City of Lawrence creates adult scholarship program for Parks and Rec, expands youth program

photo by: Journal-World File

Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 100 Rock Chalk Lane, is shown in this file photo from June 2017.

The City of Lawrence has expanded its scholarship program for Parks and Recreation activities to include support for adults as well as children.

The city announced Monday that the new adult scholarships will be available beginning with spring 2023 enrollment in Parks and Rec programs, which include athletic leagues, exercise classes and various other activities.

The adult scholarship program is open to all Douglas County residents 18 and older with a demonstrated financial need, according to a city news release. Scholarships will cover half of a program’s registration fee for eligible programs.

Income eligibility for the scholarship program will be based on the same standards for other governmental programs that require a certain income level to participate. Recipients may provide a current KanCare insurance card from the Kansas Medicaid program or letter from an organization that provides financial support, such as the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Kansas Department of Children and Families or others. Financial eligibility is equivalent to the free/reduced lunch eligibility standards or federal income eligibility guidelines.

The Lawrence City Commission approved a $1.2 million increase in Parks and Rec fees for 2023 as part of its annual budget process, which also included funding to create the adult scholarship program and expand the existing youth scholarship program. The Parks and Rec Department initially proposed both the creation of entrance frees for recreation centers and the Prairie Park Nature Center and increases to recreation program fees, but following public opposition decided not to pursue entrance fees.

Specifically, the 2023 budget allocated $30,000 for adult scholarships and an additional $20,000 for youth scholarships. The youth scholarship fund was established in 1996 through a grant from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee.

Registration for Parks and Rec spring programs will open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. A list of programs and more information about the adult and youth scholarship programs are available on the Parks and Rec website,


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