Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 18, 2016:

DISTRICT 2 (Supervisor Carole Groom) FY 2016-18 Measure A Request: Expansion of Recreation Programs and Services for Youth

Grant up to $190,000 in Measure A funds to the City of Belmont Parks and Recreation Department

This is a request to authorize a $190,000 grant to the City of Belmont Parks and Recreation Department for the term November 1, 2016, through October 31, 2017, to expand recreation programs and services for youth served by the City of Belmont. The proposed grant agreement will be administered and managed by the County Manager’s Office.

In July 2015, the Belmont Parks & Recreation Commission appointed a Youth Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate how to better meet the needs of the youth and teen populations in the Belmont community. The Ad-Hoc Committee focused the investigation on the need for providing services for middle school youth (ages 11-14) and high school teens (ages 14-18). There has been tremendous growth in this demographic over the past 10 years, with the middle school population increasing from 800 to 1,200 students; this population is also estimated to reach 1,400 students by 2017. The population growth was identified as the most important factor in exacerbating the ever-increasing need for additional services for the underserved youth and teen populations.

The Belmont Parks and Recreation Department has quality activities, programs and services for youth 10 years of age and under, but limited programs and services for youth in the 11-14 years of age demographic. The recommendations in the report were based on findings from the Youth Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee through the following methodology: benchmarking other cities; surveys; youth focus groups; and interviews with community leaders.

Below are the five items to be funded by the above-referenced Measure A funds. All of the items mentioned below were recommendations from the final report on youth engagement conducted by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Belmont and based on the findings of the Youth Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee. Due to the timing of the formation of the Youth Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee in 2015 and the issuance of its report [in 2016], the expanded need for the programs and services at issue was not able to be addressed through the Letter of Intent process in Spring 2015.

1. Expand Teen Programming ($60,000 one-time)

  • Identified need to expand programming and services for youth and teens, which included both indoor and outdoor activities, as current programming is limited in scope.
  • The Parks & Recreation Department does not have the staff capacity to provide expanded youth and teen services with the current staffing levels, and no funding is allocated for a new position in the FY 2016-17 budget. The funding identified would provide the department with the ability to hire a Recreation Specialist II, with the desired qualifications to build a successful program for this demographic.
  • Current programming is limited to a drop-in program (serves 60-80 youth, one day per week, minimum release day only); Parks & Recreation staff (1) provide coverage at the Belmont Library Teen Center two days per week (3 hours each day).
  • Hundreds of teens to be served annually by the teen programming expanded by the Recreation Specialist II.

2. Homework Center ($30,000 total one-time, including $5,000 for start-up costs of upgrading the space and $25,000 for a part-time, non-benefitted Homework Center Supervisor)

  • The City of Belmont has designated a space (standard sized classroom) at the Barrett Community Center to provide for the creation of a Homework Center.
  • The Homework Center can accommodate 30+ students daily (150-200 per week), and would be dedicated to providing resources for middle school aged youth.
  • The Homework Center will require the purchase of age appropriate furnishings, gaming equipment, notebooks/tablets (or similar) and supplies ($5,000 start-up costs for upgrading the space).
  • The Homework Center will provide a safe and supervised environment for youth to gather, and interact with their peers during those hours immediately after school. The Homework Center Supervisor would facilitate this environment for the youth ($25,000 for salary for one year).

3. Outdoor Recreation ($25,000 one-time for site improvements and modifications at the Barrett Community Center to add new outdoor recreation opportunities for youth)

  • This item was identified as a means to address the childhood obesity epidemic impacting society, with the outcome of creating spaces for youth and teens to engage in physical activities such as: volleyball, outdoor fitness and sports, and other programs that require a functional outdoor space and equipment.
  • Site improvements and modifications would be required to accommodate these efforts (i.e, new surfacing, outdoor fitness equipment, and installation of volleyball courts).
  • Program development to utilize our open space environment, trail system and Water Dog Lake, which are all community assets (environmental education, environmental stewardship, health and wellness).

4. Shaded Outdoor Gathering Areas at the Barrett Community Center ($50,000 one-time for construction of the shaded outdoor areas)

  • The blacktop area at Barrett in front of the classrooms may be the site of two shade structures and seating. These shaded areas would have seating for 30-40 and would be used regularly.
  • During after school hours the space would be reserved for youth and teens, in essence, creating an outdoor “youth center.” In addition to teens, this shaded area would serve all the community allowing folks to meet for a cup of coffee, a playdate, or to watch various sports activities. To the extent possible, the amenities would be installed with reuse in mind when the community eventually builds a new community center at the site.
  • This will be an outdoor shaded area with picnic tables, a place where teens and community members can gather, socialize and recreate. The Snack Shack (see below) would most likely be added to this area or adjacent to it.

5. Create a Snack Shack at the Barrett Community Center ($25,000 one-time for the creation the Snack Shack structure)

  • The Snack Shack will provide healthy, affordable snack alternatives for youth and teens while visiting the site, and participating in the various activities provided.
  • Potential revenue generation opportunity for future youth programming and events.
  • Currently, there is no physical structure to serve as a snack shack. The $25,000 in funds would go toward the creation of such a structure, including materials, labor, and related costs.
  • The Snack Shack will serve as another vehicle to attract youth and teens after school, and double as a check-out location for sports equipment and supplies.

The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of an agreement providing for the County’s confirmation of the expenditure of funds during FY 2016-17 and FY 2017- 18 for the purposes stated herein.

Total Measure A Request: $190,000

Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 5 on the Board's agenda.