Some Tampa Parks to be Open Until Midnight
Tampa will also offer free recreation cards for kids. The two initiatives are designed to help keep kids safe throughout the summer.
TAMPA – Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced two initiatives Thursday (June 11) to help keep kids safe throughout the summer by extending hours of parks facilities and providing free rec cards.
“In February when we announced the expanded summer programming, I said that initiative was just the beginning, and this is another step in our mission to give all kids the opportunity for a safe and successful summer. We have the facilities, activities, and most importantly, caretakers who can provide a productive outlet for youth in our community to enjoy their summer vacation,” Buckhorn said.
He added, “Our parks can be more than just a safe haven; we want to give kids in our community exposure to new activities, life skills and positive role models. Coaches, mentors and police officers can be positive role models for combating the lure of the streets or gangs.”
Nine Tampa parks and recreation facilities, predominantly those in the East Tampa area, will remain open until midnight, seven days a week until the end of the summer. Those sites::
- Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Recreation Center and Pool, 2200 N Oregon Ave.
- Copeland Park, Recreation Center and Pool, 11001 N 15th St.
- Cyrus Green Park and Pool, 2101 E Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
- Desoto Park and Pool, 2617 Corrine St.
- Grant Park, 3724 N 54th St.
- Jackson Heights Recreation Center, 3310 E Lake Ave.
- Springhill Park and Recreation Center, 1000 E Eskimo Ave.
- Williams Park and Pool, 4362 E Osborne Ave.
- Woodland Terrace Park and Gwendolyn Miller Center, 6410 N 32nd St.
Starting last Friday (June 12), Jackson Heights and Springhill Community parks will remain open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Beginning this Friday (June 19), Martin Luther King, Jr. and Copeland parks will remain open until midnight on weekends, along with their pool facilities. Other facilities and additional week days will be added as staffing allows, with the goal of opening the facilities listed above until midnight, seven days a week, by the first week in July.
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. Temporary lighting will be brought in.
The city of Tampa will also provide free snacks to all participating youth. Sponsors looking to assist in that effort should contact Tampa Parks and Recreation Director Greg Bayor at (813) 274-7726 or by email at Greg.Bayor@tampagov.net.
Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 will be able to register for a free rec card during the summer by visiting any of the parks facilities listed above after 6 p.m. 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. Youth can register for the free cards at the Jackson Heights and Springhill community centers. For information, see tampa.gov.
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