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Look to Parks and Rec to help keep kids busy

By Kevin D. Nelson

Austin Parks and Recreation

Did you know: On school days, the period from 3-6 p.m. is the peak time for teens to commit crimes (Source: “The Rationale for Recreation Services for Youth: An Evidence-Based Approach [NRPA]).

This is why it’s vitally important for us, as a community, to keep our youth involved after school. If your child’s school isn’t offering something of interest for them after school, perhaps our department has an avenue for involvement.

Kevin Nelson

If not, there are numerous opportunities for employment, or if your child isn’t at least 14 years of age (to be legally employed), many churches and organizations are seeking volunteers, and volunteer time is a graduation requirement for most schools. Also, many youth organizations offer recreation activities at various times. Plus, we have a fabulous YMCA and staff who are always happy to captivate and involve our youth, and the best is yet to come for the ‘Y’ and the Austin area, via the new Rec Center in early 2020.

Speaking of behaviors, our aim is to provide for a safe and fun recreational environment at the municipal pool, which could be more accurately labeled as an aquatic center. In order to achieve such, courteous and respectful (and lawful) behavior is expected of all those who are present. Misbehaviors are not tolerated, and repeated misbehaviors result in suspensions.

Unfortunately, there are always a few who seem to think it’s fun to test the guards and aquatic center management. Please keep in mind that this (behavior) disrupts from the pool staffs’ number one role of keeping swimmers safe (in addition to teaching lessons, testing pool chemicals to keep them at a safe level, cleaning and organizing the pool area, and feeding all of the active bodies at the concession stand).

Lifeguards have made ten rescues to date this summer. Let’s help to keep this number from climbing further. Be safe on, in, and near the water by remembering to swim only to a depth of water where you are comfortable, swim with a friend (if possible), and follow all posted rules including avoiding dangerous dives, flips, and running.

Family fun

Mark your calendar for the Free Family Fun Night at the pool on Friday, Aug. 2. Note that this is a date change from the brochure, which had listed one week earlier. Dee Randall will be back to DJ the music, and we are also thankful that our Summer Recreation Assistant Alex and staff will be leading the games.

Thank you to sponsors VFW, Austin Eagles Club, and APAC! It is with their awesome help that this annual event continues to be a ‘hit!’

Swim meet

There will be a swim meet on July 19-21 which will close down all pool areas, with the exception of the splash pad, throughout the three-day weekend.

Eric Mee, 4, hurls a beanbag during some summer fun thanks to Rolling Rec at Wildwood Park earlier this month. Locations for upcoming stops can be found on the Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page. Herald file photo

Rolling Rec

It was stated that the program and its large, white equipment van was the 20-minute discussion focus for one local service club earlier this week. What’s all the rage about the activity? Find out for yourself. Locations have been posted on Facebook for the reminder of summer rec Fridays. We hope to see you there!

Kids track

The second scheduled Noon Kiwanis Track Meet of the season is slated for Thursday, July 25, at Wescott Athletic Complex. Watch for details.