Save Our Summer Youth Program at Brooklyn City Park
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Portland Parks and Recreation has decided to cut the funding for the Brooklyn City Park "Summer Free for All" youth program. This program has been a part of Brooklyn and SE Portland for nearly 40 years. The program has built community, fostered friendship, encouraged healthy habits for our neighborhood youth. Craig Montag has mentored the neighborhood youth and allowed children to play and express themselves in a safe, welcoming, active environment. We must make it clear to Commissioner Fritz and to Portland Parks and Recreation that the Brooklyn Neighborhood and greater SE Portland wants, needs, and supports this valuable community program.
- Mayor, City of Portland
- City Commissioner
- Portland Parks and Recreation
The citizens of Brooklyn, Portland implore you to continue funding for Brooklyn City Park's "Summer Free for All" youth program. With no other walking/biking options for our youth this program is needed to continue a healthy development of our youth, families, and community.
This program helmed by Mr Craig Montag for nearly 40 years is as much a part of the Brooklyn community and our families as...well to be frank his program is the heart and foundation of our community and families.
We are a small neighborhood of approx 1600 households. We do not have many of the amenities afforded to larger neighborhoods. We do not have a library, a community or rec center, or even a neighborhood elementary school. But during the Summer, Brooklyn Park is more than just a park. It is our library, where Craig and his staff engage and encourage our kids to read. It is our community/rec center where our kids develop active healthy bodies and learn sportsmanship. It is our summer school where our kids come together and are challenged to riddles, puzzles, to engineer ramps and bridges, and to be creative and try to complete a 10 strand lanyard.
We know that funds and resources are stretched thin. We need to place these funds where they will have the most benefit to our city. Investing in our youth and Brooklyn’s summer program has a much higher return on investment by proactively preventing an increased risk for poorer health, drug use, gang activity, and lower academic achievement. In the summer, Brooklyn Park is more than a park. It is vital to our youth's social, mental, and physical development.
This park is used by all walks of life, children and their families, our houseless residents, our dog owners, teens, adults, and seniors. I witnessed some young adults playing basketball along the full court last summer, when a father and his child came over to shoot hoops; without missing a dribble they changed to a half-court game and invited the father and child to shoot hoops on the other half. Many of the young adults were mentored by the very same Craig Montag and his program. In the Summer, Brooklyn Park is more than just a park it turns strangers into our neighbors.
Again I ask that this committee to continue funding Brooklyn’s “Summer Free for All” youth program.
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