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Lathrop recreation staff rolls out virtual activities
virtual rec

The gym might not be a possibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the City of Lathrop is doing everything it can to make sure that residents still stay active.

Recently the city’s parks and recreation department revamped its website to include a whole list of virtual activities that can be done in the home while social distancing – providing options to parents and even some teachers that aren’t able to do their regular work with students because those students can’t go outside.

For Lathrop’s Parks and Recreation Director Zach Jones, the outreach effort is a chance to bring some of what the city provides to people even if they can’t gather to enjoy it the way that they always have.

“It can be dangerous if people are locked in their houses all day long – we’re all going to be fighting our own obesity in this situation,” Jones said. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some interaction and some activity all while social distancing and caring for each other.

“This is a little bit of an opportunity to take a break from the TV set, PE classes to keep kids physical, arts and crafts, and even virtual tours – you can actually ride all of the rides at Disney World from your living room if you’d like.”

Since posting the information on the city’s website, Jones said that he has been contacted by several other municipalities that are interested in doing the same. Jones said that he and his staff always share their resources and work to point others in the same field in the direction where they can find things that suit their respective populations – whether that means PE classes for kids who are stuck inside, or virtual tours to places that will keep people entertained while the pandemic passes.

The response, Jones said, has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ve had quite a few posts sent back to us on Facebook, and people really seem to like it,” Jones said. “We have a PE site that we’ve linked to where the activities change every day – a kid might come on one day and do something, and the next day it’s something completely different.

“It’s a little bit of fun to hopefully keep kids and people engaged while they do their part – we’re all in this together. Don’t forget to play responsibly.”

Last week the City of Lathrop took the extra step of removing basketball backboards and posting notices that play structures, gathering points, and anything that can be touched during recreational activities and not sanitized before being used was effectively off-limits until further notice.

For additional information about the city’s virtual recreation offerings, visit the City of Lathrop’s parks and recreation department website at The offerings are available halfway down the page under “virtual recreation.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.