Oakland Park, a City on the Move, keeps on moving, and soon it will be moving in an entirely different way.
This week, Mayor Matthew Sparks, Vice Mayor Jane Bolin and other City employees attended the United States Conference of Mayors. This non-partisan conference, held in Washington D.C. each January gives the mayors of cities with populations of over 30,000 a chance to meet and collaborate on various aspects of City government.
Yesterday, January 23, 2020 the United States Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Association for a Healthy America awarded with the Childhood Obesity Prevention grant to fund “Oakland Park Paddle Club” program. The City Commission and Staff worked hard to earn this grant and it paid off to the tune of $100,000!
According to Mayor Matthew Sparks, “The Oakland Park Paddle Club will complement our wide array of existing programs that encourage the youth of our city to experience and enjoy healthy outdoor recreation.”
Vice Mayor Jane Bolin shared that “One of the great benefits of kayaking is that it offers both physical activity and emotional enjoyment all while having fun. Kayaking allows children to enjoy a part of Oakland Park that is not normally accessible to them.”
The program is designed to teach youth, ages 7 to 17, about wellness, including water safety, swim instruction, and healthy exercise. The program will focus on helping participants achieve a full-body workout, improved balance, cardiovascular health, and increased strength. The City will provide all the necessary equipment, instruction and transportation to the waterways.
“The Oakland Park Paddle Club will provide a new outlet for family recreation while increasing the utilization of city park facilities and resources,” said Chris Casale, Oakland Park’s Acting Director of Parks and Leisure Services. “I’m excited about this program. It is an opportunity for children to try something new, and I think our residents will love it.”
This program will take place at various venues throughout the City’s 118 acres of waterways. Casale and his staff are working in the final details of the program.