Mayor Thomas Koch announced that a successful summer recreation program concluded this past week after serving residents with a seven-week drop-in playground program, a boating and sailing program, Happy Acres Day Camp, 34 various instructional clinics, and a Prevention First Night Recreation programming. There were 12,865 participants at the various programs throughout July and August, serving close to 1,800 Quincy Families.
The Recreation Director Michelle Hanly worked hand-in-hand with Public Health Director Ruth Jones to establish protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of both staff and participants. The departments communicated almost daily to ensure that any potential concerns or issues were addressed and that established procedures were strictly followed by staff and families. There were zero COVID cases connected to any Recreation Division activities this summer.
“I am extremely proud of the programming we provided this summer to families thirsting for activity, recreation, socialization, and fun,” said Mayor Koch. “The professionalism and adaptability of our Department of Natural Resources is a testament to our goal of providing a great services for our residents. While other communities ran little to no programming, Quincy ran a full slate without a single incident.”
The City’s Prevention First summer programming was held at Marshall School, the newly-renovated Kincaide Park, and in North Quincy (Parker School and North Quincy High School). The Prevention First program is held at targeted locations to provide safe and fun supervised recreational activities in the evening hours. The Rec Department partners with Quincy Police Department to provide mentoring, supervision, and fun.
This year’s Recreation Clinics included Arts and Crafts, Baseball, Girl’s and Boys Basketball, Cheerleading, Dance, Golf, Girl’s Lacrosse, Musical Theater, Soccer, Tennis, Track and Field, and Volleyball. The Jump Start camp provided opportunities for younger children to play together and the Sports and More Camps provided a range of fun events including Action and Adventure Week, Wacky Water Week, Carnival Week, and Ultimate Sports Week.
Quincy’s one-of-a-kind, free summer playground drop-in program operated at 15 different parks around the city this summer. Local residents could bring their children to their neighborhood park and enjoy games, arts and crafts, and fun in a safe and supervised manner; all at zero cost.
“What the Recreation Division did this summer under the circumstances is extremely commendable,” said Natural Resources Commissioner Dave Murphy. “Michelle worked tirelessly to make sure kids and staff were protected and that families could still enjoy the programs and clinics that Quincy has traditionally offered. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mayor Koch for believing that we could pull this off and to Health Director Ruth Jones who helped ensure we were doing everything appropriately under the guidelines. The ‘can-do’ attitude of the Recreation Division is something we can all learn from.”
The City Park Department regularly cleaned playground equipment all summer. Morning crews were added to clean the high touch surfaces of all our playgrounds. Hand-washing sinks were also rented and placed at all recreation playground and clinic locations.
The boating and sailing program purchased single-person boats in order to continue their instruction. The program previously relied on Widgeons, which are multi-person boats and do not allow for social distancing. The new Pram boats ae small single-person boats perfect for teaching newer and intermediate sailing in a COVID-era.
The Recreation Division also employed 215 seasonal staff to help run and staff their clinics and programs. More than 98% of Recreation Division employees are Quincy residents, ensuring that the summer program is also a boost to the local economy.
Added Mayor Koch, “Our parks and our recreational programming is a big part of the what makes Quincy such a special place. This is the single most challenging year to run programming and the Recreation Division did an outstanding job prioritizing safety and still providing fun. I want to thank all the families that put their trust in us and participated in the great programming we offered this summer.”