Tampa Parks Open Until Midnight Starting Today - Strong community participation during initial weeks of program rollout
In June, Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced two significant Parks initiatives to help keep kids safe throughout the summer by extending hours of parks facilities and providing free “Rec Cards.” Parks and Recreation staff have been ramping up, and beginning today, July 6, 2015, nine Parks and Recreation facilities will be open until midnight seven days a week.
To date, only four centers have been open late on Friday and Saturdays only, and those are as follows: Copeland Park, Springhill, Jackson Heights, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 1370 kids have participated in the late night hours since the announcement in mid-June. Additionally, no incidents have been reported.
“With the expanded summer programming, new extended hours, and free Rec Cards, more kids than ever before will be able to have a safe place to play this summer where they can avoid the lure of the streets. We are incredibly encouraged by the number of children already participating, but we have capacity to accommodate more kids,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Today is an important day for many families in our community, and what I hope will be a turning point to allow more kids to have a safe and productive summer.”
The sites that will stay open late are as follows:
- Copeland Park Community Center, 11001 North 15th Street
- Cyrus Greene Community Center and Pool, 2101 East Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard
- Desoto Park Community Center and Spicola Pool, 2617 Corrine Street
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 2200 North Oregon Avenue
- Grant Park Activity Center, 3724 North 54th Street
- Gwendolyn Miller Community Center, 6410 North 32nd Street
- Jackson Heights Community Center, 3310 East Lake Avenue
- Springhill Community Center, 1000 East Eskimo Avenue
- Williams Park Activity Center and Pool,4362 East Osborne Avenue
Activities will be in a semi structured environment and vary by location. Those activities will range from sporting activities like basketball to indoor movie screenings. Pools will be open in a free swim environment.
Extra duty Tampa Police officers and contract security will work together to ensure everyone’s safety.
The City of Tampa will also provide free snacks to all participating youth. Sponsors looking to invest in a community partnership should contact Tampa Parks and Recreation Director Greg Bayor at (813) 274-7726 or by email at Greg.Bayor@tampagov.net.
Free “Rec Cards”
Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 are still able to register for a “Rec Card” for free during the summer by visiting any of the parks facilities listed above after 6 p.m. or by calling (813) 274-8615.
The “Rec Cards” will be good for one year and allow for access into facilities and programming, including free After School programs during the school year.
For additional information, please contact:
Ali Glisson, Public Affairs Director