City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is taking incremental steps to re-establish summer operations and programming for the 2020 season. PARD is working to ensure that recreational activities are offered in a healthy and safe manner and that the re-establishment of programming opportunities does not contribute to increased risks associated with COVID-19.
PARD developed a multi-level approach to youth summer programs based on current health authority recommendations, industry research, available staffing resources, and safety. In developing this approach, PARD considered available trained staff, CDC and local health recommendations, State of Texas Orders, American Camping Association COVID-19 specific guidelines, capacity for thorough and regular facility cleaning, support to City-wide initiatives, equity, and state and local Stay at Home Orders.
Summer Programming & Operations:
- PARD will cancel and refund all paid summer camps for the entire summer.
- Modified summer program operations will be delayed until July 6, 2020.
- This four-week postponement serves to ready facilities, train staff regarding modified standard operating procedures to combat COVID-19 spread and is consistent with the current community risk rating.
- PARD intends to offer free, modified summer camp programs at approximately 20 locations for City of Austin community members.
- Locations will be prioritized for east Austin communities;
- Flexible sessions will be offered to maximize availability;
- Programs will adhere to the current CDC and industry guidelines, capacity is limited to 16 to 24 campers per camp day (depending upon facility size);
- Registration processes will be announced in June.
- PARD is working to secure summer meal options for the camp sites.
- PARD anticipates modified pool operations in June. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.
While PARD wishes additional programming was possible, the Department is proud to offer a modified summer schedule that provides equitable access opportunities, on-line programming options, supports City of Austin initiatives, and meets all health related COVID-19 guidelines.
Additional information on youth summer programs will be posted to austintexas.gov/parks as it becomes available.