Seniors, staff staying active while The Grove at Frisco Commons remains closed

The Grove offers regular outdoor activities for members. (Courtesy Play Frisco)
The Grove offers regular outdoor activities for members. (Courtesy Play Frisco)

The Grove offers regular outdoor activities for members. (Courtesy Play Frisco)

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The Grove at Frisco Commons has been closed to the public since March. (Courtesy Play Frisco)
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Staff at The Grove hosted a "Dog Days of Summer" drive-thru event for members earlier this year. (Courtesy Play Frisco)
While the halls of The Grove at Frisco Commons have remained largely empty since the facility closed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the senior center’s staff has remained busy.

Facility Supervisor Leslie Rainey said she and her staff started calling each of The Grove’s nearly 1,400 members to check in with them as soon as local stay-at-home orders went into effect in March. That practice has continued ever since, as The Grove has remained closed and does not have a reopening date set.

“The halls are not meant to be like this,” Rainey said. “It’s meant to be a lively, active facility, and it’s just kind of quiet and kind of boring without [the seniors].”

Once it became evident the facility would not reopen in time for summer, the city’s parks and recreation department, Play Frisco, created The Grove at Frisco Commons Active Adult Center Facebook group for its members. Director of Parks & Recreation Shannon Coates said that group recently received an Excellence in Communications Award from the Texas Recreation and Park Society North Region.

“[The group] has almost 500 members at this point, with their most popular [feature] being the Grove Girls [updates], which are quite entertaining,” Coates said during the Nov. 2 Frisco City Council meeting. “If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to join the group and check out the Grove Girls.”

The Grove Girls is the facility’s programming team, Grace Bradshaw and Christi Freitas, who post weekly videos to update seniors on upcoming events.

“They’ve done little excerpts on [things, such as] what the [Frisco Public] Library has to offer,” Rainey said. “It just kind of provides some interaction and some entertainment.”

The Facebook group has also posted a 30-day wellness challenge, cooking demos and more. The Grove Girls also helped promote the drive-thru events the facility’s staff has hosted over the last several months, including ones for Halloween in October and Veterans Day in November.

For December, Rainey said The Grove is hoping to host a couple different drive-thru events to celebrate the holidays.

Members can also take part in regular outdoor activities behind The Grove, such as table tennis, pickleball and yoga. In 2021, staff will oversee a tour that will let members visit New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville through the Collette travel group.

Rainey said the staff has also been busy preparing activities for the spring, as well as rental contracts for the facility’s large indoor rooms.

“We’re hoping when we reopen and once the restrictions on special events [are lifted], we’ll be looking at renting out [that space] on the weekends when we’re not open for the members,” she said.

The Grove at Frisco Commons

8300 McKinney Road, Frisco

By William C. Wadsack

Editor, Plano

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.