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APRIL 2011
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department. Spring is finally here! We hope that this newsletter will provide you with plenty of fun and exciting activities that will help you get out and enjoy the weather!

The following video showcases all the contestants in the 2011 Top Dog Photo Contest. Online voting for the three finalists runs through April 17.



   Bark in the Park
  Top Dog voting is April 1-17.
ONLINE VOTING STARTS APRIL 1 FOR 'TOP DOG' of the 2011 PEDIGREE® BARK IN THE PARK DOG FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY FOOD LION

Dog lovers may cast votes online April 1 (starting at 8 a.m.) through April 17 (until 5 p.m.) for the Top Dog of the 2011 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion. Judges have chosen three finalists: Zoe and Boss, both German shorthaired pointers; and Bella, a miniature dachshund. Online voting will determine the Top Dog, to be announced April 20. These three finalist photos were chosen based on cleverness and originality from 49 entries. The contest is part of the Bark in the Park Dog Festival, a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, and is set for Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, NC. Admission is FREE for dogs and people. The Top Dog and master will be the grand marshals of the Pooch Parade at Bark in the Park and will receive a pet photo portrait by Tianna Fisher, a year’s supply of dog food, a Petco gift basket, and the dog will be featured on the poster for next year’s festival logo.

PARK AND REC OFFERS WIDE VARIETY OF SPRING BREAK AND OUT-OF-SCHOOL CAMPS

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of spring break and out-of-school camps for youth and teens. To register for any of the following programs, click on the appropriate course code.

Out-of-School – Play Days
Activities include games, social time, fitness and field trips. Camps are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the following locations:
Berewick Recreation Center
#20835 April 18-22
#20834 May 30
Ages 5 to 12 Cost: $20 
West Charlotte Recreation Center
#21083 April 18-22, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ages 10-13 Cost: $50 

Board Game Mania
This program was designed to help teens develop effective communication and problem solving skills.
MLK School Recreation Site
#21034 April 18, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Ages 12 to 15 Cost: $2

Team Building

The team building program will ensure self development, positive communication, leadership skills, and teamwork.
MLK School Recreation Site
#21052 April 21, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Ages 13 to 15 Cost: FREE

Spring Break Camp

Designed to promote fun, fitness and wellness through games and play. Filled with lessons on sportsmanship, eating right and exercise.
Arbor Glen Outreach Center
#22061 April 18-21 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ages 6 to 12 Cost: $20

Going Green Spring Break Camp

Teaches lessons on sportsmanship, eating right and exercise. We will also teach the importance of going green.
Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center
#21179 April 18-21 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ages 6 to 12 Cost: $45

Teen Spring Break Camp

Teens are you ready to get out in the work force? Want to make your own money this summer? Join us and Goodwill Youth Job Connection in showing you the ropes.
Southview Recreation Center
#22431 April 18-21 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ages 14 to 18 Cost: $20

Spring Break: Fit Camp

Designed to promote fun, fitness and wellness through games and play.
Mallard Creek Recreation Center
#22398 April 18-22, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Ages 5 to 11 Cost: $75

Ray’s Chill Days

Kids will enjoy swimming, sports, group games, and fun at the Planet!
Ray’s Splash Planet
#21476 April 18-22, 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Ages 6 to 11 Cost: $125 / extended care $150

Play The Day Away

Enjoy arts and crafts, games, adventures and more. Sessions are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tom Sykes Recreation Center
#22621 April 19
#22622 April 20
#22623 April 21
Ages 6 to 12 Cost: $20

Spring Break Skate Camp

Grayson SkatePark
#23046 April 18-22, 9 a.m. -5 p.m.
Ages 7 to 14 Cost: $125/week $30/day

Spring Break Basketball Camp

Campers must bring their own lunch.
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
#23261 April 18-22, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ages 6 to 14 Cost: $65

Splash into Science Spring Break Camp
Explore all things wet and wild at the nature preserve!
Discover a wetland, investigate Mountain Island Lake,
go canoeing, and much more.
Latta Plantation Nature Center
#21568 April 18-20, 9 a.m - 3 p.m.
Ages 7 to 12 Cost: $80

Spring Discovery Camp
Discover the magic that nature has to offer! From outdoor adventure to animals to splashing around in the creeks, everyday offers something different! Drop in for 1 day or all 3!
Reedy Creek Nature Center
#22316 April 19-21, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ages 8 to 12 Cost: $25/day

Spring Break Girls Only Basketball Camp
Albemarle Road Recreation Center
April 18-22, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
#24468
Ages 7 to 17 Cost: Registration fee - $25 Camp fee - $65

Spring Break Field Ecology Learning Academy

Educators! Teachers! Home school leaders! Each day you will hone your field studies skills while working with biologists who use these techniques in their work. Earn CEUs and have fun rediscovering your passion!
Reedy Creek Nature Center
#22315 April 18-20, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ages 18 and up Cost: $130

Mecklenburg County Nature Preserves Spring Field Studies Workshop

Teachers spend your spring break learning how to bring the outdoors into the standard course of study for CEU’s
McDowell Nature Center
#24071 April 20-22, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Ages 18 and up Cost:$130


GRAB YOUR FAVORITE HAT AND JOIN US AT THE INAUGURAL HATS- OFF TO PARKS LUNCHEON

The Hats off to Parks luncheon is the first in a series of “Park Parties” that will be held to raise funds for park projects. This year the funds raised will help build a playground in the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood. Please support us as we enhance our community one park at a time. The event is Thursday, May 5, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Freedom Park. Tickets are $50. To request a ticket or receive Sponsorship Information please contact  Lori Saylor Phone: 704-353-0504 FAX: 704-319-9556.


