By Amanda Rogers
The Mansfield Parks & Recreation Department wants everyone to come out and play this summer. And the staff is willing to play, too, and even hand out prizes.
“We started the (100 hours of play) challenge last year and weren’t sure how it was going to go,” said Ann Beck, marketing and communications manager for the Mansfield Parks & Recreation Department. “We just had a magnificent response. It was exciting and overwhelming. We had a lot of families hit the goal.
“The challenge is for people to log 100 hours of play over the summer,” Beck said. “In the park or in their backyard, definitely screen-free. We just want to get everybody active.”
The parks department has events scheduled for every Thursday throughout the end of July to help families reach their goal, including fishing, painting with pups and Truckapalooza with vehicles from public safety and water department. Parks is teaming up with other city departments, too, including the library, which is hosting the Summer Reading Challenge, and the Mansfield Historical Museum, which will host a day 1800’s play at the Man House Museum. All events are free.
And there will be prizes.
“Everybody who signs up gets a badge,” Beck said. “They can earn pins for different things, if they hit 50 hours or bring a friend. Every week we do a drawing. Everybody who hits 100 hours gets a special prize pack. Those who hit the most hours get a big prize pack. Las year we were able to give Hawaiian Falls tickets.”
Parents can log their hours at https://www.mansfieldtexas.gov/1900/100-Hours-of-PLAY, much like they log hours for the Summer Reading Challenge.
Last year, 1,200 people participated at the parks events with more than 1,500 logging their hours.
Nine families logged more than 300 hours, 21 more than 200 hours and 58 families hit the 100-hour goal. Beck thinks that even more people will participate this year.
“We have a vision statement that is to inspire Mansfield to gather, grow, preserve and play through welcoming spaces and remarkable experiences,” she said. “That is what we are all about, creating spaces for families to come together and spend time together.
“We kicked off the program last year because we had just adopted that statement,” Beck said. “This year we have been reinforcing that. It’s not enough just to have a great space. We want it to be a remarkable experience. We want to make sure that when you’re there you’re having a really great time.
“It doesn’t have to be expense or complicated. Just play,” she said. “There’s no restriction on the ages. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. You’re never too old or too young to learn how to play.”
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.