LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — This summer the city of Lafayette is mixing hard work with fun. Until August, kids are being rewarded for volunteering to help keep the city's parks clean.
Just one hour of volunteer work a day stands between kids and a free pass to one of Lafayette's water parks. Some kids are getting involved in a summer program called Workreation and there's still room for more kids to join.
"I was raised with the philosophy, leave a place better than you found it," said Parent Robyn Smith. "I'm trying to pass that along to my kids."
Since last year, Robyn Smith and her son Joshua Smith have worked with the city of Lafayette to help clean up the parks. What are they finding?
"Usually just some like bottles, or random pieces of paper or wrappers or stuff like that," said 12-year-old Joshua Smith.
These are not items you would hope to see when you're trying to enjoy a nice day at a place like Armstrong park. That's why the city of Lafayette created a summer program for kids about 19 years ago called Workreation.
"They work for about an hour in the park, picking up trash, pulling weeds, just doing some light work, helping to keep the parks clean," said parks Director of Operations Jon Miner.
Workreation is open to kids ages 7 to 17 and breaking a sweat for an hour a day is worth it to Joshua Smith.
He said, "Well you get a free pool pass so that's always fun."
That pool pass gets you into Tropicanoe Cove, Castaway Bay, and Vinton Pool for free all day. Miner said he's seen some heart warming kids come to Workreation to volunteer.
"It's usually the younger kids," said Miner. "Like the 7,8,9 year olds who are saying like well I got a friend and they can't do this and they don't ever get to go to the pool so I'm coming a couple extra days to get them a pass as well."
Parents are welcome to join their kids do an hour of volunteer work. Instead of seeing your kids only pick up around the house this summer, have them help clean up the city.
"There's ownership, ya know," said Robyn Smith. "Right now they're kids and they're making a difference in a park that some day their kids are going to play in. That's pretty cool."
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you can volunteering starting at Tropicanoe Cover from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. On Tuesdays volunteer work is schedule at Vinton Pool from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, kids can meet at Castaway Bay to volunteer from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The expectation is that children should be dropped off and picked up no more than 15 minutes before and after the program begins and ends. Failure to comply will result in dismissal from this program. All participants must have a parent-signed registration form on file with the Parks Department. Download a form here: Workreation 2018 Registration Form.
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