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Summer programming makes comeback in Dubuque, but with some changes

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 5:15 AM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Dubuque city staff said they heard loud and clear from the Dubuque community that they wanted to see a return of summer activities after most programs were canceled last year because of the pandemic.

“We have really missed that connection that we have with our community and not being able to be out in playgrounds, in our parks, different locations, seeing our community members,” Dan Kroger, the city’s recreation division manager, said. “Doing different activities with them has really been tough.”

That is why they have decided to bring summer youth programming back. However, many of them will look different.

Registration-based programs will be modified, according to Kroger, to minimize capacity to allow for social distancing. Aside from that, they will try to host as many programs as possible outdoors.

Kroger said, though, their biggest challenge thus far has been staffing the pools. He said it is part of a national trend.

“A lot of that has to do with last year, a lot of pools and aquatic facilities not opening, that youth are finding other jobs, and they are returning to those instead of coming back to us at the pool,” he explained.

The city, however, is taking steps to try to fix this. Kroger mentioned they increased the pay wage to $12 per hour and are offering scholarships and refunds for lifeguard certifications.

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