Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Welcome to our e-newsletter for April. We invite you to enjoy spring at our many parks and nature preserves. We hope you can get out in nature, play a sport or join an activity at our recreation centers. Park and Rec wants to be your friend and your partner in fun and good health!
DOG LOVERS: JOIN US FOR THE 2010 PEDIGREE® BARK IN THE PARK FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY FOOD LION APRIL 24; ONLINE VOTING FOR 'TOP DOG' AMONG FINALISTS STARTS APRIL 1
|Bark in the Park is our biggest festival. It drew 14,500 people last year, most with dogs!
Dog lovers cast votes online Apr. 1-Apr. 16 (until 5pm) for the Top Dog of the 2010 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion. Vote for the Top Dog
. Judges chose three finalist candidates: Conan, McKinley and Zane. Online voting will determine the Top Dog, to be announced Apr. 19 (12 noon) on the website. The contest is part of the Bark in the Park Dog Festival, a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department on Saturday, Apr. 24, 10am-4pm at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road (off Sunset Road, exit 16 off I-77) Directions to Metrolina Expo
. Metrolina Expo has plenty of space and free parking. It drew many plaudits last year. Admission is FREE for dogs and people. More info on Bark in the Park
MECKLENBURG LIONS' CLUBS TO PLANT MEMORIAL TREE APRIL 10 IN FREEDOM PARK TO HONOR HELEN KELLER
|Helen Keller was the first person, both blind and deaf, to receive a bachelor of arts college degree.
Park and Recreation hosts a ceremony and tree planting to honor Helen Keller on Sat., Apr. 10 at 10am at Freedom.Park
. The ceremony will take place on the far side of the lake from the band shell. Public is invited. The Lions' Clubs, which raised money to build Freedom Park, have adopted as their special mission to help people who are blind and sight-impaired. Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) was an American author, political activist and lecturer. The Charlotte Lions' Club (which split into several clubs which are now part of the Mecklenburg County Lions' Clubs) conducted a private fundraising campaign to build Freedom Park at the end of World War II. It was dedicated as a memorial to 10,000 Charlotteans who served in the war, and the club gave it to our community.
PARK AND REC OFFERS MANY SPECIAL EVENTS FOR EASTER SEASON, FOR SPRING BREAK AND FOR KIDS AT SUMMER CAMPS
If you're looking for great things for kids to do on out-of-school days for Spring Break from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, or things for kids and families to do during the Easter season (you know, like Peter Cottontail and egg hunts!), Park and Recreation is the place to look. Also, it's time for parents to think about summer camps for their kids.
REGISTER NOW FOR 'RODNEY'S GREAT KIDS TRIATHLON' APRIL 17 AT MECKLENBURG COUNTY AQUATIC CENTER
The secret of doing well in a triathlon is…you have to swim, run, and bike (all three)! We invite kids, ages 17-under to register now for the 13th annual Rodney's Great Kids Triathlon. Registration runs now through Apr. 17 and costs $20 (before April 9, but $25 Apr. 10-Apr. 17). Register in person at the Aquatic Center in uptown Charlotte or mail form to the Aquatic Center, 800 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Charlotte 28202. (no online registration) There have been some changes to this year's event. Kids ages 8-under will do one lap on both the bike course and the run course. Click here for details and for entry form to mail.
ENGINEERING STUDENTS FROM UNCC HELP INSTALL A NEW PLAYGROUND FOR SHUFFLETOWN PARK
|Park and Rec thanks the volunteers who helped us to build the playground at Shuffletown Park.
Engineering students from UNC-Charlotte helped build a playground last month in Shuffletown Park
. About 20 students assembled prefabricated parts to form two playgrounds units with chutes, ramps, towers and platforms. One of the units is for youngsters, ages 2-5, the other for youngsters 5-12. Both units reflect an auto racing theme in decoration and design. Phase I of Shuffletown Park is already open to the public and includes two baseball fields with a multipurpose field in outfield, plus a restroom/shelter building. Phase II, now under construction includes the two new playground units, a dog park with picnic tables and fountain, two sand volleyball courts, a walking trail which will run around the old Shuffletown drag strip, and additional parking. The new amenities are scheduled to open by June 12.
SENIORS INVITED TO LEARN ABOUT A NEW SENIORS CLUB AT BEREWICK RECREATION CENTER IN A SESSION APRIL 13
Park and Rec invites interested seniors, age 50 and better, to become founding members of a new seniors club at Berewick Rec Center
. Park and Recreation staff will hold an information session with interested seniors at the center on Apr. 13,10:30am. Learn all the benefits of being a senior club member. The session will be followed by demonstrations of watercolor painting, aerobics, and dancing. The meeting and these activities are FREE. Sign-ups and information about future programs and trips will also be available. For more information contact Recreation Specialist Carla Platter at 704 432-4934.
GRAYSON SKATEPARK OFFERS SKATE BOARDING CAMP FOR SPRING BREAK, APRIL 5-9 WITH LESSONS, COMPETITIONS AND MANY FUN ACTIVITIES
|The secret of being a good skate boarder is to get good instructions, like at a Park and Rec skatepark.
