Thanking Community Members Who Participated In Recreation Department Programs This Summer
To the Editor:
As our staff begins to look ahead towards fall programming, we’d like to briefly look back to this summer 2020 and offer thanks to the thousands of community members who chose to be part of one or more Princeton Recreation programs this summer. The summer began with many more questions than answers about what activities could safely be offered, but in the end we welcomed more than 33,000 visitors to CP Pool and saw sold-out registration in almost all 19 weeks of our modified, in-person programming. In-person programming encompassed more than 500 total registrations.
We are proud to say that we continued our commitment to teaching kids how to swim with modified instruction, which meant an adult in the water with each child. Different? Yes! Effective? Yes! Our financial assistance program continued to assist families in need. Our commitment to removing financial barriers to entry remains strong as financial assistance was provided to 100 percent of applicants this summer.
One of the often overlooked benefits of what a healthy community recreation program offers to its community is employment opportunities. Despite the truncated summer season, our programs led to the creation of 123 seasonal jobs, most held by Princeton residents and by employees of our local school district. These jobs led to nearly $150,000 in wages being pumped back into our local economy.
We appreciate the community’s patience as we modified seemingly every aspect of our operation, we admire the community’s enthusiasm about community recreation, and we thank you for your commitment to following the plethora of new health and safety protocols that were put in place.
We have received a great deal of feedback from community members this summer, and the most common theme has been a recognition of the social, physical, emotional, and mental health benefits residents gained through participation in community recreation programs, particularly following a spring season when most were stuck at home. The benefits of participating in community recreation are well-documented and have long been at the core of the Recreation Commission/Department’s stated mission. The summer of 2020 proved to be a timely opportunity for our team to highlight the truly essential services that we proudly provide for our community.
Executive Director, Department of Recreation