 Veterans Golf Tourney  
The Veteran's and reservists Golf Classic is june 30 at Renaissance Park Golf Course.  
VETERANS AND ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY ARE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER TO PLAY IN PARK AND REC’S FREE GOLF CLASSIC

All military veterans (including National Guard and Reserves) and active duty military personnel are invited to sign-up now through June 17 to play in the 6th Annual Veterans & Reservists Golf Classic at Renaissance Park Golf Course, 1525 West Tyvola Road. The event will be held on June 30, 2011. Register online at www.charlottepublicgolf.com or return the form (linked above) to Renaissance Park Golf Course. The tournament begins with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and features a FREE round of golf on a fine course plus FREE continental breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A and FREE lunch provided by Texas Land & Cattle Steak House. This year, Mecklenburg County is giving veterans who play in the golf tournament an opportunity to help homeless veterans by supporting the County’s 2011 Homeless Veterans Stand Down. The Stand Down will be held on Oct. 11 at Grady Cole Center. If you would like to donate to that event to help give homeless veterans the opportunity to get back on their feet, mail your check to the Mecklenburg County Veterans Service Office, 700 North Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202. Please make your check out to: 2011 Veterans Stand Down. Gifts of $5, $10, $20 or more would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please call Brian Gott , Citizen Engagement, Corporate and Media Sponsorships at 704 621-1808. This event is presented by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department and Mecklenburg County Community Support-Services - Veterans Services Division to show appreciation to men and women who serve and have served our country in the armed forces.

14TH ANNUAL RODNEY'S GREAT KIDS THRIATHLON SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 16

The 14th Annual Rodney's Great Kids Triathlon will be held on Saturday, April 16 starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. The triathlon is a competition for kids in various age groups with boys and girls divisions for —ages 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14,  and 15-17. Kids start out swimming, jump out of the pool, put on shoes and bike helmets, jump on bicycles, ride the required distance, then jump off and run to the finish line. The distance of each leg of competition varies in the various age groups. The older the kids, the farther they have to go in each leg of the race:
• The Swimming distance ranges from 100 yards to 400 yards.
• The Bike Rides vary from 1.4 miles to 5.6 miles.
• The Run covers distances from .7 miles to 2.8 miles.

   
  McDowell Nature center and Preserve.
DIA DEL NIÑO CELEBRATION AT MCDOWELL NATURE CENTER APRIL 16
 

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve invites the public to celebrate DÍa del Niño on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy nature on the second largest nature preserve in Mecklenburg County, and celebrate the joy of our children with lots of free and fun activities. Bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. Charcoal grills are available in the medium shelter area. The event will include family fishing with all gear and bait provided, bilingual live animal talks, a quinceañera party with the Mecklenburg County Library, Home Depot building crafts, and fresh apples provided by McDonald’s. Criss Cross Mangosauce, a bilingual and bicultural interactive performing group for families, will take the stage at 2 p.m. in the large pavilion. La Raza 106.1 will host a live feed from the Preserve, throughout the day. McDowell Nature Preserve, located on Lake Wylie in southwest Mecklenburg, protects over 1,100 acres of natural habitat and prairie, with a Nature Center, seven miles of hiking trails and the only campground in Mecklenburg County. Free shuttle service will be provided inside the Preserve for the event.

   
Our Children's Memorial Walkway in Frazier Park.  
OUR CHILDREN’S MEMORIAL WALKWAY HOLDS SPRING SERVICE APRIL 16 

Our Children's Memorial Walkway invites anyone grieving the loss of a loved one to the annual spring memorial service April 16 2011 at 2 p.m. Our Children's Memorial Walkway and Garden is located in Frazier Park. Families who have lost a loved one of any age are invited to bring a lawn chair and attend. The speaker for the spring memorial service is Larry Dawalt, Director of Spiritual and Grief Care Services Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region. The topic is "May I use a Lifeline" on the importance of support. Our Children’s Memorial Walkway has more than 1,200 engraved bricks memorializing children of all ages from 15 states plus Canada and England including soldiers who have died in the line of duty. The walkway features a beautiful garden with plants, flowers and statues of playing children. OCMW was created in 2001 through a partnership among Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department and several grief groups. Anyone may purchase an engraved brick to memorialize a departed loved one of any age. The engraved bricks sell for $50-$100. Our Children’s Memorial Walkway is a 501(c)(3) corporation and is now accepting donations for the upkeep of the garden.  The spring service generally draws about 200 people. In case of rain, this service will be moved to Ray's Splash Planet.

SPRING IS A GREAT TIME FOR TENNIS IN CHARLOTTE!

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation has five tennis professionals and organizations providing tennis instruction at six public parks. The professionals offer a variety of clinics and lessons for players of all ages and skill levels. For more information on specific programs please contact the instructors using the information below. 
  

E-PLANT TIPS FOR APRIL FROM THE NC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM

  • Erect trellises now for beans and cucumbers if you are going to train them on trellises later in the season. 
  • 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

Park and Recreation thanks all of its volunteers who helped in the past year. There are plenty of ways to get involved in April. For more information on volunteering contact Lori Saylor at 704-353-0504.


  • Volunteer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Games: Charlotte Mecklenburg Senior Games is looking for Volunteers to help with the 2011 Senior Games. Volunteers are needed to keep score, set up facilities, present awards, register participants, display artwork, and enjoy the feelings of good health and the spirit of friendship. The Games kick off on Monday April 18 and run through June 11 are venues all over Mecklenburg County. If you would like to volunteer please email: Lori Saylor.
  • Bark in the Park Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are needed for the 2011 Bark in the Park. The event will be held on Saturday April 30 at Rural Hill. We need volunteers in two shifts 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Volunteers will help with the sponsor tents, registration, contests and water stations. For more information please contact Lori Saylor.






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