Rec centers, programs become obsolete

July 09, 2007 12:00AM

The Parks Department, which was once known as the nation’s leading provider of free recreational services for kids, has shifted away from this role over the last few decades. In consequence, many recreational centers across the city are sitting empty, and the Parks Dept. administers far fewer after-school programs than it did between the beginning of the 20th century and the late 1980s. The Parks Dept. says its move away from overseeing programs at rec centers is part of a larger cultural shift toward youth activities that are not based in physical activity. Some critics, however, say the city’s lack of emphasis on municipally sponsored recreation activities is unconscionable given rising obesity rates, and that poor neighborhoods are more detrimentally affected by the lack of recreation centers and activities than rich ones. more [NYT]

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