virtual recreation
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Virtual Recreation Center

Welcome to the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Virtual Recreation Center! This is your one-stop-shop for tips, tricks and tales to help you pass the downtime caused by school closures, quarantines and other COVID-19-related County advisories.


While our standard rallying cry is to encourage people to spend more time outside, we understand that recent realities may not make that feasible. We’re now poised to offer many of our incredible outdoor activities in an online environment, or in a manner that supports social distancing. 

Bookmark this page and check back often. We’ll post new content as new opportunities are available.

New additions

Check out what was just added to our Virtual Recreation Center library!

Park-ology
Park-ology is a free, cloud-based education tool designed to teach teens, ages 14 to 18, about the parks and recreation industry. Content is split into three sections – Play, Nature and People – to provide a diverse and comprehensive look at key topics and concepts while unveiling a number of STEAM-related careers that students can learn more about as they plan their academic and professional futures. Text is balanced with videos, games and fun facts to keep students engaged and entertained. Upon course completion, students will receive a certificate and once all three are completed, they can receive a special gift! Only one is available now – PLAY – log in to check it out! Link: https://bit.ly/3gQU5fL

Virtual Tour: Don Dussault County Park
Don Dussault County Park is a peaceful 0.75-acre local park featuring two playgrounds, a new fitness station, a picnic pavilion, benches, tables, and BBQs. Check out the new park amenities in this virtual tour!

  

  


Virtual Tours


Hiking Trails

Take our Tour our Trails Challenge, which is comprised of 15 hikes across San Diego. Prizes will be awarded for every category you complete! Participation is free and booklets will be available at most County properties. Check back for updates.

Seven trailheads in our parks system feature TRACK Trails, a fun and interactive hiking adventure for kids. Starting at the TRACK Trails kiosk, kids can pick up an adventure guide, which provides information on the trail. Kids follow along and take notes – later logging them into their Kids in Parks account for a chance to earn prizes.

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Educational Videos

Learn about local parks and preserves, recreation opportunities, outdoor relaxation techniques, kid-friendly challenges, and the perks of spending quality time outside in this virtual workshop with Ranger Nicole! 

Tune into our first-ever virtual Dia de Los Muertos celebration! Local San Diego County park rangers, librarians, dancers and representatives of the Tierra Caliente Academy of the Arts have put on a special show - complete with a virtual park tour, cultural story times, how-to craft workshops and 14 dance performances representing different regions in Mexico. 

Throughout the month of October – or as we like to call it, Hawktober – we aired educational videos on local birds of prey. Clips were shown via YouTube every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Tune in to learn all about some of our favorite feathered friends, including hawks, falcons and owls! Click here to learn more and catch up on our videos below.

Learn from the experts. We made short videos to answer our most frequently asked questions! 

Watch our most recent Facebook Live videos. We saved the clips in case you couldn't tune in... check back for new additions!

four-part video series we helped produce on invasive species along San Diego’s waterways aired on San Diego River Park’s YouTube channel, during Earth Week 2021.

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Youth Activities

Park-ology is a free, cloud-based education tool designed to teach teens, ages 14 to 18, about the parks and recreation industry. Content is split into three sections – Play, Nature and People – to provide a diverse and comprehensive look at key topics and concepts while unveiling a number of STEAM-related careers that students can learn more about as they plan their academic and professional futures. Text is balanced with videos, games and fun facts to keep students engaged and entertained. Upon course completion, students will receive a certificate and once all three are completed, they can receive a special gift! Only one is available now – PLAY – log in to check it out! Link: https://bit.ly/3gQU5fL

Showcase your creativity with these printable coloring sheets (Version 1/Version 2) – featuring some of our favorite park locales! 

Be kind to your mind during Mental Health Month (May) with this coloring activity that spans emotions from Very Happy Halibut to Very Sad Shrew, with tips on how to move your mood in the right direction. It's made for kids but all can play along!   

Download the Energy Saving Adventures booklet (Version 1/Version 2) for word games and other challenges.

View Ranger Kyle and his  virtual touch table – then try your hand at our matching games.

Complete all seven steps in our Happier Healthier Earth puzzle to win a cool prize. 

Join the SD Nights team for a new virtual wellness series designed especially for teens, called Wellness Wednesdays. Popular fitness activities are offered in 30-minute programs, for a quick workout and social connection. Classes are free but spots are limited. Register in advance. All SD Nights Wellness Wednesdays events are free for youth ages 10-18. Info/RSVP to Carl McCullough at 619-961-0159 or carl.mccullough@sdcounty.ca.gov.

