Meet Me in the Park partnership increases programming in time of need

PIERCE COUNTY — Meet Me in the Park is a unique program designed by Pierce County Parks, offered in partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma, that provides vital small group social and recreational connections for community members of all abilities who have experienced heightened isolation as a result of the pandemic.

Now more than ever, we all could use some positive news. Meet Me in the Park offers an expanded list of events and activities to capture a wide variety of interests and abilities. Thanks to funds allocated from the federal CARES Act by Pierce County, Meet Me in the Park established safe programming to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community reconnect. This program was piloted in August and September.

“These activities were the highlight of her day,” shared Terie, the sister and guardian of a Meet Me in the Park participant, in a recent thank you note conveying the importance of her sister’s experience in the program. “Like so many things in life these days, COVID-19 crushed her ability to get out and be with her peeps. That was until Metro Parks and Pierce County Parks reinvented their program so everyone could ‘Meet in the Park’ and participate in all kinds of fun activities while staying safe. It was so wonderful to see her light up again when showing us her new art projects. Thank you to all the amazing staff, your patience and caring continue to make my sister’s life so much fuller.”

Fall programming continues to be grounded in ensuring maximum participant safety. Each session is only as large as the current Washington ‘Safe Start’ phase allows. Meet Me in the Park recreation leaders conduct a variety of games, crafts, and cooperative play activities throughout each session. Participants, aged five and older, meet in small contactless groups led by qualified staff who understand how to serve the varied and unique needs of participants.

The activities for the remainder of 2020 include sports, fitness, art, social, kids only, and virtual programs. Exciting new additions for fall include a bowling league, in-person or virtual art classes, a virtual Halloween party, and an online pet parade. The updated sports program will offer basketball, track and field, and yoga.

Pre-registration is required, and participants may register for one or several sessions/events at a time. Each session is limited to the first 10 registered participants. Any person, with or without a disability, may register. Friends, siblings, family, and others are welcome to register and participate as well. To pre-register online, select the course number under any of the four main categories at the Meet Me in the Park website.

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