Philly Parks and Recreation finds unique way to make popular programs virtual

The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is giving city residents an opportunity to enjoy their favorite programs from home.

The department’s “Parks & Rec @ Home” video series features staffers reading children’s books, explaining urban farming and guiding dance and athletic instruction, among other activities. New virtual programs are added each week.

The series is available through the Parks and Recreation YouTube channel. It is designed to help residents access safe recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recreational centers were forced to close in March due to the public health crisis. But Parks and Recreation staffers began recording educational videos of themselves and sharing them on the department’s Facebook page.

“Since the pandemic, we started taking our rec center staff and having them record videos of themselves at home,” Associate Director of Communications Maita Soukop told PhillyVoice. “We started moving to YouTube at the start of the school year as it’s easier for families to access. We hope to provide one extra piece of support for families dealing with these really crazy times.”

The videos are organized into several categories: sports and movement, arts and crafts, self care, life skills and learning, community spotlights, nature, and “out of school time.” Each category has its own playlist on YouTube.

Among some of the other videos: a tour of Cobbs Creek Park in West Philly, a guide to local trees and instructions for building a bird feeder.

See a couple of the videos below. Find the entire catalog of videos here.

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