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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

September city council meeting introduces new “inclusive parks” programming for Davis youth

City of Davis Parks and Community Services Department introduced their new series intended to increase resiliency in youth through multiple recreational activities


By MADELEINE YOUNG city@theaggie.org


During the Sept. 19 city council meeting, the “Inclusive Parks, Inclusive Hearts: United Communities Through Recreation” initiative was presented: a series of programming that provides free recreation to under-resourced youth as well as their families. 

This new series features three programs created with the intent to help increase resiliency in youth through “healthy social interaction, physical exercise, competency building and connection to nature while reducing barriers, such as cost, program awareness, language, transportation, enrollment logistics and timing,” according to a statement made by the city of Davis

“Recreational programming can provide many benefits to youth and families but it only works when people can access it,” Davis Mayor Will Arnold said in the statement. “The more we can do, across all our programming, to create equity and inclusion the more our communities can thrive. A huge thank you to our Parks Department for this amazing work.” 

The three programs are completely free for youth and their families as these programs were provided, as well as paid for, by the city with the $50,000 from American Rescue Plan funds allocated for the development of inclusive youth programming. 

The statement reports that the three programs cost $38,304 and the remaining balance of these funds will be carried over to run similar programming in winter 2024. 

The first program, the Mutual Housing Series, opens up recreational programming to youth residing in Mutual Housing Properties. Adalante and New Harmony, the Mutual Housing sites with the greatest density of children, hosted a “Mad Science and Kids in the Kitchen” program where around 30 children and their families participated. Manor Pool Mutual Housing provided introductory swimming lessons and an open pool day. 

The second program, Migrant Center Soccer, partnered with Yolo County Housing to provide a three-day soccer program with over 25 participants and even ended the program with a snow cone food truck and a pizza party.

The last program was an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at the South Davis Montgomery Library where the city partnered with the Yolo County Library to launch a 10-week literacy program held in the evenings to assist adults and their families with learning English. Since the city recognized that childcare could pose a barrier to attending evening classes, they provided onsite recreational programming to the children as well as dinner to each family.

“All children deserve to play and grow in a safe environment with programming that meets their needs,” Parks and Community Services Director Deanne Machado said in the statement. “We will continue to work on dismantling barriers to participation because the inclusion of all children in our programming is a priority.”


Written by: Madeleine Youngcity@theaggie.org