Playgrounds used as educational tools

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Lexington Department of Parks and Recreation is in the midst of its annual summer playground days, and kids are enjoying the program.


What do you want to know

  • The program runs until the first week of August
  • Summer Playground Days aims to provide safe and engaging programming in neighborhood parks
  • Staff shortage not a problem at Lexington Parks Department
  • Children over the age of 5 often attend events

According to the Lexington Department of Parks and Recreation, Summer Playground Days aims to provide safe and engaging programming at neighborhood parks recommended for children over 5 years old. Each day, Parks and Recreation staff visit different parks to host a variety of engaging and educational activities, such as recreational sports, arts and crafts projects, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), supervised games in playgrounds, and the Park and Play program van.

The program started on June 13 and continues until the first week of August. Parks and Recreation Department worker Kayleedee Long said the response had been hit-or-miss, which is typical, but children overall are engaged in the program.

City of Lexington Parks and Recreation employees prepare for a game of Connect Four at Kirlevington Park during its summer days on the playground (Spectrum News 1/Brandon Roberts)

“One day we’ll have about 60 between the two parks and then the next day, like this morning, we had nobody left,” she said. ” It depends. The weather yesterday was like today. Some parks are just closer to more kids and if they can just walk down the street and get there, that’s one thing, and some have to ask their parents to bring them and drop them off. to file.

Many Summer Playground Days employees are seasonal. Paul Hooper, information office supervisor for the Lexington Department of Parks and Recreation, said the city was “lucky” not to have an employee shortage, which plagues municipal park departments across the country.

“Fortunately, we were able to fill just about all of our staff positions, which I know other cities aren’t as lucky with, especially when it comes to things like aquatics and lifeguard staff,” said he declared. “But we were able to really find all the staff we needed, which is great.”

Hooper said one of the advantages of the City of Lexington in filling positions is the minimum wage for all Lexington-Fayette Urban County government employees. It’s $15 an hour.

“I think that makes us pretty competitive in the marketplace, at least for people looking for summer jobs,” he said. “Sometimes the people who run these programs or camps may be teachers during the school year, and they want something fun to do during the summer and earn a little extra money. Some positions are a little more than minimum wage.

You can head to the City of Lexington website for the rest of the Summer Playground Days schedule.

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