County Gives Groups Options For Reserving Parks And Athletic Fields

Community Services Department Director Cory Styron

Los Alamos Daily Post

For field group organizations looking to reserve a Los Alamos County owned park or athletic field, there are now a few options to consider.

Rather than pay an hourly fee to use the County property, local groups may also choose to fulfil work credit hours.

According to the County document on the work credit program, a field user group may exchange work credits to cover what is due for the field use reservations. To use work credits, the group organizer should ensure the league or organization has registered for enough work credit projects for the cost of field use reservations. Hours worked will be credited to the amount due for field reservations at the work credit rate, which is $28.54 per hour.

The document further reports that field reservations may be paid in full through payments, work credits, or a combination of both. In the event the team is short on volunteer hours, they can pay the difference, or work with the Community Services Division to fulfill volunteer hours before the beginning of the next season. Any unfulfilled volunteer hours must be completed, or paid for, before additional field reservations will be made. Overage of volunteer hours will carry over from one season to the next.

Field User Group Organizers are responsible for documenting work credit hours completed throughout the season on the Los Alamos County Work Credit Form, which can be found here. This form will be verified against rosters turned in by volunteer coordinators, after the work is completed. Field user groups have 10 months from the first field reservation date to complete work credit volunteer hours and submit all documentation.

CSD Director Cory Styron said the volunteer work can be anything from helping maintain the sports fields to assisting the County in different programs and events.

“We’re trying to give avenues to help make the community better, defray some of the costs and keep in line with the anti-donation clause of New Mexico,” he said.

He added this does not apply to the Los Alamos Public Schools. They are exempt from paying fees or doing work credit.
This policy isn’t new, Styron said, but it was updated last fall to evolve the work credit program.

CSD Office Manager Linda Lindstrom said field users were made aware of the changes during an annual field user meeting held Feb. 9. As far as participation in the work credit program, she said COVID has made it hard to do volunteer work.

However, “we’re pretty flexible and this is the first year we have reached out to organizations providing them more opportunities,” Lindstrom said.

“The field users have been good about working with us, asking questions and coming up with ideas to meet their volunteer hours,” she added. “Some were surprised how many hours they had in field reservations.”

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