Parks and beaches are seeing a lot more visitors thanks to the new Pokemon Go game. The downloadable smartphone game is a spin-off of the Pokemon games and TV show from the 1990s, and allows players to catch digital creatures by travelling to real world locations.

Parks, memorials, and monuments are hotspots in the game. New Bedford's Director of Parks, Recreation, and Beaches, Mary Rapoza said many of the department's attractions are swarming with Pokemon activity. "I also found out that our Andrea McCoy Recreation Center is one of the Pokemon gyms," says Rapoza. "I'm really not clear how that will impact the use of the gym, but we just love having people learn about all of our great spaces and activities."

Rapoza admits she had to do some research about the game and how it might impact visitorship at the parks, but says she was intrigued. "It sounds like a lot of fun. I can understand why it's popular. And I'm hoping it is just another way to get people excited about all the great public spaces we have in the city."

Rapoza encourages players to be aware of their surroundings to avoid injuries. She adds she hopes visitors to the parks and other locations look into programs and activities that are offered through the department.

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