Yakima Parks brings joy during pandemic with ‘Bearable Adventure’

YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima Parks and Recreation is reaching out to the community with a new initiative they hope will make life during the pandemic a little more ‘bear-able.’

The ‘Bearable Adventure’ initiative calls for residents to put teddy bears in windows, storefronts, on lawns, or anywhere else that’s visible to passersby — as a symbol of comfort and support.

“We can’t directly go and approach somebody as usually as we might have in the past,” Recreation Leader Sarah Lopez said. “This is an indirect way of expressing … connection, which I think we’re all longing for right now.”

Lopez pitched the idea after seeing other communities doing similar things. She said she wanted to bring that kind of connection back to Yakima, in a way that still allows for social distancing.

Residents are encouraged to get outdoors to look for teddy bears, keep track of how many they find and share their adventures on the Yakima Parks and Recreation page on Facebook. They can also keep an eye out for bear-related challenges to win prizes.

https://www.facebook.com/yakima.parks/posts/3486698181340704

“Get out, get walking, get jogging and just keep your eyes peeled,” Lopez said.

The initiative is a partnership between Yakima Parks and Recreation, the Yakima Police Department, Hogback Development Company and Safe Yakima Valley. Hogback’s tenant businesses at Rainer Square have placed teddy bears in their windows.

The program is scheduled to end October 6, which is also the tentative date for National Night Out. Additional information, as well as a scavenger hunt, can be found on the Yakima Parks and Recreation website.