I had the privilege of serving with Deming Cowles on the Charter Review Commission in 2009.
During our year of service, I came to know Mr. Cowles as a conscientious and dedicated person, who has a passion for the well being of all Polk County residents. In a recent article, Mr. Cowles was quoted as saying Polk County does not do a very good job of providing recreational opportunities for our kids.
As a new county commissioner, having served only eight months, I have a different opinion and a new appreciation for the recreational opportunities available to our youth. Below is a partial list of the many services and activities provided by Polk County Parks & Recreation:
Hosts 26 youth athletic leagues annually – including baseball, softball, football and soccer – for more than 12,000 local participants.
Maintains 131 athletic fields and has more than 2,000 certified coaches who assist youth sports.
Maintains 77 recreation areas – 42 playgrounds and 20 basketball courts.
Provides educational and recreational programming for youth at five community centers countywide.
Partners with Polk County School Board to ensure after-hours public access to outdoor recreation areas at 44 schools and playgrounds.
Provides educational programs and passive recreation opportunities at 12 environmental lands and parks across the county.
Hosts summer recreation programs – such as CAMP R.O.C.K., which provides summer daycare sites for more than 600 school children .
Partners with municipal and state park services to enhance outdoor recreation experiences.
While we always strive to do better, I think Polk County and our partners do a good job of providing recreational opportunities for our youth. We do encourage feedback to help improve our services, and we always welcome community involvement to help spread the word about our programs. For a complete listing of our parks and athletic leagues, visit us online at www.polk-county.net. Parks & Recreation also has a Facebook and Twitter page for updates on current activities.
George M. Lindsey – County Commissioner District #1 -S.Lakeland