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Mayor Whitfield: Parks and Recreation Will Return, but Look Differently

Apr 28, 2020

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ELYRIA, OH – Last week, the Whitfield Administration released the first phase of operational adjustments in preparation for the anticipated income tax revenue loss as a result of COVID, including the suspension of Parks & Recreation, citing the uncertainty of recreation as-we-know-it.

In a video release posted to the City’s website, Mayor Frank Whitfield shared that Parks and Recreation services in the City will return, but look and function differently.

The City isn’t in a position to provide a timeline for when things will return back to normal, as the future of recreation is uncertain in every regard. “No one knows when we’ll be able to gather and do programming again. Not even the professional sports leagues know. I met with a dozen community partners yesterday who serve youth and seniors and none of them had a clear answer as well.” said Whitfield

On Monday, the administration met with community leaders and organizations to determine upcoming gaps in services for youth and seniors, and learned how virtual programming is being implemented. Whitfield shared that he is working with his office of
Community Development to get CDBG funds to community organizations providing services during this pandemic.

“I said a while back that we were going to need the community to not just step up, but step in and I’m excited to see people getting creative and wanting to serve.” said Whitfield “What will it look like in the future? Different. Hopefully Better. But that will be dependent on our partnerships with community organizations, our feedback from residents, and ultimately the funding we have available.”

City last month removed tennis nets, basketball hoops, and taped off playground equipment to curb large-group park usage last month. Throughout the Stay-At-Home Order, Elyrians are still able to utilize City parks, but must do so with social distance and
other health protocols in place. The Recreation Centers, however, remain closed to the public.

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