Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
With the school year quickly coming to an end there will be plenty of school-aged kids looking for cool things to do during the summer months. Parks and recreation coordinators are busily preparing city parks, cleaning and filling swimming pools, and registering kids and families for different activities and events. Many cities in the region have popular swim programs in addition to tennis lessons, T-Ball and baseball programs, and soccer to name a few. The city of Selah offers all of these programs but one of their more popular programs is swimming. According to Shirley Wasilewski, recreation coordinator for Selah, “Our pool is busy everyday it’s open with our ‘No Bummer Summer’ swimming program for kids to Aqua Zumba for fitness-minded adults. Our programs are well supported by the community and many kids utilize them to stay in shape for their fall and winter sports programs in school.” The cities of Yakima, Toppenish, Zillah, Sunnyside, and Grandview all have public swimming programs for their communities.
If you’re in Sunnyside their T-ball, baseball, soccer, and tennis programs are all offered through Sunnyside’s Promise, a non-profit organization that works with youth and their families, supported by the city. What’s unique about their programs is they’re coached and refereed by volunteer parents and coaches, no paid staff. According to Mark Baysinger, executive director for Sunnyside’s Promise, “When we first allowed students to referee and umpire games we weren’t sure what to expect. However, the results have been impressive. This responsibility has allowed them to mature and their parents have commented to me how much of a change they’ve seen in their children. They’ve become more nurturing with younger kids and often mentor their skill development after the games are over.” If it’s summer entertainment you’re looking for, the city of Yakima’s parks department organizes six free music concerts at Franklin Park, in the heart of the city, beginning on Thursday’s after the 4th of July for six weeks and features an Outdoor Summer Cinema series for both kids and adults. We recommend you bring your blankets, chairs, and popcorn for listening to music and watching movies under the stars. These are always popular events and enjoyed by all.
For more information and links to various city parks and recreation departments, click here.
*Sunnyside Pool Courtesy of Daily Sun News