D.C.

D.C.'s Department of Parks and Recreation gearing up for Spring/Summer

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Outside its new administrative offices on U street northwest, D.C.'s Department of Parks and Recreation released its 2012 spring/summer guide - its largest ever, with hundreds of activities for residents of all ages.

The department is currently hiring 600 seasonal workers, with lifeguards in particular are in demand.

While recruiting workers, the department also unveiled its new slogan, “Move. Grow. Be Green,” which compliments first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

“There is an epidemic of obesity, there's issues with diabetes, particularly in the populations that we serve, particularly in populations east of the river in D.C.,” says Jesus Aguirre, director of D.C.'s Department of Parks and Recreation.

This summer, there will be renewed focus on physical activities for youth like zumbas, aerobic classes, yoga and basketball.

Sustainability and the environment will also be explored.

“Trying to build up our summer camp with gardening, bee keeping, things like that,” Aguirre says. “I think in D.C., we haven't done a lot of work with our parks and parks are such a critical part of this city.”

Because of the economy, department officials say residents are not spending money on movies or going away on vacation.

So they've been working to revamp and enhance the current slate of summer programs. And at the end of each day they hope youth will take this move-grow-be green messaging home with them.

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