Super Shades Save The Day

Both Berler and city engineers note the simple fact that air temperature can drop dramatically “in the shade”; even in Laredo’s heat, shade can help reduce the stress factor of standing–or for Laredo children–playing in direct sunlight. But it is not only the children’s bodies that are receiving sunlight and conducting heat; it is also the play structure, whose core temperature–depending on the material–can soar significantly higher than the air temperature, making those slides, swings and jungle gyms too hot for little hands to touch.

Additionally, in warmer weather, children at play are more likely to lose body moisture by sweating, which can cause heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Some simple safety tips that help alleviate some of these dangers–such as wearing light clothes that breathe and drinking plenty of water–are easy enough to follow, but staying out of the sun when it is at its hottest is almost impossible to avoid in Laredo. The shade structures will be a super hero to block out the sun and the heat for Laredo kids.

City officials expect it to take anywhere from two to five months to design and install the shade structures, and are moving forward in ordering them.

“We’re excited to once again work with the Lamar Bruini Vergara Trust Fund, as they provide beneficial assistance to the citizens of Laredo with their generous donation,” says Miguel A. Pescador, director of the parks and recreation department. “There are 61 parks in the city; with this grant, we will be able to provide shade for approximately 50% of the parks. This extremely generous donation by the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust Fund will provide momentum for us to help us meet our goal of providing shades for 100 percent of our parks within the next five years,” he concludes.

This is the second grant the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust has made to the City of Laredo Parks and Recreation Department. In 2002, the LBV Trust awarded the department a $2.3 million grant to help fund the construction of the Lamar Bruni Vergara Inner City Technology Recreation Center, the second of its kind in the state.

Xochitl Mora Garcia is the Public Information Officer for the City of Laredo, where she spearheads all public relations initiatives for city departments. She can be reached via e-mail at lmora@ci.laredo.tx.us.

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