The Lathrop, Calif., Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging residents to camp in their backyards on Saturday and is selling activity kits for $15. "Anything that we can do to help families get out and do something together is great -- it might take people's minds off of [the] whole pandemic and give them a little bit of relief," Parks and Recreation Director Zach Jones said.
The College Station, Texas, Parks and Recreation Department is co-hosting a drive-through "Parks Pal Adopt-A-Thon" on Aug. 15 in which children can take home one of 1,220 free stuffed animals. The pals come with a 30-day journal, which children can complete and turn in to receive free pool membership for 2021.
The Woodstock Recreation Department in Illinois is holding a virtual event for people to run, bike and/or walk 60 miles, the approximate distance between the city and Chicago. Participants must complete the miles by Aug. 31.
Recreation and park agencies can remind people about the importance of conservation and the outdoors, writes Michele White of the National Recreation and Park Association, who offers several examples from departments around the country.
Black, Latino and Asian Americans have traditionally visited parks at a lower rate than white Americans, in part because minorities are written out of histories of the outdoors, writes David Schechter. "When we exclude minorities from the process of making decisions about parks, their voices are not heard," he writes.
Grants worth almost $29 million for recreation development and land purchases in Michigan have been approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The grants will go to 78 projects including urban parks and playgrounds.
Officials in Lafayette, La., will prevent four recreation centers in predominantly Black neighborhoods from closing for a year by using Lafayette Parish funding. Parks and recreation is largely funded by tax revenue from Lafayette City.
Contra Costa County in California is hiring teenagers to post on social media about the importance of wearing masks and taking other steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, along with facts about the disease. The teens will receive a $525 stipend.
Some New Jersey state parks and forests will reopen today after being closed Tuesday because Tropical Storm Isaias. State parks and campgrounds in Connecticut will be closed today because of the storm, which damaged trees in New York City.
Officials in Long Beach, Calif., are eyeing staff furloughs and the elimination of 136 municipal positions to help close a $30 million gap in next year's budget. The city also proposes reduced spending on park maintenance, landscaping and local libraries.