Village youth recreation program hopes to expand offerings, seeks community sponsors

— Cazenovia’s popular Joint Youth Recreation Program is preparing for the 2014 season with a new adult supervisor, some new programs, a community service project and the opportunity for community businesses to support and participate in the program through sponsorships.

JYRP Director Elizabeth Digiacomo and Trustee and Village Parks Commissioner Fritz Koennecke discussed the recreation program last week at the village board’s March 3 regular monthly meeting.

“The program has been growing for the past three or four years thanks to Elizabeth’s engagement … and with the advent of L.L. Bean [in Cazenovia] and the larger size of the program, we’re looking at more activities which will cause the program to grow even more,” Koennecke said. “We’re also trying to incorporate more community service activities so kids at a young age are used to giving back to the community. Were hoping we can put a little extra out there this year and use that as stepping stone for future years.”

The Joint Youth Recreation Program occurs every summer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at Lakeland Park. The program provides recreation for children residing in the Cazenovia Central School District (Cazenovia, Fenner, Nelson and the village of Cazenovia), including swimming, athletics, games, arts and crafts and educational programs. Every Friday there is a field trip.

The program this year will run July 7 through Aug. 14 and will cost $75 per child (with Friday field trips costing extra).

Last year, the JYRP offered planned activities such as Out of the Cage exotic pets, Talons: Birds of Prey and water slides by Air Time Inflatables. This year, the program hopes to offer new activities such as a circus camp provided by CirqueOvation, kayaking and paddle boarding opportunities by L.L. Bean and a community service project in which campers work with local senior citizens to build bluebird houses that will help protect native bluebird populations. This latter project would be a partnership between the recreation program, CRIS and the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation.

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