By City Manager Ken Striplin
The summer months in Santa Clarita, with their long, warm days filled with sunshine, are a time when individuals and families look forward to fun and enriching activities offered by the City of Santa Clarita.
Although some traditional programs and events have been canceled this year, new and alternative options have been developed to ensure Santa Clarita residents have continued access to recreation opportunities.
One area that we know is critical in the City is childcare, especially as parents face the prospect of shifting schedules and work requirements. The City’s Recreation and Community Services Department launched the Kidz Care program this summer to help lessen the burden on residents in need of childcare.
This program, geared for children ages 5-12, was developed by the City to meet the guidelines for public safety set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Camp Association and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Kidz Care offers children learning activities, crafts and more at City parks where physical distancing and infectious disease controls can be implemented and maintained.
Children are placed into groups of no more than 10, with siblings in the same household placed in the same group, and each group is led by the same staff member for the entire weeklong camp.
Each child is also given his or her own activity kit for the week, which includes markers, paintbrushes and other supplies. This reduces the possibility of spreading germs between participants.
Both the Newhall Community Center and Canyon Country Community Center are offering new craft projects through “Tote 2 Go.”
This program, which runs through the summer, allows families to register in advance to receive a tote bag filled with fun craft projects, as well as hands-on activities, recipes, contests and more.
These totes cost $5 each and can be purchased weekly. Registration for the “Tote 2 Go” program can be completed through the Seasons website at santa-clarita.com/Seasons.
The City continues to showcase new exhibits in public galleries throughout Santa Clarita. While residents may not be able to visit them in person, they can go to SantaClaritaArts.com/Galleries to see virtual exhibits, as well as an online public art program that includes pieces from the Youth Arts Showcase, the popular “Art in Isolation” show and more.
As I have mentioned previously in messages to the community, The MAIN in Old Town Newhall continues to produce one-of-a-kind performances, professional development series and entertainment. Some offerings that everyone should experience are the monthly 10 by 10 show and “You’re The Best” community talent competition.
You can discover new favorite musicians, comedians and storytellers during 10 by 10 then show off your own hidden talent for a chance to win a $50 gift card in the “You’re The Best” contest. Learn more about both at Facebook.com/TheMAINNewhall.
The City’s Recreation and Community Services Department has also launched new recreation challenges that allow residents to test their own abilities and compete against one another safely. The first-ever Virtual Disc Golf League is in full swing and disc golfers are compiling scores weekly on their own to see who will be the inaugural league champion.
The Adult Sports office recently announced the Virtual Mile Challenge, which rewards residents of all ages for exploring the City’s open space and miles of trails and paseos.
All you need to do is keep track of the miles you run, bike or hike and submit them online — prizes are awarded to those who rack up the most.
The Aquatics 100 Miles At Home Challenge works similarly. Keep track of the amount of time spent swimming in your backyard pool or at a lake, river or beach that is open to the public, and let our Aquatics team know how you are progressing. Every ½ hour spent swimming equates to ½ mile of distance. You will receive a prize once you hit 100 miles!
These are just some of the many ways that you and your family can participate in City recreation programs this summer. I encourage you to visit the Seasons website to explore a wide range of virtual classes being offered by instructors throughout the City.
Finally, please take the time to visit the City’s new Virtual Rec Center at santa-clarita.com/VirtualRecCenter to find instructional videos, enrichment opportunities, family activities and helpful resources for the entire family.
I hope you continue to have a safe, healthy and active summer in Santa Clarita.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.