Winter Sports Equipment Loans Help Yarmouth Youth Get Out
YARMOUTH – In hopes of encouraging the kids to ‘get moving’, Yarmouth Community Services is loaning a variety of winter sports equipment, including Nordic skis, ice skates and snowshoes.
Karyn MacNeill, director of community services, said her department started loaning out seasonal sports equipment about 10 years ago in response to requests from residents and a desire to get people out to enjoy the parks and open spaces. of the city all year round.
Although the loans are primarily aimed at young people, she said community services offer snowshoes and skates in a variety of sizes, some for adults. However, the 52 pairs of cross-country skis have already been loaned for the season.
MacNeill said children’s winter sports equipment can get expensive – especially because they grow so much between seasons – so it made sense for community services to lend sports equipment.
MacNeill said the skis, boots and poles cost $ 80 for the season. Snowshoes can be borrowed for $ 5 per day and ice skates are free. However, she said the city-operated Blake Skating Pond near Main Street was not yet open for the season. MacNeill said at least 7 inches of ice would be needed and the nights so far haven’t been cold enough.
MacNeill said several of Yarmouth’s parks are particularly beautiful in winter, particularly Pratt’s Brook, accessible by North Road, and the Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, near Bayview Street.
Both are great for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, she said, and the Spear Farm property offers what MacNeill called “breathtaking views” of the River Royal and the ocean. For a smaller loop that might be easier for kids just learning to ski or snowshoe, the 3/4 mile trail from the Tinker Preserve on Cousins Island might work well.
With winter equipment loans, MacNeill said, it is hoped that going outside in all seasons “will become a habit for life.”
Anyone interested in borrowing equipment or making a donation can go online at yarmouthcommunityservices.org or call 846-2406. In addition to sports equipment, community services now also accept donations of winter clothing, from boots and hats to mittens and scarves.
Without access to the right equipment and clothing, it can be difficult to enjoy outdoor winter activities, Josh Harrington, Family Programs and Outreach Manager WinterChildren, noted.
“It is very important for children to be active in the winter, as it helps develop a healthy lifestyle and a passion for outdoor recreation. At WinterKids, we like to say that bad weather doesn’t exist, ”said Harrington.
To that end, WinterKids is running a free Welcome to Winter event from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 18 at Payson Park in Portland.
“It’s a great opportunity to introduce winter to families and show what you can do (outdoors),” said Harrington.