Paul's Note - August 20, 2021

After a summer layoff, Ready, Set, Rec! vans will be in city parks once again, starting with Ward 2’s own Palo Verde Park. 

The program was made possible by Tucson’s Mayor and Council, who voted to use federal CARES Act funds to acquire six vans, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to bring recreation to the community. The program was implemented in February 2021. There is a special van assigned to Ward 2 parks to serve east side residents. 

Standard play equipment comes in each vehicle with the option to add different modules for play depending on the location and community demographics planned to be served on a given day. Some of those modules include arts and crafts, STEM, sports, yard games, large board games, container gardening, yoga, fishing, Loteria, walking sticks, etc.  

As part of the special Fall kick off this weekend, all six vans will be at Palo Verde Park (225 S. Mann Ave.). The event will start next Saturday, August 28, at 9 am. 

Recreation and fun for families is the goal, but safety is a priority, especially with the current health news. Each program will have limited participants. Masks will be required, as well as physical distancing. Equipment will be cleaned between uses and prior to the activities taking place. Each vehicle will be equipped with PPE to keep both staff and the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, including first aid kits, masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer. We ask that if you are feeling sick, stay home and follow all other CDC guidelines to keep safe. 

A list of upcoming visits of rec vans will be posted at tucsonaz.gov/parks/readysetrec, and I will also be updating you events in Ward 2. 

I’d like to congratulate the Arizona Storm, Tucson’s wheelchair basketball team, on winning the 2021 Women’s Wheelchair National Basketball Championship in a match in Arlington, Texas last month. 

The 51-31 victory was powered by two remarkable athletes who have represented our country in the paralympics, Courtney Ryan and Natalie Schneider. 

The Storm is sponsored by Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports, a program run out of the University of Arizona that provides its participants with the opportunity to exercise, train and compete at the highest levels. 

Adaptive sports allow individuals with disabilities the same opportunity as their able-bodied peers to exercise, train and compete in a multitude of sports including wheelchair basketball, weightlifting,  athletics, and even golf. This  program is a real asset to our community and Southern Arizona and I would encourage you to learn more about them by visiting their web site at https://www.soazadaptivesports.org/