Recreation attendance rises

July 02, 1997


Staff Writer

Attendance in Washington County's recreation programs has doubled in the last three years even though the number of programs has decreased, Washington County Recreation Superintendent Stacey McLeran told the County Commissioners Tuesday.

Attendance in 1994 in the recreation programs was 115,364, increasing to 233,830 last year, she said.

During the same time periods, the number of programs dropped from 582 to 248. McLeran said the department focused efforts on expanding popular and lucrative programs while cutting programs that did not draw participants.

McLeran said fees generated by the recreation programs cover about 45 percent of the cost of the programs, which also has increased substantially.


Not all of the programs have experienced increased attendance. Attendance at the six-week county summer play camp has dropped about 80 percent since the county began instituting fees for the camp. The fee is now $90 for the 71/2-hour-a-day camp, which works out to about $3 a day.

The camps were free in 1994, but the county imposed a $12 fee in 1995, a $36 fee in 1996 and a $90 fee this year in an effort to make the six-week program self-sufficient.

McLeran said the program will be about $5,555 short of paying for itself. The program cost the county about $55,000 when it was free. Meanwhile, attendance has dropped from more than 1,100 children to about 200.

Other programs have had more success, including a summer basketball program, the youth swimming program and a new after-school recreation program.

The county tries to find rent-free sites for the programs, McLeran said.

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