Logan Parks & Rec honored as CPD’s 2012 Community Organization of the Year
CPD Director Bryce Fifield (left) presents the 2012 Community Partner of the Year award to Dan Blakely of Logan Parks and Recreation.[/caption] Logan Parks and Recreation has been named the 2012 Community Organization of the Year by the Center for Persons with Disabilities for its work with TOP Sports and the adaptive aquatics program. Bryce Fifield, CPD director, presented the award to Dan Blakely, supervisor of the aquatics center, in an awards ceremony on January 17 at the Logan Rec Center. According to Sue Olsen, director of exemplary services at the CPD, a TOP Sports parent volunteered about nine years ago to work with Logan Parks and Rec to provide adaptive swimming at the municipal pool. During the first year of the program, TOP Sports had to pay for the lifeguards, Olsen said. During the second year, families were allowed into the aquatic center with no fees, and by the third year, Logan Parks and Rec had added the adaptive aquatics sessions to its recreation program with no prompting from TOP Sports. The aquatic center is open for families of persons with a disability on Saturday mornings during the summer before it opens to the general public. There is no age limit and no admission fee. “These are highly regarded Saturdays,” said Russ Akina, parks and recreation director, adding that there are often events or activities during the summer that want to start at or use the aquatic center. “We always tell them we have something going on,” he said. The adaptive aquatics program “is really an illustration of the good things that are happening in this community,” Fifield said while making the presentation. “This is an important part of the community, a part that often doesn’t have a voice. We want to recognize you folks for responding to the need. “This goes beyond ADA, this goes beyond accommodations,” Fifield continued. “This is about making the community accessible to everybody.” Jessica Carpenter, who works in the CPD medical clinic, is the parent of two children who have participated in the adaptive aquatics program. “It’s just a good time for parents to mingle and get support from each other while the kids play with other kids who are like them,” she said. “It’s a wonderful program.” About TOP Sports Opportunities for fitness and leisure activities are limited for children and youth with disabilities. TOP Sports provides fully inclusive activities such as baseball and T-ball, basketball, soccer, bowling, swimming and art classes for children and youth with disabilities in Cache County. City and county administrators have shown their continued commitment by extending the use of the city's facilities at no cost to the TOP Sports Activities. Additionally, parents of children and youth with disabilities have participated in the continuation of these leisure and recreation activities by co-directing the activities with personnel from the CPD. This project has provided activities during the last year to more than 150 children and youth with disabilities and their families. For more information about TOP Sports, click here. For more information about Logan Parks and Recreation, click here.