Prairie Township to offer virtual and distanced programs

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

A local township is getting creative in its program offerings in an attempt to keep residents physically fit, while protecting them from the novel coronavirus. The Prairie Township Community Center has offered some unique programming to keep residents moving.

Among these programs is outdoor yoga, which allows community center members to stay active while socially distancing.

“With the weather warmer now, it allows us to move some of our programming outside, which is perfect for social distancing,” said Rob Peters, township administrator for Prairie Township. “Members can safely participate in group fitness classes, but also socially distance to protect themselves from COVID-19.”

Peters said the community center is still offering virtual group fitness classes for those who are not comfortable coming into the center. Some of these virtual group classes include gentle yoga, Hess boot camp and youth ballet lessons.

The center also has offered some virtual programming for those looking to learn something new or want some entertainment at home. These classes have included an essential oil series, magic classes, how to have a chemical free summer and a healthy home, healthy life course. All of these virtual group fitness and education courses are taught via Zoom by instructors at the community center.

The township will continue to monitor expenses at the community center and trying to mitigate costs wherever possible until it can be fully up and running again.

“Right now, we don’t have the pool pumping and filtering so that is saving a lot of money,” Peters said. “We also have looked at our cable contract and how we can reduce that and continue to look for other ways to save.”

The township also continues to look at how businesses and residents are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and offer services to help those in need. This includes reminding residents about a food bank in the area in case they need food assistance.

“We have a well-established food bank on Galloway Road if anyone is in need,” Peters said. “This food bank also is accepting monetary donations if anyone wants to donate to them.”

Peters also said that township’s landlords have been very understanding during these tough times and he has received no phone calls about residents worried about being evicted or having concerns about their utilities being turned off.

The administrator said the township will continue to open up its services to the community as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine continues to reduce restrictions. However, if more restrictions are put in place, the township could close up services again as well.

Right now, the township meeting hall has been reopened and most of the township staff have came back into the office to work.

“We still have social distancing guidelines in place and are continuing to have our trustees meetings virtually,” Peters said. “Until larger groups can meet, we do not have the space to properly socially distance during a trustees meeting. We just don’t have enough space in our meeting room to do this.”

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