With the mass closures of recreation and parks facilities and programs as a result of COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, local governments and their recreation and parks departments have turned to creating innovative methods to continue to engage their communities and keep them safe, connected, and healthy.

Communities like Dawson Creek are utilizing Facebook as a platform for Fitness classes, children's activities, and for sharing local resources related to COVID-19. Through social media, the City of Dawson Creek Recreation is delivering free, creative, and fun programs through to support mental and physical health – everything from Sunday “Fun” Day videos, to Kangaroo Kids and Workout Wednesdays.

The Vancouver Park Board has created this video resource to help community members understand how to safely enjoy the outdoors during these times.

The Regional District of Nanaimo has created a virtual platform called REC Connect to share fitness videos and activities you can do from home.

Fort St. John launched a social media video campaign called ‘Boredom Busters‘ that includes weekly outdoor challenges as well as space to share activities, from scavenger hunts to storytelling videos produced by the local museum.

City of Vancouver's West Point Grey Community Centre is offering an online version of their Collaborative Creative Dance workshop series for seniors ages 55+, which resulted in even greater participation and class sizes doubling within a month!

Penticton is lending out equipment in the form of P.L.A.Y Kits, each packaged with a different theme such as explorer, or day camp, and packed with a variety of equipment as well as resource guides for camp activities, craft ideas, and physical literacy.

Port Coquitlam created Wellness Wednesday Videos for kids and families that are available on the City website to help people find healthy and fun recreation options.

Regional District of Central Okanagan converted their usual programs for community members, from preschool aged to adult, into videos now posted on the RDCO's YouTube channel or available in real-time on Instagram Live.

Tofino & Ucluelet utilized the District's Ukee Recreation Recreated Facebook page, Instagram, and Youtube channel to provide fun challenges, both physical and wellness-based, as well as fitness tips, fun resources, and online videos from local fitness instructors.

Abbotsford has created #AbbyCares, an interactive portal that allows the City to share content to help families stay engaged and healthy.

As BC moves into Phase 2 of the Province's Restart Plan, communities are likely to continue offering online programs alongside outdoor recreation opportunities. What innovative ideas has your local government implemented to keep individuals and families in your community healthy, engaged and moving? We want to hear about them!  

©British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association. All rights reserved.