Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item

Adopt resolution accepting unanticipated revenue in the amount of $800,000 from the Human Services Department for Learning and Enrichment Camps Program, add 3 full-time equivalent limited term Recreation Program Specialist positions, and authorize the Director of Parks to execute further partnership agreements for recreation programs in response to COVID-19, as recommended by the Director of Parks, Open Space & Cultural Services


Department:Parks, Open Space & Cultural ServicesSponsors:Director of Parks, Open Spaces & Cultural Services Jeff Gaffney
Category:PARKS - Board LetterFunctions:Land Use & Community Services


  1. Board Memo
  2. Resolution 240-2020 AUD60 (eSign)

Financial Impact

The Learning and Enrichment Camps Program will be funded through June 2021 with $800,000 from the CalWORKs Program and results in no additional General Fund contribution.

Board Letter

Recommended Action(s):

1)              Adopt resolution accepting and appropriating unanticipated revenue in the amount of $800,000 from the Human Services Department for the Learning and Enrichment Camps Program;


2)  Add 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) limited term Recreation Program Specialist position as of November 14, 2020, and add 2 FTE limited term Recreation Program Specialist positions as of December 31, 2020; and


3)  Authorize the Director of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services (Parks) or designee to negotiate and execute further partnership agreements and extensions of existing agreements, with concurrence of County Counsel, to implement the Learning and Enrichment Camps Program in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Executive Summary

Parks is accepting unanticipated revenue from the Human Services Department (HSD) California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program to fund CalWORKs Learning Hubs as part of Parks’ Learning and Enrichment Camps Program.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and schools in Santa Cruz County not offering in-person instruction at this time, Parks has discontinued its formerly offered After-School Enrichment and Kinder Programs. Instead, Parks has been working in collaboration with the City of Watsonville, Boulder Creek Recreation and Park District, City of Capitola, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District, Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks, Pajaro Valley Unified School District and others to develop and implement the Learning and Enrichment Camps Program (LECP). The LECP provides distance learning and homework support, as well as enriching recreational activities in small stable groups of children ages 5 through 12, with stable caregiver groups. The program is offered at affordable and accessible rates for families residing in Santa Cruz County, including a discount to qualifying low-income families.


On August 18, 2020, the Board approved the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Expenditure Plan, with $828,548 for Parks’ Community Vitality Programs, including the LECP. The CRF funding enabled Parks to expand its partnerships and number of LECP sites. It also enabled Parks to retain 2 filled recreation positions through December 30, 2020, which were to be eliminated per the 2020-21 Revised Budget adopted in August 2020. Despite delays due to the CZU Lightning Complex Fires, there are currently 8 sites open and more are in discussion and preparation phases. However, the CRF funds must be fully expended by December 30, 2020. Although the future is uncertain, it appears that distance learning and the need for the LECP will continue into 2021.



The CalWORKs Program, administered by HSD, assists recipients in obtaining or preparing for employment, and removing barriers that would limit a parent’s ability to participate in an employment service plan. The LECP provides distance learning and homework support, as well as opportunities for youth to safely engage with their peers and mentors while participating in enriching, educational and health-promoting recreational activities. Parks and HSD are finalizing an agreement for CalWORKs Learning Hubs, to support positive health, development, and well-being outcomes for CalWORKs parents and children by expanding their future educational, economic, financial capability opportunities, and improving the likelihood that they will exit poverty.


As the LECP sites become identified CalWORKs Learning Hubs, Parks will partner with HSD to increase targeted outreach and enrollment to underserved CalWORKs families, in line with Parks’ values of Equity and Well-Being. The addition of 3 limited term Recreation Program Specialist positions through June 2021 will enable Parks to continue and potentially expand the County LECP sites and retain 2 recreation employees through June 2021, who would otherwise be laid off as of December 31, 2020. The additional funding from the CalWORKs Program will enable Parks to continue the LECP through June 2021 without terminating existing partnerships and reducing the number of sites, while offering distance learning and childcare programming to families in Santa Cruz County for the duration of the 2020-21 school year.


The project is consistent with many elements of the Parks Department’s Strategic Plan including objectives 1.2 Safety and Cleanliness, 1.5 Underserved Areas, 2.3 Sustained Funding, 2.5 Partnerships, 3.1 Recreation Programs, 3.4 Innovative Programs, and 3.5 Families and Youth.


Strategic Plan Element(s)

1A. Comprehensive Health & Safety: Health Equity

4A. Sustainable Environment:  Outdoor Experience

5D. Dynamic Economy:  Educational Opportunity

6A. Operational Excellence:  Customer Experience

6B. Operational Excellence:  County Workforce

6D. Operational Excellence:  Continuous Improvement

Meeting History

Oct 20, 2020 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Resolution No. 240-2020 AUD60

MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Ryan Coonerty, Third District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson