Two six-week summer camps through Lafayette Parks and Recreation are not happening this year. In this 2018 file photo, campers meet two Lafayette Police horses Rio, left, and Sugarfoot Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at Girard Park in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette officials on Thursday clarified a statement made Tuesday by Mayor-President Josh Guillory regarding summer programs through the parks and recreation department.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Guillory responded to a question by Councilman Glenn Lazard about summer recreation programs by saying none are scheduled.

Guillory was referring to two six-week youth camps that normally take place every summer, Jamie Angelle, chief communications officer with Lafayette Consolidated Government, said Thursday.

Guillory: No Lafayette parks, recreation programs planned this summer

The only parks and recreation programs canceled this summer are the two six-week camps, Angelle said. Other programs offered through the parks and recreation department, he said, some with sponsorships and some free to qualified youths, will take place.

Sign-up for the canceled camps usually takes place in December, Angelle explained. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided in December not to register participants and now it is too late to do so, he said.

The canceled programs are the Summer Enrichment Camp and Camp We Can Do.

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The Summer Enrichment Camp offered swimming, field trips, civic activities and more to about 600 children, according to Tonya LaCoste, LCG communications and media specialist. LCG would have to hire about 100 people to run the enrichment camp to achieve a required 10-1 ratio, she said.

Camp We Can Do, LaCoste said, is usually offered to about 40 children with special needs. 

LCG administration and the parks and recreation department are planning and coordinating alternative summer camps for children, LaCoste said, and will release information when plans are finalized.

Guillory, who cut funding for parks and recreation and other facilities such as the Lafayette Science Museum and Acadiana Nature Station, wants to attract sponsors and develop public-private partnerships to operate parks and recreation programs.

The parks and recreation department has long relied on general fund subsidies to meet revenue demands. The only funding dedicated to parks and recreation is a property tax paid in the city of Lafayette.

At Tuesday's meeting, the City Council gave Guillory permission to sign a contract with City of Lafayette Aquatics to operate and manage the Earl J. Chris Pool at the Robicheaux Recreation Center on Eraste Landry Road in Lafayette, which is expected to save LCG an estimated $100,000 a year.

The city also signed a contract with the Acadiana Community Tennis Association to operate and maintain tennis courts and a club house at Beaver Park in Lafayette.

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