GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of children in Green Bay have been cooped up inside. But starting today they now have a very familiar place to go.
At John Muir Park – the park attendants keep busy, waiting for kids to return for some summer fun. Courtesy of the city’s Supervised Playground Program which James Anderson says, on a typical summer, attracts thousands of kids.
“Typically between our sites we get close to 66,000 in attendance throughout the summer,” said Andersen.
But just like all recreational programs offered by the City of Green Bay – COVID-19 has forced many changes. The program itself is getting a late start as the city took time to develop a safe plan.
“Before we play anything, every kid will sanitize, wash their hands, and when we do play, they’ll also sanitize afterward also,” Andersen said.
But because of the delay, the city was unable to hire enough staff to operate at the normal 32 playground locations.
“A lot of people chose to take on other jobs or a lot of people chose to stay at college,” he said.
So a decision was made to offer programming at the largest 16 parks and to create an open concept playground program.
“Less activities where they’re going to come together and more social distanced activities, more just supervised play,” Andersen said.
With the Green Bay Area School District not serving lunches in parks this summer, Andersen says it’s unknown how many children will visit. But he says kids that do attend will be greeted by park staff, that will keep them safe and help them have a lot of fun.
“We fought hard to make sure we could do this, in a safe and fun way. Our motto this year is play safe, play smart, play at the park,” Andersen said.
This was the first day of operations and those 16 parks are offering supervised programming between 11 a.m.and 5 p.m. Click on this link for more information.