El Cariso Community Regional Park

El Cariso Park in Sylmar is among the 33 Los Angeles county parks that will be offering various free programs for children and entire families during the coming summer months.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation will kick off its 2018 Parks After Dark (PAD) season on June 14. Activities will include organized sports, exercise classes, teen activities, swimming, concerts and movies, arts and crafts and jumpers for kids, cooking classes, and resource fairs that offer social, health, youth employment, economic and legal services.

Some parks will also host Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (ESTEAM) informational mobile museums and booths.

PAD encourages healthy living, promotes social connectedness and provides safe havens during extended evening hours of park operation and programming at parks throughout Los Angeles county. The parks will be kept open to provide local youth and families with a variety of recreational opportunities, health outreach and social services.

PAD takes place Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will last until Aug. 4

“Parks After Dark builds resilient communities across Los Angeles County,” said John Wicker, director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation. “We partner with numerous county departments and community-based organizations to provide an incredible array of free, fun and outcome-based programming and services for youth and families. PAD also provides a comprehensive and collaborative approach to fostering social cohesion, reducing crime rates, creating safe park environments, and enhancing health.”

“From a public health perspective, being physically active has profound health benefits, particularly in preventing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even some forms of cancer,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“But, we must address the barriers to healthy living, including community violence, to ensure everyone in L.A. County has access to the resources and opportunities needed for health and well-being. Parks After Dark creates safe havens and community hubs at local parks, making it easier for people to be active, build relationships with neighbors and law enforcement, and access needed health and social services that promote community-wide healing.”

For more information about Parks After DarK and a listing of all the participating facilities, visit http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/dpr/1037013_Map.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=