Kids out of school for spring break who enjoy skate boarding may sign-up now for the Teen Spring Break Skate Camp at Grayson SkatePark. The camp runs Apr. 5-9, 9am-5pm, and is open to kids ages 7-14. The camp features lessons from instructors, a competition where kids may show their skills, plus lots of skate boarding! There will also be plenty of other fun activities like dodge ball. Participants should bring a bag lunch. Cost: $125. Participants must fill-out a waiver before they can skate. To register, visit Eparks
, and enter Course Code #9769.
PARK AND RECREATION IS AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN 'SYMPOSIUM FOR NEIGHBORHOODS,' SEEKING TO BUILD A BETTER COMMUNITY
The City of Charlotte's "Creating Community: A Symposium for Neighborhoods" takes place Sat., Apr. 17, 7:45am-3:30pm at Central Piedmont Community College's central campus. The Symposium brings together neighborhood residents and leaders who seek to build a better community. This event is held in partnership with CPCC's Charlotte Clean and Green Festival and Sensoria Celebration of the Arts. All activities are FREE and include adult workshops, youth track for ages 12-18, exhibits, arts and cultural activities for all ages, and much more. Park and Recreation will present workshops and staff exhibit tables. To learn more or register call 704-336-2061 or visit http://neighborhoods.charmeck.org
E-PLANT TIPS FOR APRIL FROM THE NC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
In Mecklenburg County, the Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers the following tips for gardeners in spring:
- Some people report luck with beer as a pesticide for slugs. Place it in small, aluminum, pot-pie pans sunk in the ground with the soil even with the rim.
- Plant strawberries, if you haven't already. Place straw around established plants as a mulch after weeding and fertilizing the bed.
- Improve the fruiting of your blueberries by removing unproductive wood that is diseased, dead and broken. Also remove old canes (five to six years old) that have begun to lose their vigor. Select six to eight of the most vigorous, upright-growing canes for fruiting wood and remove all others.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND RECREATION: WE CAN ALWAYS USE SOME HELP ON MANY FUN PROJECTS AND EVENTS!
Park and Recreation thanks almost 17,000 volunteers who helped us in the past year. For information on volunteering for any programs contact: Lori Saylor at 704 336-5478. NOTE: Volunteers younger than age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers for Therapeutic Recreation (TR) must be at least 18. Join the fun! Volunteer for any of the following:
Senior Games Visual Arts Show: Tyvola Senior Center, Apr. 20, 9am-2pm or 1pm-4pm, Volunteers receive, help set-up and display art work. Please bring a hammer.
Senior Games Visual Art Show: Tyvola Senior Center , May 13, 12-3:30pm, Volunteers to lift and move tables and chairs, help set-up, decorate, etc., clean up afterward.
Senior Games: Charlotte Mecklenburg Senior Games (CMSG) promotes health and wellness for persons 55 and better. Many events in Apri. And May in Park and Rec activities:
- Cycling: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tues, Apr. 27, 5pm-9pm. Help with lap counting and holding participants at start of each race
- Track and Field Events: Alexander Graham Middle School, May 15, 8am-12pm. Volunteers keep score and help omake sure rules are followed for events
- Lawn Games: Nevin Park , May 22, Bocce: 8am-12pm, Horseshoes: 8am-12pm, Shuffleboard: 10am-3pm, Volunteers assist score keeping, make sure rules are followed. Sports knowledge helps.
- Many other opportunities available for Senior Games!
Young Athletes Program Field Day: Queens Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park , Sat., May 1, 8am-10am (setup) 10am-1pm (event) 1pm-3pm (break down), Volunteers must be at least age 18. This is a Special Olympics field day for children with disabilities younger than age 8. Volunteers help set-up and break-down, register participants, guide children through the activities.
Coaches needed for many sports: Youth Flag Football, Football, Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Cheerleading. It's not too early to sign up as a coach for any event. Coaches run one week night practice each week with games generally on Saturdays. Many teams at recreation centers. Click here to see list and location of centers.
Therapeutic Recreation: VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AT LEAST AGE 18.
- Therapeutic Enrichment Program: Mation Diehl Rec Center , Monday through Fridays after school, 3:30 pm- 5:30 pm, TREP is for teens, 13-21, with disabilities, includes games, gardening, sports, music, crafts, and enhancing life skills and socialization.Volunteers assist with set-up, break-down, participant supervision, facilitate activities.
- SEALS – TR after school program: Marion Diehl Rec Center, Tuesdays & Thursdays after school lets out for the summer. Program is for elementary children who are blind or have a visual impairment. Volunteers work one-on-one with students during homework time, reading, math, spelling, writing, pottery or music.
- Adaptive Baseball: Marion Diehl Adaptive Field , Apr. 17– June 5 (Sats.), 9:30am-10:30am & 11:00am – 12:00pm 2 Hours total per week. Program teaches youth and teens that have disabilities the basics of baseball in a fun and caring atmosphere.Volunteers assist with set- up, break-down and pair with players as a buddy.
- Many other TR opportunities available
Many new volunteers needed for: U Can Bike 2 cycling program, Golf 4 Fun, Royal Chess Club, Girls Club, etc.
- Park Ambassadors, Nature Preserve Greeters, 4H Club Volunteers always need, many locations.
- Many special projects for clubs and groups
CLICK HERE FOR MORE VOLUNTEER INFORMATION OPPORTUNITIES