By Heather Lubov, Executive Director, City Parks Foundation
At City Parks Foundation (CPF), we work in more than 300 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City’s five boroughs to promote healthy and vibrant communities. For us, that means providing free summer concerts and dance performances, free environmental education intensives and free sports lessons to NYC youth and senior citizens alike. Whether it be learning how to do the lindy hop at one of our dance master classes, kayaking in our Coastal Classroom program, or practicing hurdles on the track, we help New Yorkers of all ages keep their minds and bodies stimulated and engaged.
Our CityParks Track & Field program, presented by EmblemHealth, serves over 2,000 youngsters ages 5 to16 every summer in all five boroughs. Participants are provided the equipment and instruction to learn a new sport while also developing self-esteem, discipline and sportsmanship. The camaraderie and friendly competition makes the program especially rewarding for so many youth who look forward to returning each year. This is never more apparent than at our annual Track & Field Championship Meet at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. There, participants show off the skills they’ve worked all summer to perfect while their families, friends and coaches cheer them on. The athletes’ excitement and determination is palpable as soon as you enter the stadium, and their joy unmistakable when you see them cross the finish line. EmblemHealth’s support is paramount in making these moments possible, and their commitment to wellness education helps ensure that participants and their families will maintain active lifestyles all year round.
EmblemHealth recognizes that health and wellness ought to be weaved into our daily lives, and CPF’s programs aim to do just that, in fun and accessible ways. To launch this fall’s season of our CityParks Seniors Fitness program, EmblemHealth hosted a “Celebrating Healthy Aging” event that offered free Zumba, yoga, and tennis classes; Medicare information; cooking demos; and blood pressure screenings. By providing exciting activities as well as learning opportunities, EmblemHealth’s partnership helps CPF keep New Yorkers healthy and happy!
Visit CityParksFoundation.org to learn more about our free programs.
City Parks Foundation enriches New Yorkers by connecting them to free and accessible arts, sports, education and community-building initiatives. It is the only organization to create park programs in all five boroughs of New York City.