New youth policy adopted by parks

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The Great Neck Park District commissioners voted Thursday to approve a policy for new youth group facility usage to help streamline the process for requesting the use of the park facilities.

Board Chairman Bob Lincoln said the policy will mostly affect private groups who want to use the park facilities.

“Our goal is to make sure our Great Neck park facilities are being used by park district residents,” Lincoln said at the board’s regularly scheduled business meeting. “We also don’t want private groups using the park facilities as their sole facility or venue.”

The policy will require that all private groups meet the same standards the park district’s own programs have to meet in terms of health department regulations, background checks and counselor to camper ratios, Lincoln said.

He also said the policy will help with the scheduling of programs. Lincoln said last summer groups asked the park district to use their facilities at the last minute.

“We only have so many places and so much time,” Lincoln said. “It’s a problem doing it on a last-minute, crisis basis.”

The policy will set deadlines for when private groups may put applications in for park use. Lincoln said the groups don’t need to have final rosters to seek permission.

The policy does afford the park district some latitude in application deadlines – if a group comes forward after the deadline and the park district still has open spots, the group can still be accommodated, Lincoln said.

He said the policy was mailed to the various groups that have used park facilities in the past, inviting them also to come to Thursday night’s meeting to comment. No member of the public spoke at the meeting on the subject.

After the vote, Lincoln advised park district Superintendent Peter Renick to contact the groups who have used the facilities in the past, letting them know the policy was adopted.

The Great Neck Park District includes all Great Neck villages and unincorporated areas with the exception of Great Neck Estates, Harbor Hills, Lake Success, Saddle Rock and University Gardens.

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