Recreation opportunities abound in Portales
August 21, 2009
Cannon Connections: Argen Duncan Roosevelt County 4-H member Daizia Looney, 10, shears her goat in preparation for the Roosevelt County Fair. The 4-H program provides a variety of activities for 5- to 19-year-olds, with many opportunities for the whole family to get involved.
Did you know Portales has a Frisbee golf course? It does.
The city offers recreation opportunities from horseback riding to a historical museum to a coffee-and-sandwich shop with wireless Internet access.
“I think the people make it worthwhile,” said Wendel Sloan, director of media relations at Eastern New Mexico University.
Because Portales doesn’t have the amenities of larger towns, Sloan said, the residents depend on each other for entertainment, which he thinks is good.
Portales has a number of athletic opportunities.
Besides offering a range of sporting events for spectators, ENMU also hosts opportunities to get off the couch and run, swim or play basketball or tennis. The Portales Softball Association runs an adult mixed softball league, and the university and city both have tracks.
For something a little different, the city’s free Frisbee golf course is located near the walking track in the industrial park, just west of the military housing. City Recreation Board chairman Ron Jackson said Frisbee golf has rules similar to regular golf, but a Frisbee takes the place of the ball.
For those inclined toward exercising their minds, adults can take ENMU classes in subjects ranging from raising toddlers to belly dance to computer skills just for fun. The university has special non-credit classes, and community members can sign up for regular classes.
The library also has books, DVDs, audio books, wireless Internet access and 16 public computers with Internet, as well as an interlibrary loan system.
For children, ENMU, the City Recreation Center and the Portales Public Library offer special programs during the summer or after school. The library’s events entertain children from a year old through 12th grade.
“Our goal is to get kids excited about reading, and our programs do that,” said children’s librarian Heather Christensen.
The city of Portales offers a range of youth sports leagues, and is taking registration for flag and tackle football, soccer and volleyball now.
Roosevelt County Economic Development Director Greg Fisher said he enjoys family activities such as jogging at Oasis State Park and attending ENMU events and community festivals. He recalls attending a free university flamenco performance, which his 4-year-old loved.
For newcomers, Fisher recommended getting involved in a church or civic group to find out what’s available.
“The main thing is get out there and start talking to people,” he said. “Everybody’s friendly.”