Summer is a great time to get out outside and enjoy our city parks. With over 30 parks and conservation areas, there are numerous opportunities to engage in both active and passive recreation and take part in a host of scheduled events.
Springside Park and Burbank Park are two of Pittsfield's largest parks. Springside Park is home to a vast network of hiking trails, and has an accessible playground, a softball complex, Little League fields, gardens and the Hebert Arboretum. Burbank Park also has trails, a swimming area on the shore of Onota Lake, a public boat launch, fishing pier and picnic areas.
Both Belanger Athletic Facility and Clapp Park have walking/running tracks that provide a safe place to exercise. Belanger's is ¼-mile distance and Clapp Park's is 1/3-mile distance. Also, the newly renovated First Street Common has a great network of pathways for safe walking in the downtown area, and the Splash Pad and playground.
There will be a lot going on in the city parks this summer. Here are some select events and programs:
• The Berkshire Mountain Bike Training Series continues on Tuesday nights, June 21-Aug. 23, at Springside Park, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Free. For all age and skill categories.
• Yoga & Zumba at Burbank Park the second and fourth Saturdays through August. Yoga: 9 to 10 a.m. Zumba: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Suggested $10 donation.
• Yoga & Zumba at Springside Park every Monday night, June through August. Zumba: 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Yoga: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Suggested $10 donation.
• The Hebert Arboretum at Springside Park will host nature trail walks beginning at 11 a.m. on June 18, July 16 and Aug. 20. Free.
• The Splash Pad at the First Street Common will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Free.
• The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market is at the First Street Common from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October.
For a complete schedule of events in the city parks, visit www.cityofpittsfield.org/calendar.php and select "Parks & Rec" from the drop-down menu. And to see a list and map of all park locations, visit www.cityofpittsfield.org/pittsfield/city_hall/community_development/parks_and_recreation/uploads/Parks_Brochure.pdf
The City of Pittsfield will again offer its summer playground program, a free program that offers a wide variety of recreation activities to Pittsfield children, ages 6 to 13. Playground leaders create safe, supervised and fun-filled environments with activities including sports, games, arts and crafts, and nature activities.
The program begins Monday, July 11. Normal hours will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 19. Playground leaders will be stationed at Clapp Park, Deming Park, and The Common. The summer playground program is designed to provide drop-in activities for children and is not a substitute for day camp or child care.
The Pittsfield Track and Field Games event, for children ages 6 to 14, will take place Saturday, July 23, at the Taconic High School Track, 96 Valentine Road. Registration and warm ups will begin at 9 a.m. with events beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The City of Pittsfield has teamed up with Berkshire Lightning, the Berkshire Running Center and the YMCA for this free program, which introduces and teaches young athletes the basics of track and field including warm ups and several running and field components.
On Facebook, be sure to "like" Pittsfield Parks Recreation to keep up to date on happenings, or check out what else the Recreation Program has to offer at www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/parks_and_recreation.
Don't forget to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and check for ticks when enjoying our Pittsfield parks.
Thank you for keeping our parks and playgrounds smoke-free. Have a safe and fun summer!
Becky Manship is the City of Pittsfield Recreation activities coordinator, Healthy Pittsfield Partner.
This column appears in the Lifestyles section the second Sunday of each month. The Healthy Pittsfield
Partnership is coordinated by the Pittsfield Health Department and Board of Health. Partners include community residents, business leaders, health and human service professionals, city officials and health advocates. The partnership is committed to community based initiatives that will improve the health and quality of life of Pittsfield's residents and workforce. For more information, visit www.cityofpittsfield.org/cityhall/healthand inspections/healthypittsfield.