Page increases community activities for young and old

Bob Hembree
Posted 2/14/24

The City of Page is stepping up its game for community activities.

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Page increases community activities for young and old


The City of Page is stepping up its game for community activities. City Manager Darren Coldwell chose Gregg Martinez to get the new programs off to a good start. Although Martinez’s business card title is economic development coordinator, he’s the city’s go-to for getting new programs off to a good start. Of the new hat for Martinez, Coldwell told the Chronicle, “Well, this is an additional title. Basically, with him being an old baseball player and him loving sports, I moved him to recreation.”

Of course, there were a lot more factors in Coldwell’s choice. Martinez, a baseball player and coach with degrees in psychology and business administration, was instrumental in everything from reestablishing the Page’s Substance Abuse Task Force to establishing the recent Page Youth Advisory Committee. He has a proven track record and a long list of recognitions and achievements locally and statewide.

“In July, they put the Recreation Department underneath the economic development umbrella,” said Martinez. “So, I've been working pretty much since August trying to do what we can to provide more opportunities to the community and provide different opportunities to the community.”

The city is also increasing activity options for seniors at the Community Center. In addition to offering lunches during the week, seniors can participate in exercise programs and games.

“The lunch at the community center is an age-old tradition,” said Martinez. “We’re just trying to fill in after lunch. At 1 p.m. we’ll go into the – call it a yoga room – but it’s a big space where people can exercise a little bit. We brought in an indoor shuffleboard. We just want to make sure that the senior citizens, our golden-aged community, they don't think that they're forgotten. When was the last time we’ve had an elderly rec program? I don’t think we’ve ever had that. We want to make sure that every single person in our community is getting this quality-of-life element. Our city council has done a good job about managing our budget and the money we’ve made from tourists. This is just one of the ways that I want to inject it back into the community.”

“We’re doing a Golden Eagle Club with our senior citizens at the Community Center after lunch each day,” said Martinez. “We’re doing DVD workout programs with them called Aging in Reverse or qigong or tai chi. We’re just trying to give them a little bit more activity during their day.”

Seniors can even do exercises while sitting in a chair. One of the programs is titled “Chair Yoga.” The exercises, regardless of the styles, generally involve breathing techniques and stretching the muscles.

The practice of qigong (pronounced “chee-gong”) is over 2,000 years old. Chinese field workers learned that mimicking the gentle movements of animals eased the tension built up in their bodies after a hard day’s work. Qigong is considered the “grandfather” of tai chi and the many variations developed over the centuries.

“We’re also offering free yoga in the evening from 6 to 7 at the townhouse (Page Community Townhouse),” said Martinez. “You just show up. If you have a yoga mat, great. If not, we have some. Someone generously donated some yoga mats and yoga blocks to us.”

The city conducted a survey to learn what residents wanted and didn’t want for recreation improvements.

“We had over 100 responses, which is pretty big in Page,” said Martinez. “It’s a pretty big number. And a lot of people wanted a pickle ball league. Coming in April, we’re going to have a pickle ball league. They wanted flag football back, so this week is starting flag football for the youth. They wanted non-recreational opportunities, so we provided yoga. I think as long as we continue our dialogue with the community about what they want, it’s really kind of a choose-your-own-adventure.”

Martinez is looking ahead, too. “My goal is eventually – look, we live in one of the greatest recreational places on Earth, but camping and kayaking and paddle boarding can be too expensive for a lot of people,” he said. “What I'd love to do is be able to purchase equipment that we rent out to the community so that they don’t have to. No one should not be able to kayak in Page because they can’t afford to buy a kayak. We want to make sure that if they want to kayak and they want to go and have fun on the lake or the river that they could come to the Recreation Department and that they could rent it for a day or two and be able to afford it and still be able to have the same experiences that makes living in Page so great.”

Page Public Library, like libraries across the county, set a precedent for sports equipment checkouts when they made bicycles, disc golf kits and tennis rackets available to card holders.

Because of healthy city finances, sports registration fees were reduced. “A kid’s registration for a sporting event was $50, but now it’s $25,” said Martinez.

“We want to make sure that this is affordable. And if they can’t afford it, all they need to do is email us at recreation@ and we’ll find a way. No child should not be able to recreate in the City of Page because they can’t afford it. That will never happen as long as we’re working it.

“And honestly, we’re just trying to provide more, and we’re trying to improve this player development pipeline into our high school, because I know it’s a big deal. I mean, I have high school age kids myself. I know their parents. High school sports is a big deal in Page. And we want to make sure that the city rec program is properly equipping them to be competitive.”

Martinez expressed an openness in listening to the community and what, within its means, it can add or improve. “We want to make sure everybody knows that this is their community recreation program, that we want everyone to at least feel like they’re being heard,” he said. “If they have ideas or opinions, or if we’re not offering something that they want, let us know. We’re flexible. We want to make sure that we’re providing a good service to our community. That’s the most important thing.”