Brainerd parks and rec offers virtual summer activities
Kids coloring contests, a parks scavenger hunt, playground workout challenges, a nature club, virtual park drone tours, online TED Talks, fishing contests and photography contests are among events scheduled.
While social distancing guidelines remain in place, warmer weather is drawing lakes area residents out of their houses and into the great outdoors.
Many summer programs — like adult and kids sports leagues — aren’t running at this time, but the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department still wants to encourage all community members to be active outside, and to do so safely.
For those reasons, various virtual or otherwise socially distant activities are available for lakes area residents and visitors.
“We, as a parks department decided we needed to do something to get all of our community in our parks and recreating,” Katie Kaufman, parks and recreation coordinator, told city council members Monday, June 1.
Activities include kids coloring contests, a parks scavenger hunt, playground workout challenges, a nature club, virtual park drone tours and online TED Talks.
There also will be a “Catch of the Day” fishing contest for those fishing in Rice Lake at Lum Park. The best entry will be featured each day.
A park photography contest challenges community members to submit original photos taken in one of the city’s parks for a chance to be featured on the 2021 summer recreation guide. Submissions are due by midnight Aug. 31.
Guidelines and submissions protocols for all contests and activities are available on the department’s virtual recreation website at https://www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/540/Virtual-Recreation .
Website visitors can also find meditation suggestions, kids activity packets and nature- and spiritual-themed book recommendations.
Another idea Kaufman said is in the works is a dog park guestbook. Those visiting Buster Park would take pictures of their dogs to help create a giant inventory of all the dogs that have been there.
“We’re trying to be as creative as we possibly can in this time,” Kaufman said. “Our hands are kind of chained, and we don’t really know where we’re going, but we want to still be able to offer the community something and get people into our parks.”
THERESA BOURKE may be reached at email@example.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .