August 19, 2014 - 1:00 PM
KELOWNA – A summer program organized by the City of Kelowna is bringing neighbourhoods together, making children healthier and introducing residents to parks around the city.
This is the sixth year Kelowna has put on Park & Play and recreation technician Nick Bonnett says it’s fast becoming one of the city’s most utilized recreation options for families.
Park & Play is a summer program that highlights a different city park each night of the week. Residents are encouraged to come out every week day evening between 5 and 8 p.m. for hours of organized fun, games and friendship.
“We’re trying to promote active, healthy lifestyles, healthy family interactions and a sense of community,” Bonnett says. “Some people follow us park to park, even if we aren’t in their neighbourhood they come and find us. It’s really become something people look forward to.”
At each event, which usually attracts between 25 and 150 kids, there are bouncy castles, oversized board games, sports equipment and a variety of other options for all members of the family.
Bonnet says while the events are predominantly for children under 12, the activities can be changed to accommodate whoever shows up.
“If there are teenagers there we change what we are doing to make sure they can get involved,” he says.
Bonnett says one of the goals of the project is to introduce locals to some of the new or underutilized parks around the city.
“If a new park opens up or one is underutilized we will try to get people there,” he says. “We want to reach all corners of the city.”
There are always at least four staff on site organizing games and making sure kids are safe at all times.
“I think a lot of the appeal is to get out and make friends,” Bonnett says. “A lot of people make friends at the very beginning and they may show up at the next one and then you have a new summer friend that you probably wouldn’t have met before.”
Park & Play will continue to run each weeknight, rain or shine, until August 29.
“As long as there’s no lightning we’re there," he says.
For a complete schedule visit the City of Kelowna’s website or their Facebook page.
Image Credit: Contributed
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