The Branson Parks and Recreation department never fails to offer events and programs to get everyone outdoors.
Their newest free program, a partnership with ‘Trips for Kids’, is designed to get kids on their bikes and outside.
According to a press release from the city of Branson, with the launching of this local chapter, Trips for Kids TriLakes, area youth will be able to sign up for free bike programs through the Branson Parks & Recreation department that will help kids to be more active, experience natural places, gain environmental and STEM-based knowledge, build confidence and develop job readiness skills.
“We are super excited. We just recently announced that we have become a chapter with ‘Trips for Kids’; our chapter’s name is Trips for Kids TriLakes,” said Branson Parks and Recreation Business Supervisor Carlie Allison.
“This has been a long time coming, we went through the application process….now we’re finally at the stage where we’re making it happen. A big part of that had to do with our instructor, Brad Ray, that we were fortunate enough to hook up with him, he is a NICA instructor, NICA stands for National Interscholastic Cycling Association. He’s a very vested person in the cycling community in our area and he wants to see more kids on bikes and we do too. So we’ve been able to form a partnership with him and that’s led us into becoming a chapter with ‘Trips for Kids’.”
The Parks and Recreation even has their very first ride scheduled and registration is open for kids fifth through twelfth grade.
“Our first trip is Sunday, April 18 at two o’clock. We’re going to just meet up here at the RecPlex on the patio which is on the west side of our building and we’re just going to utilize the walking track and some trails around our property for our first ride, it’s going to be a bike skills day,” said Allison. “Again, Brad Ray is our instructor for that. We should also have one of our sergeants over at the police department, Caleb Teig, he’s going to be out there as well.”
All participants must register online and bring their own bike and helmet.
“For this first one we’ll need them to be able to have a bike and we do have some helmets available,” said Allison. Those would be the only two pieces of equipment that we would require. They have to be in grades fifth through twelve. It’s a free program, I can’t stress that enough, this is a free program but we do have registration and sign-ups, we want to know how many kids to expect.”
For those who may not have a bike, the Parks and Recreation department will make an announcement once they have a way to help with that.
“One of the great things about ‘Trips for Kids’ is they have a lot of partners in the cycling community, one of them being Giant Bicycles. For any chapter they donate some bikes for the chapters to use,” said Allison.
“If there’s anybody that is out there that already has a bike to show up with your own bike, but here pretty soon we’re going to get a delivery of I think five bicycles from ‘Trips for Kids’, all Giant Bicycles, that would be able to be utilized by kids that might not necessarily have their own bike or have access to a bike, so that’s the beauty of that.”
According to Allison, this program will continue to progress and offer various cycling themed rides throughout the year.
“There will be different monthly themes for rides as we go along and progress in the year. It’s not always going to be a bike skills day,” said Allison. “When we finally do get the shipment of the bikes that are being donated by ‘Trips for Kids’ we’re going to have a bike building day, so it’s going to be pretty involved.”
According to the release, monthly rides will range from discovery trail rides, mobile bike clinics, bike skills days and more.
The department is already so excited to offer this new program and get more kids outdoors, according to Allison.
“I think it’s important for people to know that ‘Trips for Kids’ was established in 1988 so this program has been around for awhile and they have a nationwide network of chapters. That I know of, we’re the first one locally,” said Allison. “This is something we’re very excited about. We’ve been wanting to get more involved in outdoor initiatives and outdoor programs, and this is going to be a great one for our department.”
Visit bransonparksandrecreation.com to learn more and register.