News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2013
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

Kids Will Discover the ''Fun'' In Fitness at Miami-Dade Parks' ''Fit2play: Health, Wellness & Obesity Prevention'' After-School and Out-Of-School Program

Registration Starts August 1st

With the summer break soon coming to a close, parents will begin preparing their children for the new school year and getting back to a routine.  Outdoor physical activities should be part of every child's routine if they want to be healthy and fit for the classroom and life.  The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department is making fitness fun for kids (ages 6-14) and invites parents to enroll them in its "Fit2Play® Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention" After-School and Out-of-School Program," so they can discover the "fun" in fitness and develop healthy habits for a lifetime.  Kids will stay fit and thrilled with fully-supervised activities focused on fitness, nutrition and wellness, and developing their appreciation of nature, science and the cultural arts.

Miami-Dade County Parks' Fit2Play® program will be held, Monday through Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., from August 20, 2013 through June 6, 2014, throughout the school year and school vacation breaks, at 37 Miami-Dade park locations.  Registration begins on August 1.

Fit2Play® program fees range from $40-$90 per week, depending on the chosen program and location. Qualifying families can receive financial aid, including full scholarships.

Launched in 2005 as a health and wellness solution for children living in Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Parks' Fit2Play® program has been studied and endorsed by the University of Miami as being a national model. 

"In our efforts to inspire this next generation of healthy residents, this highly effective Fit2Play® program by our Parks Department provides a sustainable solution to the childhood obesity epidemic and other related kids' health issues.  I strongly encourage parents to enroll them in this special park program," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

"Combining outdoor recreation and healthy eating is key to winning the battle against childhood obesity.  Fit2Play® encourages children to engage in more physical activity, and reduce time spent in front of the computer and television. By teaching them how to develop good nutrition and fitness habits, kids can successfully reach their full potential and grow up to become fit and active adults," said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys.

Each day's session begins with homework help, during the school year, and is followed by Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) activities. This is an evidence-based, outcome-oriented active recreation component dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of physical activity that children engage in. In addition, nutrition knowledge is taught through the American Heart Association and Alliance for A Healthier Generation's EmpowerMe 4Life Nutrition curriculum.  Fit2Play® incorporates exercise, health and nutritional education into fun and engaging group activities, such as obstacle courses and nutrition relay races.  Fit2Play® programs and camps also incorporate nature, science and cultural arts activities and field trips.

Camp leaders are trained recreation professionals, and certified physical fitness and nutrition specialists. 

Under the supervision of Miami-Dade Parks certified therapeutic recreation specialists, registrants with disabilities can choose to participate in groups composed exclusively of kids with disabilities or alongside children without disabilities.

With parental permission, registrants participate in pre- and post-measurement tests managed by the University of Miami and used to track fitness levels, nutritional needs and progress.  Each child's height and weight measurements are converted to a BMI age- and sex-adjusted percentile.  Waist and hip circumference, along with bicep, tricep and shoulder blade skinfold measurements are collected to determine body fat distribution.  Physical fitness assessments include a sit-and-reach test, timed sit-up and push-up test, pacer test, and 400-meter run.  The University of Miami then processes the information, which becomes valuable insight that pediatricians and parents can use to successfully manage the health of their children. 

Miami-Dade County Parks offers transportation from select schools to select Fit2Play® park sites for an additional charge.

In addition to its General Program previously described, Miami-Dade County Parks also offers a Specialized Out-of-School Program at the Deering Estate at Cutler through the Estate's award- winning Living Classroom. Equipped with ecofacts and tools, live or preserved specimens, photographs and simple laboratory experiments, the Estate's Education and Interpretive Staff use hands-on interdisciplinary curriculum in the fields of ecology, geology, marine biology, archaeology, history, and art.

The Deering Estate at Cutler's NESTT (Nurturing Environmental Stewards of Today and Tomorrow); Marine Conservation Science and Policy; Wildlife Conservation; MarineMobile and GeoMobile Programs can be scheduled at any school, park or community center as part of a before-school or after-school care program. Classes are typically offered once weekly for a two hour session.  These programs are also taught onsite at the Deering Estate at Cutler as part of its EcoAcademy as an enrichment program at any K-8 public or private school during regular or school hours.  For more information, please visit, or call 305-235-1668, ext. 222.

There is no deadline to register for either the General or Specialized programs; however parents are encouraged to register early before programs fill to capacity.  Affordable prices vary per park and parents must register directly with the individual park. 

For more information, please visit Miami-Dade Parks' website at, or call 3-1-1 or any of the participating parks listed at the bottom of this press release.

