JBSA recreational facilities provide safe outdoor experience for military community members

  • Published
  • By David DeKunder
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base San Antonio members who are tired of being cooped up indoors because of COVID-19 restrictions can enjoy the outdoors in a safe setting at one of several recreational facilities.

Through safeguards implemented by the 502nd Force Support Squadron, outdoor and recreational park facilities at JBSA remain open to service members, dependents, retirees and Department of Defense government civilians for their use and enjoyment.

Trever Gilman, 502nd FSS assistant community services flight chief, recreation, said several health and safety measures have been put into place at recreational facilities to protect the well-being of customers and staff members.

First, fiberglass screens have been installed to separate customers and staff members at front counters, with staff members cleaning the entrance area as customers come and go. Second, recreational equipment is being cleaned after each usage by patrons.

“We are doing daily cleaning of the equipment, especially the equipment that is going out,” Gilman said. “We clean it and then we have a spot where people can bring it back. Some of our equipment we let set for a couple of days. Our campers, for instance, we air out for three days and our staff will go out there and do the deep cleaning on it for the next customer.”

At the JBSA Recreation Park at Canyon Lake, groups of up to 10 individuals are being allowed in, which includes the sponsor who must show their Department of Defense identification card. When in park areas or on the beach, groups are asked to practice social distancing from each other and wear masks or face coverings when inside park facilities, interacting with park staff members or in situations they are unable to do social distancing.

Gilman said staff members drive around the park on a regular basis to monitor and make sure guests are following social distancing guidelines. They also keep track of the number of people coming into the park at the entrance. 

Anyone can check for updates or follow the JBSA-Canyon Lake Facebook page for daily updates on capacity levels at the park at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jbsa-Canyon-Lake/.

To enhance the safety of guests, lodging facilities at JBSA-Canyon Lake are being rotated for usage. After each use, park staff members are allowing each lodge to air out for three days before it is cleaned and rented out to guests again. Gilman said this process is being enacted to give ample time for lodge units to air out and be cleaned thoroughly, including all touching points and surfaces.

In addition, pontoon and ski boats are being thoroughly sanitized and cleaned after each use.

For information on the availability of and to make reservations at the JBSA Recreation Park at Canyon Lake, call 830-964-3576 or email:  jbsalodgingres@gmail.com. Reservations for boat rentals can be made at:  jbsamarinasuper@gmail.com.

Information about outdoor recreational facilities, including hours of operation and health and safety protocols, is posted at https://jbsatoday.com/OutdoorRecreation and https://jbsatoday.com/events/odr-reopenings.

Amid the pandemic, Gilman said the 502nd FSS wants to continue to provide recreational opportunities for service members, dependents, retirees and DOD government civilians.

“We play a vital part in keeping resiliency within the JBSA community,” Gilman said. “We feel like we can offer our operations and programs safely with all the guidelines that we get from public health and everything that has been vetted through the proper channels for approval to open, which gives people a chance to get out and about and enjoy the activities that they’ve earned being part of the military.”