Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department is adding new therapeutic recreation programming this year to serve individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities as well as at-risk youth. The programs are slated to launch this summer and will include adaptive sports and fitness programs, special events and other instructional recreation programs. The therapeutic programs will be part of the department’s Recreation Division that oversees the county’s three recreation center facilities and programming. Therapeutic recreation will be based out of Central Park Recreation Center but will be offering programs countywide.

“We began working on the development of therapeutic recreation programs in 2017 when we were approached by representatives from Forsyth County Special Olympics and the Forsyth County School System,” said Director of Parks & Recreation Jim Pryor. “It was determined that more programs for individuals with specific needs were needed in order to facilitate the development of leisure and recreation skills, socialization, independence and overall quality of life. We are excited to expand our program scope and further engage into community partnerships.”

As part of the development of the new therapeutic recreation programming, Forsyth County Parks & Recreation Department has hired the county’s first therapeutic recreation supervisor, a new position for 2018, to coordinate and implement the new programs. Forsyth County Parks & Recreation is pleased to introduce Jeff Jones as the new therapeutic recreation supervisor.

Mr. Jones will bring to the position more than 30 years of experience in therapeutic recreation and Paralympic sports. He served most recently as deputy director of Parks and Recreation for Haines City, Florida. His previous experience includes serving as associate director of sports and veteran initiatives for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, serving as director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Center for Health and Fitness, and being a founding director of the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability. Jones was also the director of sports and community programs for BlazeSports America, the legacy program of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master’s Degree in Adapted Physical Education from Springfield College and completed post-graduate studies in Parks and Recreation Administration at both Wayne State University and Aurora University. He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and a Certified Disability Sports Specialist.

“We are excited to have Jeff join our staff and bring to Forsyth County his extensive experience working in therapeutic recreation,” said Pryor.

Jones is scheduled to begin employment with Forsyth County on March 5. For more information about Forsyth County Parks & Recreation’s new therapeutic recreation programming, please call (770) 781-2215.