From The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Chris Palmer and Mike Newall
There’s no timetable for when recreation centers might reopen, or set plans for how camps and summer programming might safely occur this year. Pools will remain closed. The fate of playgrounds and spraygrounds is still up in the air.
The Parks and Recreation Department and Office of Children and Families say they are optimistic and have been developing elaborate plans for the summer.
They’ve created nine blueprints for rolling out camps, for example. If Playstreets can’t fulfill its traditional role, parks and rec staff would deliver meals directly to children’s doorsteps. The kids will be fed, city officials stressed. They just can’t promise the same type of fun in the sun.
City officials said that some version of Playstreets, which transforms 350 blocks across the city into summer respites, would go on this year. And they encouraged residents to apply, hoping to boost the number of participating streets. But they aren’t sure what exactly Playstreets might look like this year or if and when children will even be allowed to gather in groups on selected blocks.
Camps could still happen this summer — possibly in July, depending on the status of the city’s stay-at-home order. But the joyful chaos will be missing. Groups will almost certainly have to be smaller, and field trips won’t happen. Guidelines for masks, testing, and other safety measures are still being decided — for both staffers and campers. The department still plans to hire about 1,000 young people as staffers and counselors, even if they can’t yet say what the jobs might entail.
Officials are thinking outside the box — anything to provide some relief in sweltering neighborhoods. Things like sprinklers or misting stations.
Read the full article: Summer in Philly is almost here. But what it will look like is an open question.