City parks and rec programs will look different this summer. Here’s what to expect

It’s the time of year that the City of Sacramento’s Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment department (YPCE) normally would be ramping up for the summer season by preparing to open camps, youth programs, pools and other activities.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, YPCE has been working to modify its programs and services to continue to serve Sacramentans both in-person and virtually during the summer months.

“With about half of YPCE staff working in-person and half teleworking, the department has been able to continue all maintenance efforts and capital improvement projects as well as deliver programs and services,” YPCE Director Mario Lara said. “The emphasis has been on providing services to vulnerable youth and adult populations within our community.”

Since March, YPCE has provided services that help communities affected by COVID-19, including free childcare for first responders, free meal distribution to children 18 and under, wellness calls to seniors and people with disabilities, virtual activities and distance learning for youth and adults and more.

Moving into the summer season, the City Council on May 26 accepted a proposal from YPCE to fill 52 vacant budgeted positions. This will help the department provide both virtual and modified on-site programming this summer.

This summer, YPCE plans to:

  • Gradually reopen City public pools with modifications based on State, County and CDC guidelines when deemed safe to do so by Sacramento County Public Health.
  • Continue to provide licensed childcare at community centers free of charge to essential worker families.
  • Operate both free and fee-based summer camps at community centers and in outdoor spaces focusing on recreation and enrichment activities, mental health and well-being support and exercise.
  • Resume “Hot Spots” which serve at-risk and under-served youth.
  • Extend Landscape and Learning into the summer with current participants, while continuing to focus on virtual skill building.
  • Provide modified programming at Camp Sacramento.
  • Gradually allow special event permits as State and County health orders allow.

“While it will not be a regular or normal summer season, as health orders restrictions are loosened, YPCE staff anticipates being able to expand and enhance program offerings,” Lara said.

For the most up-to-date summer offerings, visit YPCE’s webpage.

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