Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Future of Community Recreation

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Future of Community Recreation

Article excerpt

Last month, during a planning visit to New Orleans for the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference, I had the opportunity to tour the Sanchez Center, officially known as the Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center. It's located in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina nearly 10 years ago. I was taken aback by what I saw, and not because it was a beautiful building with extravagant facilities. In fact, in comparison to many other large community recreation centers I have visited, Sanchez is rather small. It's what goes on inside the building that made such an impression on me, and what I believe is the future of community recreation.

In addition to the traditional recreation programs and activities for community residents, this center also has physicians, nurses, social workers and law enforcement on-site, providing critical services. For example, expectant mothers who complete a series of parenting and health classes can receive points that can be redeemed at a shop located right in the center! Strollers and breast pumps are just two examples of the items available.

To help prepare the community's youth for the future, children participate in the Junior Achievement program where they are taught real-life skills such as money and credit management. …

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