key role in helping catalyze the development of the Gunnison Highschool Boys Soccer Team, which is no simple task. First, there must be enough students interested to form a team. Then, it takes a concerted push from coaches, parents and community members to get the ball rolling. The team also has to go through a four-year probationary period, during which it needs to raise part of the operational funds.

The Gunnison Boys Highschool Soccer Team began its probation in 2021. Met Rec’s community collaboration grant program supported the program with over $11,000 in funds. Today, there’s a combined roster of 32 student-athletes on the varsity and junior varsity teams. As a bonus, 78 percent of the team is Latino, an often underrepresented demographic in school athletics. Head coach Susan Powers said, “ The extraordinary Latino participation is a success to celebrate.”

The Crested Butte Community School’s long-standing Community Enrichment Program is also on Met Rec’s recreation building curriculum. Over 300 K-12 students participate in the program’s artistic, cultural and educational offerings each year.

Finally, Met Rec puts funding muscle behind the Taylor Challenge, the three-day outdoor team-building experience for Gunnison Middle School students and teachers. A 30-year tradition for Gunnison Middle School, the program lets participants engage in a high ropes course, rafting, rock climbing, archery and fly fishing. Through the exercises, students, many of whom experience these activities for the first time, are able to dive deeper into their understanding of themselves, their community and the outdoors. Met Rec provided scholarships for 20 middle school students in the most recent Taylor Challenge, easily scoring an A for school and community spirit.