Citizen task force to explore and recommend enhancements to recreational programming; Applications due April 16

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Curtatone invites residents who have a passion for recreation in Somerville to serve on the newly formed Recreation Task Force. The Task Force will review the current recreation programming available to Somerville residents of all ages and make recommendations on how the City might strengthen its offerings. Members will meet at least monthly for the next eight months starting in late-April. Applications are due Wednesday, April 16 (see below).

The Task Force will study and discuss programming delivered by the City, such as services carried out by the Recreation Department, the Council on Aging, and the Arts Council, as well as review programming delivered citywide by traditional private providers such as the YMCA and by newer organizations offering everything from circus arts to zumba. With this information as a basis, the Task Force will focus on the recreational needs of people of all ages and backgrounds.

“Somerville has an extraordinary richness and variety of activities available to children and adults. But I want this Task Force to investigate any and all ways that we can ensure we are thinking creatively and effectively about how to meet resident needs,” said Mayor Curtatone. “The Task Force will ask the questions that will lead us to the best services: Do residents know about what’s available? Where are there gaps? Are there ways to increase coordination among existing programs? How can we build on our community’s unique strengths?”

The Task Force will look for innovative models, but also draw on the storied history of recreation in Somerville. “Most of us who grew up in Somerville can recall our neighborhood parks as the center of our universe throughout our childhoods,” said Mayor Curtatone. “While I know that the world has changed and we might not be able to get back to that exact model, I know that Recreation programming can still greatly enrich the lives of Somerville residents young and old, that it can strengthen connections, and that it can help us set and achieve personal goals.”

“The next time you leave the Recreation Building, look up as you walk down the steps,” said Recreational Programming Director George Scarpelli. “You’ll see a very old sign that announces that Somerville Recreation’s principal purpose is ‘the promotion of happiness for all the people of Somerville.’ While the sign may be old fashioned, the goal remains at the core of what we still do today. We’re looking forward to the Task Force’s idea and recommendations for how to achieve it in 2014 and beyond.”

APPLY BY Wednesday, April 16:
To submit your name to be considered for appointment to the Task Force, please complete the short form posted at by Wednesday, April 16. The City will work to assemble a group that represents our diverse community. Task Force meetings will begin in late April and wrap up by the end of 2014.

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