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AUGUST 2011
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. There are several exciting things happening at Park and Rec over the next couple of weeks including the Hummingbird Festival (Aug. 27), the groundbreaking of Romare Bearden Park (Sept. 2), and the construction of a new park in the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood. We hope that you can be a part of some of these wonderful events.


REEDY CREEK'S ANNUAL HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL SET FOR AUG. 27


 Hummingbird Festival
  The Hummingbird Festival offers fun for the entire family.


The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites the public to the 2011 Hummingbird Festival on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., at Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Road. The festival offers a chance to see ruby-throated hummingbirds as they depart for their long journey south for the inter. Most fly on buzzing wings all the way across the Gulf of Mexico — a 500-mile, non-stop flight over open water! The festival features fun for the whole family with music, nature hikes, banding demonstrations, vendors, crafts, and children’s’ activities. Admission is FREE, donations are requested. The event will be held rain or shine. Event sponsors include: REI, Lite 102.9, Chirp ‘N Chatter, and Hungry Howie’s. Water will be provided to volunteers by Earth Fare. The Reedy Creek Nature Preserve encompasses 727 acres; adjacent Reedy Creek Park covers 125 acres. The nature preserve's rolling topography includes pine and hardwood forests, fields and meadows, three lakes, and the headwaters and two tributaries of Reedy Creek. The preserve has 10 miles of trails for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The varied terrain provides habitat for 109 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles, and 12 species of amphibians.

 Romare Bearden  
Romare Bearden was a world-renowned artist born in Charlotte.  
PARK AND REC CELEBRATES THE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF ROMARE BEARDEN WITH GROUNDBREAKING OF A NEW PARK IN UPTOWN

Please join us as we celebrate world-renowned artist Romare Bearden's 100th birthday with the groundbreaking of uptown's newest park named in his honor. The ceremony is Sept. 2, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the corner of 3rd and Church streets. Refreshments will be provided. Parking is available in the 3rd Street lot between Poplar and Church streets. 

REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2011 CROSS-COUNTRY FOR YOUTH PROGRAM

Kids ages 9-14 interested in participating in cross-country this fall are able to register now through Sept. 12 for the 2011 Cross-Country for Youth program. Participants can register for the 10-week program by visiting www.crosscountryforyouth.com; the registration fee is $65 per person. Practices will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at Elon, Mallard Creek and Sugaw Creek Recreation Centers. A complete schedule of practice and competition locations will be available once registration is complete.

   Coyotes
  Coyotes are now considered part of the wildlife in Mecklenburg County.
LEARNING TO LIVE WITH COYOTES IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY
 

In light of recent coyote sightings throughout the Charlotte area, the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, in cooperation with the Towns of Cornelius and Huntersville, would like to provide some brief information on coyotes and what to do in the event that you encounter one. Coyotes stand 23-26 inches tall and usually weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. They are predominantly brownish-gray, but colors can vary between individuals and by season. There are four identifying characteristics, which can help distinguish a coyote from a small dog:
Coyotes are highly adaptable and very intelligent. They are opportunistic and often eat what is easiest to catch, feeding on many different food sources. While they feed primarily on ever-abundant rodents, they also eat rabbits, carrion (dead animals), ground nesting birds/eggs, young fawns, reptiles, amphibians, insects and wild fruits like persimmons. In areas with high human populations, they may eat fruits and vegetables from gardens as well as refuse from trash cans and dump sites. They have also been documented to prey on small livestock and domestic animals. Cats and very small dogs are vulnerable, particularly if left out at night. In order to avoid humans, coyotes are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Large dogs are seen as competition and coyotes will naturally react in a territorial manner toward a dog of equal or larger size. Unless coyotes are being actively fed by humans or are sick, they will keep their distance from people and their leashed pets. Thus, it is very important to keep dogs on leashes and an eye on domesticated cats that are allowed outside.

Coyote Safety Tips
  • Never approach or touch a coyote. 
  • Never feed coyotes or any wild animal directly or indirectly.
  • Remember the buddy rule (go with a friend) while visiting a park, nature preserve or greenway.
  • Since our parks, nature preserves and greenways are home to many birds, rodents and other small mammals, do not be surprised if you see a coyote. In fact, you should expect to see them since they are a part of our local wildlife.
  • In order to protect pets, pet owners and wildlife, responsible pet owners keep pets on a leash and besides, it’s the law. An unattended small dog or cat can be easy prey for coyotes. Do not walk small dogs at night and cats should remain indoors as much as possible.
  • Viewing coyotes from a distance is a great and rewarding experience! However, if you feel uncomfortable, use the following techniques to maintain distance between you and coyotes:
    • throw sticks,
    • yell,
    • wave your arms, and/or 
    • spray them with a hose.

These actions will help keep a den from being located nearby and will help them maintain a level of fear towards humans. 

At your Home:

  • If you observe a coyote attack directly on a person or a leashed pet, report the incident immediately to 911.
  • Fence off outside animal enclosures and include a top. Coyotes can jump a 6’ high fence. 
  • Enclose the bottom of porches and maintain outdoor storage sheds in a manner that prevents animals from using them as cover. 
  • Remove thick brush and weeds around homes that may harbor rodents. The presence of rodents may attract coyotes.

E-PLANT TIPS FOR AUGUST FROM THE NC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM
  • Be sure to aerate, de-thatch, or till your lawn prior to seeding your fescue lawn this September-October.
  • Soil sample/test now for fescue lawns. Use the fertilization recommendation this fall and next spring.
  • Whenever you apply pesticides, adhere strictly to the directions on the package. Do not spray when temperatures are over 85 degrees F or when it is windy.

HELP MAKE LINCOLN HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD'S DREAM COME TRUE

Park and Rec and Hands On Charlotte will build a park in the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood. Thousands of volunteers will help build the playground, paths, and community garden. The build is Sept. 8-10 with a ceremony on Sept. 11. The volunteer department is geared up and is actively recruiting volunteers to build the park and make dreams come true for the residents of Lincoln Heights. If you are interested in volunteering to help make this park a reality, please contact us.

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 August. For more information on volunteering contact Lori Saylor at 704-353-0504.






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