  • Virtual Boxing Class: Wednesdays, 5 - 5:30 p.m. (View the flyer: English/Spanish)
    This boxing class is open to all fitness levels. You will experience a fast-paced, high-energy, action packed cardio workout designed to get you in shape and help you reach your fitness goals fast! Instructors utilize agility, boxing combinations, FUNctional training that will propel you into shape while giving you a bit of self-defense. Click here to RSVP.
  • Virtual Strength & Conditioning Class: Wednesdays, 5 - 5:30 p.m. (View the flyer: English/ Spanish)
    Join our strength and condition class that is designed to incorporate HIIT, strength and bodyweight drills to get your heart rate up. Each class will begin with a warm-up, feature various calisthenics and strength and conditioning exercises and fi nish with core work and stretches. An experienced fitness instructor will lead the class and bring a strong level of enthusiasm, leadership and responsibility to their task. Participants will end each class with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Click here to RSVP.
  • Virtual Yoga Class: Wednesdays, 5:30 - 6 p.m. (View the flyer: English/Spanish)
    Yoga is an ancient practice from India that includes natural body movements, mindful breathing, concentration, and connection to our-selves, one another and nature. The goal is to let your body’s wisdom guide you into a state of balance and harmony. All you’ll need is a little bit of space to move around in and comfortable clothing. Classes are led by Josie Duraso, who has been teaching yoga for 6 years. She started her work as a high school educator teaching science along with yoga. She is passionate about wellness, building community, nature and being a forever student. Click here to RSVP.

SD Nights is going virtual, with interactive activities, games, classes and conversations designed for teens! All SD Nights VIP Events are free for youth ages 10-18. RSVP required for all events; contact Carl McCullough at 619-961-0159 or carl.mccullough@sdcounty.ca.gov for more info.

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Family Activities

Take a stroll around the block! You don't have to go far to find cool stuff in nature –  try this scavenger hunt in English, or Español!  

Try your hand at our  Instagram Bingo Game.

Download the Libby app, and read in your patio or yard! This is a free book-sharing service offered through County Libraries.   

Live near a County park or preserve? Cool!  Verify it here. Most County parks and preserves remain open as long as social distancing is maintained, though some on-site amenities are closed for your safety and ours.

If you don't see your park, Google it to see who manages it and visit them online. Every jurisdiction has the right to stay open or close, adhering to  local state and  federal guidelines.  

How You Can Help 

We all have a role to play to help prevent the spread of coronavirus while offering support to those in need. Here are ways you can pay it forward. 

Practice social distancing. Here are  six tips for success

Share and be aware. Following proper trail etiquette means exercising caution, using communication and acting with respect. Watch this  award-winning video for the inside scoop! 

Protect your pets!  Here are seven things to keep in mind for their protection, as well as yours, as you venture into our park system

Support a Live Well San Diego Partner. The County has established working relationships with hundreds of local businesses that embody the Live Well commitment to healthy, safe and thriving communities. Consider following them online, attending a virtual workshop, purchasing a gift card or ordering takeout to help keep them in business during this trying time. 

Pledge to make a difference. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher has joined forces with the San Diego Foundation to establish a COVID-19 Community Response Fund that makes emergency funding available to nonprofits and rescue crews helping to combat coronavirus, and those dedicated to providing support for affected individuals and businesses. 

Follow us online. Join the conversation on our official social media channels. 

Stay informed. With information changing daily, it’s important to be in ‘the know’.

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Earth Week 2021

We joined nearly a thousand organizations in 192 countries across the globe to celebrate Earth Day 2021! This year’s theme was “Together, we will restore our earth.”

The theme is based on a concept that rejects the idea that our only options to save the planet are to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental damage.

Instead, the Earth Day Network is helping to inspire scientists, governments, non-government agencies and businesses to look at natural processes and emerging green technology to restore the earth’s ecosystems and forests, conserve and rebuild soils, improve farming practices, restore wildlife populations and rid the world’s oceans of plastics. Find additional resources on the County of San Diego Land Use & Environment Group’s Virtual Earth Day page.

What natural processes are being explored in County Parks?

  • Reforestation: For example, our efforts to restore San Diego’s tree canopy by planting three native trees for every one lost to drought and/or invasive species in developed parks.
  • Clean water and air: We are in the middle of an extensive project to revitalize Lindo Lake, the only natural lake in San Diego which has been significantly impacted by drought.
  • Invasive species mitigation: To protect against wildfires and to preserve natural habitats, staff undergo daily patrols and maintenance projects to remove invasive plants and treat trees affected by invasive pests. 

four-part video series we helped produce on invasive species along San Diego’s waterways aired on San Diego River Park’s YouTube channel.

We’ve also brought back some DIY activities for the kids and teens, which can be downloaded and enjoyed at any time:

Get crafty with a simple DIY project! Learn how to create a decorative Earth Day piece with materials you can find in your home. Click here to follow along. 

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