One of the city’s community safety and recreation programs, Be S.A.F.E., won an Award of Excellence by the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS), city officials announced today.
Be S.A.F.E., which stands for Summer Activities in a Friendly Environment, is meant to reduce crime in neighborhoods by extending supervision hours at designated parks into evenings during summer and employing local youth, according to a release from the city. Recreation programs such as arts and crafts, outdoor games, sports, science activities and dance programs; classes in fitness, cooking, gardening and flower arranging; and computer labs for youth and families are also offered.
“The Be S.A.F.E. program is a critical component of the City’s Safe Long Beach Initiative and healthy active lifestyle goals,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “By keeping selected parks activated in the evening hours, families have positive and safe activities to enjoy together and social connections in the neighborhood grow stronger.”
The program was named a winner in the Neighborhood Building category during the annual CPRS Awards program, according to city officials.
“This statewide award is a wonderful acknowledgment by our peers about the great work that we are doing to keep our kids and community safe,” Marie Knight, director of Parks, Recreation and Marine, said in a statement.
During summer 2016, the Be S.A.F.E. program served more than 50,000 youth and adults at Admiral Kidd, Drake, Houghton, M. L. King Jr., Seaside, Scherer and Silverado parks.
In summer 2017, the sites will be expanded to include Bixby, Pan American, Orizaba and Ramona parks.
Above, left photo: courtesy of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine.