Director: Recreation Programs Going ‘Gangbusters’

Township Recreation Director Beau Byrtus said that the department’s programs were very well-attended during 2022.

The township’s recreation programs are “doing gangbusters,” the Director of Recreation said at the December 14 meeting of the Advisory Recreation Council.

Director Beau Byrtus gave Council members an end-of-year update on program participation, and a look into what is planned for 2023.

Byrtus said the township’s recreational programs generated $203,000 in 2022. He said the township offered a number of free programs, and plan are to continue that.

Byrtus gave the Council members a breakdown of attendance at various programs offered during the year:

  • Open Swim: 2,377 time slots were filled. One person could have filled more than one time slot, he said. “Still, that’s a very nice number,” he said.
  • Swim lesson: 175
  • Summer camps: 117
  • Adult pickle ball: 169
  • Volleyball: 32
  • Tennis: 388
  • Enrichment programs: 260
  • Boys’ and girls’ basketball programs: 848
  • Rugby: 277
  • Senior activities, not including clubs: 858

“The numbers have been really good,” Byrtus said. “We’re getting people out, getting people active again.”

Byrtus said the numbers are particularly good considering the Senior/Community Center didn’t open until April.

Byrtus also gave Council members estimates of attendance at the various outdoor programs during the year:

  • Bunny Bonanza: 600
  • Care Share Aware: 100
  • Memorial Day 300 at the parade, 100 at the ceremony
  • Franklin Day series:
  • Concert: 400
  • Fireworks: 4,000
  • National Night Out: 1,000 – 1,200
  • Franklin Day: 2,000
  • 9-11: 50
  • Halloween on Hamilton: 1,200-1,300. “That was the biggest year we’ve ever had,” Byrtus said.
  • Veterans Day: 100
  • Tree Lighting: 200-300
  • Diwali: 400

Byrtus said the department will re-evaluate Franklin Day.

“We’re going to take a look at that and see where that’s going to land next year,” he said.

Franklin Day had from the time of its inception until the Covid-19 pandemic been held at Colonial Park. After the pandemic, it was held at the Municipal Complex.

“We’ve put together our 2023 tentative calendar, we’re looking at doing on average two special events a month,” he said. One of those new programs will be a Sweetheart Dance in February.

“That can be a parent or sibling and child,” he said.

The new skate park in Middlebush Park will have its ribbon-cutting in March, Byrtus said. He said it’s been getting good use since it was informally opened.

“Even today there were four or five people skating in this freezing cold weather,” he said.

Byrtus said there are slightly fewer than 900 people registered with the Youth Center.

“We’re getting about 100 to 120 kids a day, which is really good,” he said.

Several donations totaling nearly $14,000 will make it possible for the center to offer more free programs, Byrtus said.

“We feel very strongly that the best use of that money is for programs,” he said. “Then we’ll talk to the kids and see what they want.”

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