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Online Center Created For Parks And Recreation
The play structures at the parks in Riverbank have caution tape around them to keep the public out as a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic as shown here at Jacob Myers Park. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

As the ripple effect of the COVID-19 virus continues with businesses closing and people staying in due to the shelter in place order, the Riverbank Parks and Recreation department has postponed all of their programs until further notice. Currently the parks are open; however, the playgrounds are closed to the public as a precaution to stop the spread of the virus.

The current situation seems to change and affect people in different ways on a daily basis. In order to help those that are at home the Parks and Rec crew created a “Virtual Recreation Center.” Recreation Supervisor Julia Petit researched what other cities were doing during this crisis and in those efforts the online center was created.

“I got the idea from a few other cities as we brainstormed how to get resources to our residents on how to stay active, stay connected, and stay informed from home during this time when our normal activities have been interrupted,” added Petit. “Through brainstorming with other cities, and other employees in different departments in Riverbank, we put together resources including videos to work out from home, resources for the senior population to stay nourished with changes to their level of transportation and item availability at the grocery stores, and ideas for fun activities to engage in as a family.”

The virtual center has been added as an option on the city website; and then selecting the Parks and Recreation bubble and then selecting the virtual center link. The web page has links for indoor activities, food resources, and other timely, useful information.

Petit explained that there are links to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live stream, virtual tours of museums around the world, tips for reducing stress and ways to stay joyful during these times.

The option for the spring and summer programs are still available to sign up for online but all are subject to change as the situation continues to be fluid. Staff is available by phone and email for those that may have some questions.

“I have been updating this site daily with current information and new resources,” stated Petit. “With such a complex, difficult situation going on, I hope this page can provide positive resources to families and residents in our community.”

You can now enjoy a ‘virtual’ recreation program in Riverbank, the site offering a variety of activities for young and old alike.