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Metro Parks Newsroom

Summertime Recreation, Education, Fitness Opportunities on Tap for Louisville Teens

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Mayor Greg Fischer invites Louisville teens to take advantage of an array of summertime activities offered through Louisville Metro to provide positive experiences, learning, and fun! The Mayor’s proposed budget includes significant investment in youth development programs throughout the city this summer, including support to Metro Parks & Recreation for activities geared specifically for teenagers.

Fischer gathered today with Parks recreation staff at the California Community Center, one of six centers offering teen-focused programs during expanded evening hours (6 to 9pm) beginning June 16. The other centers are Baxter, Newburg, Parkhill, Portland and Southwick.

“We want teens to know that this community cares about them, and we’re providing some great activities in a safe environment where young people can socialize, learn something new, and just have fun with friends,” said Fischer.

The funding would bring to the city’s community centers much-needed equipment, resources and staffing necessary to expand hours of operation and programming and better serve children and teens during this out-of-school time. Staffing will also provide employment opportunities for teens from neighborhoods in which centers are located, including a “Rec on the Go” team of teenagers trained in leading recreational activities at community centers, local festivals and other events.

Planned activities involve sports and fitness, dance, music, arts and games. Also, through a community development block grant, California and four other community centers are being outfitted this summer with new or renovated computer lab spaces, and wi-fi capability, to promote learning opportunities.

Other special activities include a Teen Outdoor Adventure Camp. Beginning July 7th, Jefferson Memorial Forest will offer local organizations serving teens a weekly day camp that will include such activities as hiking, canoeing, fishing, and climbing. In addition to outdoor recreational activities at Jefferson Memorial Forest and other local Metro Parks’ natural areas, the camps will also offer teens field trips to other area attractions who offer challenging outdoor-related activities.

An exciting learn and earn opportunity for teens is back this summer. “Studio 2000”, a competitive visual art program to be offered at Shawnee Arts & Cultural Center, employing 20 students, ages 14-18, to learn from and work with professional artists in 2D, fiber art and mixed media. The eight-week program concludes with a sale of students’ art work, with proceeds going back into the program. Students receive $500 stipend at completion of program.

The Mayor also announced a new program developed through the Vision Louisville initiative: the creation of a Cultural Pass that would allow children and teens, along with one of their parents, free access to local museums and attractions, from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Filson Club to the Locust Grove to Bernheim Forest.

Nutritious food is also part of the summer plan and will see an expansion of Parks’ partnership with Dare to Care Kid’s Café, to include free hot meals offered at eight community centers for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. Breakfast will be offered at five locations. (See attachment for Kid’s Café locations.)

Other Metro Parks youth programs:

Metro Parks traditional summer camps, starting June 16, for three age groups: 5-7, 6-12, and 13-15 year olds.

Bike Sense, a bike safety and education program, for 6-12 year olds

Reds Rookie Success League, a co-ed introductory baseball program in partnership with the Cincinnati Reds, both for 6-12 year olds.

Partnerships with The Fund for the Arts, Walden Theatre and Louisville Visual Art Association

For more information on teen activities and summer camps, call (502) 456-8142.

$25,000 for summer camp scholarships is available to teens in low-income families. For more information, contact Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization at (502) 574-4377.

Other Metro-funded programs:

The Mayor’s budget plan also includes funding for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Initiatives, and the Gentleman’s Academy, a six-week program for young men, ages 12-17, with a mission to teach skills that will empower youth to make positive changes in their lives. Job placement assistance is also a component of the program. For more information, (502) 574-7427.

Metro Public Health and Wellness – The Center for Health Equity’s “Healing Futures Fellowship” is a summer initiative that brings together two dozen teenagers from diverse neighborhoods to engage in thoughtful discussion/dialogue and exploration of the underlying causes and solutions to violence and inequity. Teens selected for the program receive up to a $1,000 stipend. For more information, (502) 574-8045, or visit

Louisville Free Public Library – Every summer, the library offers hundreds of free programs for children and teens at all 18 library locations, including the perennially popular Summer Reading Programs, presented by the Library Foundation. The “Read Big” Summer Reading Program and Teen Summer Reading (June 1 – August 9) encourage youth up through 12th grade to read for fun by offering a variety of prizes and incentives. For more information, (502) 574-1611, or visit or call (502) 574-1611.

Metro Animal Services – Three-day “Animal Adventure Summer Camps” will cover everything children need and want to know about safety with animals, animal occupations, being a responsible pet owner and how to care for a pet. Plus, kids will participate in fun activities and crafts. Join the fun for only $50 a child, ages 6-12. Sessions offered June 18-20, July 15-17, or August 18-20 at the Animal House Adoption Center, 3516 Newburg Road. For more information: (502) 473-PETS (7387), or visit

Louisville Zoo – Summer camps at the Zoo are available for children of all ages, including “Teen Tuesdays” for 8-10th graders, where campers can learn about the functions and fun of operating a zoo! All summer campers will learn about the world around them through “hands-on” and “minds-on” instruction. For more information, (502) 459-2181, or visit

Kentucky Science Center – Summer camps available for children in grades pre-K through 8th. All camps are designed as full week experiences, during which campers will enjoy flashy demos, science-filled activities and a movie experience all about “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics”. For more information, (502) 561-6100, or visit