City Officials Spent Millions, Urge Public To Visit Local Parks To Celebrate National Park And Recreation Month

NEW ORLEANS—New Orleans officials are encouraging residents to visit local parks and recreation centers as part of a nationwide celebration on the 30th anniversary of Park and Recreation Month—an annual event created by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and celebrated every July since 1985.

         Mayor Landrieu and City officials said the City has drastically expanded the number of parks and recreational opportunities since 2010 and encouraged people of all ages to take advantage of them. By providing places to get active, explore nature or connect with community members, parks and recreation have the power to strengthen communities, transform lives and protect the future.

         “Since 2010, we committed $151.3 million to improve NORDC facilities across the city and doubled the programming budget,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I’m particularly proud of our summer youth programs that are now providing quality, safe and engaging summer opportunities for all of the children of New Orleans. We’ve also greatly expanded and enhanced the City’s public parks and recreational centers, which provide community gathering places for people of all ages – and we’re not done yet. So, I encourage every resident to celebrate Park and Recreation Month and take advantage of the great opportunities we have here in New Orleans.”

         Since May 2010, the City has constructed, rebuilt and improved sixty-nine NORDC capital improvement projects totaling $92.3 million. This includes parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and baseball and football fields across New Orleans. Last month, the City opened the new $20.5 million Sanchez Center at 1616 Caffin St. in the historic Lower Ninth Ward.  In the coming weeks, the City will open the new Stallings St. Claude Center and Pool at 4300 St. Claude Ave. in the Bywater. In addition, the new Rosenwald Center at 1120 South Broad St. in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood will open in late summer and the Milne Gym at 5420 Franklin Ave. in the Milneburg neighborhood will be complete in early 2016.

         The new Sanchez Center—a two-story, 65,000-square-foot community center—was awarded the 2015 Louisiana Recreation and Parks Association (LRPA) Award for Outstanding Park/Facility Design. Summer programming opportunities have expanded from 12 youth camps in 2010 to 39 youth camps in 2015 and 0 teen camps in 2010 to now 10 teen camps in 2015. In addition, New Orleans was named 2015’s 18th Best City for Recreation in a recent study from the leading personal finance outlet

         “NORDC activities promote health and wellness, while having fun with friends and family,” said Victor N. Richard III, CEO, NORDC. “During Park and Recreation Month, we're promoting the department’s service to the residents of New Orleans. Thanks to the City’s strong commitment to fund recreation opportunities, NORDC has achieved unprecedented growth and is on track to being one of the best recreation programs in the country.” 

         “Being good stewards of our country’s parks and green spaces is critical now and for future generations to come,” said Ann E. MacDonald, director of New Orleans Parks and Parkways. “Our work sustains urban infrastructures and provides ample environmental, health, social, and aesthetic benefits. We’re proud to join our colleagues across the county to celebrate Park and Recreation Month.”

         To celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Park and Recreation Month, NORDC will host an old school 80s style event featuring a 2.2 mile stroll around Pontchartrain Park on Saturday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. The stroll will include activities such as hula hooping, jump rope, tennis, golf and baseball. All residents are invited to join the free event and encouraged to dress in 80s themed attire.

         Thousands of New Orleans residents re-energize by participating in NORDC activities, or just relaxing with family and friends in beautiful parks and green spaces. NORDC provides sports, aquatics, dance, fitness, music, art, outdoors, and summer camp programs. New Orleans Parks and Parkways manages, maintains, develops, beautifies and preserves over 2,000 acres of New Orleans' public green space.

         To showcase the impact parks and recreation has in every community, NRPA released a short animated video titled, “Power of Parks.”

To view the video

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