RELEASE: Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Department of Recreation and Parks Announce Alternative Recreation Options and Free Book Distribution

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Bernard C. “Jack” Young


City of Baltimore

250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835



April 8, 2020

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Joint Information Center



Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Department of Recreation and Parks Announce Alternative Recreation Options and Free Book Distribution

Mayor Young, Executive Director Reginald Moore introduce Virtual Rec Center; partnership with Maryland Book Bank

BALTIMORE, MD.  — Today, the Baltimore City Department or Recreation and Parks introduced its latest efforts in supporting distance learning and alternative recreation options with the launch of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ Virtual Rec Center and new partnership with the Maryland Book Bank. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young issued the following statement: 

“Although we’re encouraging everyone to stay home, our residents health and wellbeing remains top of mind,” said Mayor Young. “I am committed to providing ways to keep Baltimore and its communities active and enriched. I am happy that agencies like Baltimore Recreation and Parks and partners like the Maryland Book Bank understand the importance of exercising both the mind and body.”

The Virtual Rec Center provides an array of activities from at-home workouts, art and nature projects, STEM lessons, outdoor activities like gardening or bird watching, and much more. The new digital resource page provides safe, alternative recreation options for residents of all ages and abilities.

As an early response to COVID-19 and its impact on the city of Baltimore, BCRP ceased recreation programming and began meal distribution services from 42 recreation center locations. Now in an effort to support out of school learning, the Maryland Book Bank has partnered with the agency to provide over 8,000 books to Baltimore children. Beginning Wednesday, April 15 children are able to receive a free book with their meals during normal food distribution hours at each of the recreation meal sites.

“I am grateful for our staff of recreation programmers for making our Virtual Recreation Center a possibility by lending their expertise and their love for fitness and wellness,” BCRP Executive Director Reginald Moore said. “This tool, combined with the generous book donation from the Maryland Book Bank, helps us to continue achieving our goal in improving the health and wellness of the city of Baltimore and our residents.”

City parks, trails and open spaces remain open to be enjoyed in groups less than 10 and at least six feet apart at all times. Baltimore City Recreation and Parks has closed all high congestion, traffic and use areas such as athletic courts (tennis, basketball, and bocce), park pavilions, and playgrounds until further notice.