Miami-Dade Parks is funded in part by The Children's Trust.  The Children's Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. 

Fit2Play® partners and sponsors include: Aetna; Avmed Health Plans;Florida Recreation and Park Association; Health Foundation of South Florida; Miami-Dade County Health Department

National Recreation and Park Association; Pediatric Associates; The Children's Trust; The Miami Marlins; The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade; The Trust for Public Land; and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Below is a list of both the General Program and Specialized Program sites of the Miami-Dade Parks Fit2Play® Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention After-School and Out-of-School program.


Deering Estate at Cutler's NESTT; Marine Conservation Science and Policy; Wildlife Conservation; MarineMobile and GeoMobile Out-of-School and In School Programs
Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72 Ave.
305-235-1668, ext.222

Below is a list of both the General Program and Specialized Program sites of the Miami-Dade Parks Fit2Play® Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention After-School and Out-of-School program.

Site designation as follows:


( * ) Sponsored by The Children's Trust


AccesibleOffers a program exclusively for children and adults with disabilities (Ages 6-22)


Check markOn-line registration available



Arcola Park, 1680 NW 87 St., 305-835-7987 *

Arcola Lakes Park, 1301 NW 83 St., 305-836-5095Check mark


Country Village Park (OLR),, 6550 NW 188 Terr., 305-622-2594Check mark


Greynolds Park, 17530 W. Dixie Highway, 305-945-3425 * Accesible


Gwen Cherry Park (Y.E.T.), 7090 NW 22 Ave., 305-694-4889


Highland Oaks Park (OLR),, 20459 NE 24 Ave., 305-932-2164Check mark


Jefferson Reaves Park (TCT), 3100 NW 50 St., 305-635-2081


Little River Park, 10525 NW 24 Ave., 305-694-5121


Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 6000 NW 32 Ct., 305-633-2044 * Check mark


Marva Y. Bannerman Park, 4830 NW 24 Ave., 305-633-4064


North Glade Park, 17355 NW 52 Ave., 305-621-2461


Oak Grove Park (OLR), 690 NE 159 St., 305-944-8670Check mark


Olinda Park, 2101 NW 51 St., 305-635-2081Check mark


West Little River Park, 2326 NW 84 St., 305-694-5096



Bird Lakes Park (OLR),, 14365 SW 48 Ln., 305-207-1644Check mark

Continental Park (OLR), 10000 SW 82 Ave., 305-274-9666 Check mark


Kendale Lakes Park, 7850 SW 142 Ave., 786-315-5295Check mark


North Trail Park, 780 NW 127 Ave., 305-207-2420Check mark


Raices Hispanic Cultural Arts Center at Miller Drive Park, 5510 SW 94 Court, 305-271-0812Check mark


Rockway Park, 9460 SW 27 Dr., 305-223-8769


Ron Ehmann Park (OLR), 10995 SW 97 Ave., 305-271-3853Check mark


Ruben Dario Park,9825 W. Flagler St., 305-222-2194  


Tropical Estates Park (OLR), 10201 SW 48 St., 305-226-5782Check mark


Westwind Lakes Park (OLR), 6805 SW 152 Ave., 305-388-4771 *Accesible Check mark



Camp Matecumbe, 111400 SW 137 Ave., 305-752-4966 * Accesible


Cinco de Mayo Park,19350 SW 384 St., 305-242-7930 *


Coral Estates Park, ages 6-22, 1405 SW 97 Ave., 305-226-1622 * Accesible

Deerwood Bonita Lakes Park (OLR), 14445 SW 122 Ave, 305-234-1660 Check mark


Eureka Villas Park (OLR), 14301 SW 180 St., 305-254-5856


Eureka Park, 18320 SW 119 Ave., 305-971-8814 Check mark


Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St., 305-255-2399*/ 305-234-1673 Accesible Check mark


Hammocks Community Park (OLR), 9885 Hammocks Blvd., 305-380-6917 Check mark


Leisure Lakes Park, 29305 Illinois Rd., 305-248-1527 *


Modello Park, 28450 SW 152 Ave., 305-247-1553


Naranja Park, 14150 SW 264 St., 305-258-1945 *


Sgt. Joseph Delancy Park (OLR), 14450 Boggs Drive, 305-235-4503 Check mark


South Dade Park (OLR), 28151 SW 164 Ave., 305-247-9453 Check mark


Southridge Park, 11250 SW 192 St., 786-293-4549 Check mark


West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Terr., 305-235-2053


Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St., 305-222-2128 * Accesible


Wild Lime Park, 14751 Hammocks Blvd., 305-386-0227 Check mark


About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor's Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.