Granby’s Parks and Rec staff offer programs for all ages

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Granby’s Parks & Rec staff, from left: Daphne Shinder, Terri Ziemnicki and Kristine Vincent. Photo by Brooke Star

Passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and resourceful only begins to describe team of full-time employees at the Granby Recreation Department. CPRP and Director Kristine Vincent, Recreation Supervisor Daphne Shinder, and Program Coordinator Terri Ziemnicki who holds a BS in recreation management, have over 74 years of combined experience.

Vincent speaks highly of Shinder and Ziemnicki and was eager for the town to know how hard the women work, side by side, to bring over 85 varied and continually changing programs to the town. Every request or suggestion is taken to heart and researched to bring new programs to the community. Not enough spaces in a program? They do everything they can to make it work.

Although the scheduled work hours are Monday to Friday, it is not uncommon for Ziemnicki and Shinder to field calls for issues and needs during their off-hours and/or weekends. From concerns related to the programs, weddings and other events, coaches, families, and kids, it is a non-stop happy chaos. They take pride in their work and embrace the community. It clearly shows in the multitude of programs Granby offers year-round. Both women credit their dedication to being raised by parents who modeled a strong work ethic.

Ziemnicki has lived in Granby for 26 years and you may recognize her name because she coaches high school girls’ lacrosse and teaches several fitness classes in her free time. Through these connections, she’s built strong ties and relationships with the schools, teachers and networks for programs that may be valuable and in demand for all age groups. The recreation department offers an extensive choice of sports programs, fitness classes, after-school programs, camps, dog obedience training, creative writing, baking, and enrichment activities for all ages. From the very young to seniors, there is something for everyone to learn or enjoy.

Shinder has lived in Granby for 33 years and her husband was raised here. Through him she has an extensive knowledge of the history of Granby. Although her job leans slightly more to the administrative side, she too manages programs, brainstorms program ideas and has developed a strong local network. When not working on billing, data analysis, staff management and a multitude of other HR-type duties, she is coordinating camp lunches through the Zen Den, fielding behavior issues at the camps, and managing all of the program registrations. The Zen Den offers food and snacks to the general park population and not only the campers.

It’s impressive what these individuals manage and coordinate in a short period of time, and all with grace and a good attitude. They work together and each of them pitches in when and where they’re needed.

The recreation department holds summer camps at Salmon Brook Park for kids in Grades 1-9 and parents can choose from one to eight weeks enrollment. It also runs a week-long camp that offers day trips to different places every day of that week. If your child interested in working, the popular counselor in training program is a 14–15-week program where they learn to be a camp counselor. At the age of 16, they can work all summer with the camp program. In September, a new preschool program is set to start at Holcomb Farm.

Beyond three full-time staff members, the department employs part-time and seasonal employees from lifeguards to building maintenance to food service. Weddings, bridal showers, and graduation parties can be held at Holcomb Farm and the pavilions can be rented for birthdays or any special occasion. An incredible number of programs are offered, and availability and descriptions can be found in The Discover Granby Program Guide that is sent out three times a year in the Granby Drummer. You can also refer to the Rec Department website:

Can’t find a program you are interested in, have an idea for a program or have one to offer? Give them a call to discuss it at 860-653-8947 or drop by the office at 215 Salmon Brook St. in Salmon Brook Park.