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JULY 2011
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. July is designated as National Park and Recreation Month. We hope that this newsletter will provide you with some great ideas for having fun this summer as you continue your quest to recreate all year!

In June 2011, the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center celebrated its 20th anniversary. The celebration was highlighted by the unveiling of a brand new state-of-the-art LCD scoreboard. The following video captures all the festivities!
 Youth Soccer and Flag Football  
Registration ends July 31.  
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR YOUTH SOCCER AND FLAG FOOTBALL

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites parents with children interested in playing soccer, ages 4-10, or flag football, ages 4-8, to register now through July 31 for the upcoming fall coed recreation season. Space is limited so register early! Birth certificates are required for proof of age determined as of August 1, 2011. Registration fee is $65 which includes league play and uniform. League play runs September to October with practices beginning in mid-August. Games will be played at  Harrisburg Road Park and Elon Park (soccer) and Elon Park, E.B. Moore Park and Sugaw Creek Park (flag football).Teams interested in registering must do so by Wednesday, July 20. Team registration fee is $400. Groups that register as a team must provide their own uniforms and secure their own practice sites. To register, click on E-Parks and select the appropriate age group to see league offerings. You may also call 311 or go to your nearest recreation center and staff can assist you. All Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation coaches are trained and certified through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and undergo a background check by the department. If interested in being a volunteer coach, please contact the recreation center closest to you or Lori Saylor, Volunteer Coordinator, at 704-353-0504. 

JULY OFFERS TWO ACTIVE ADULT DAY TRIPS FOR SENIORS 

The MeckSeniors Active Adults program will offer two day trips during the month of July. The group will visit Bryson City, NC on July 19 and Lake Murray, SC on July 26.
  • Bryson City, NC/Great Smokey Mountain Railroad: Trip departs from Mallard Creek Rec Center at 6 a.m. and Marion Diehl Rec Center at 6:30 a.m. Returns around 7 p.m. Cost $72 Course Code #19901. Enjoy 4 ½ hour ride that will explore the amazing landscape of Western North Carolina. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on-board enjoy a scenic view of fertile valleys and the river gorges near The Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy lunch on your own at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.

  • Lake Murray, SC - The Flight of the Purple Martin Dinner Cruise: Trip departs Mallard Creek Rec Center 3 p.m. Marion Diehl Rec Center 3:45 p.m. Returns 11 p.m. Cost $57 Course Code #23866. A phenomenon you have to see to believe. This 2 ½ hour cruise takes you out to historic Bomb Island, where
    hundreds of thousands of birds (Purple Martins) inhabit in North America.

   Sailing
  NCCSR operates on a two-acre site at Blythe Landing on Lake Norman. It is the only center of its kind in the region.
SPACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR SUMMER YOUTH SAILING CAMPS AT BLYTHE LANDING

North Carolina Community Sailing & Rowing is offering summer youth sailing camps at Blythe Landing on Lake Norman (2 miles west on NC 73 exit 25 I77). These are five days long (Mon.-Fri.), either mornings (9 a.m.-noon) or afternoons (1 p.m.-4 p.m.). Boats used will be 420's and / or Sunfish. Campers will be streamed into novice or more advanced. Cost ranges from $200 to $300 per camper.

MASTER GARDENERS INTRODUCE A NEW HOW-TO-GARDEN WEBSITE FOR GROWING AND GOING GREEN IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY 

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Master Gardner program has officially launched a new website designed specifically to provide information on all things gardening in Mecklenburg County. The new site can be found at www.mastergardenersmecklenburg.org. Here is a quick overview of what you will find:

  • More than 200 how-to garden articles on topics including: perennials, trees and shrubs, turf, vegetables and xeriscaping and everything in between. 
  • Ready to dig into a favorite topic? Find advice and inspiration from gardening basics to advanced topics in eco-friendly gardening practices, landscape design, biodiversity, and farm-to-table how-to’s and ethos. Try the tips in “Fall in Vegetable Love in your Edible Landscape”/Boekelheide; or fulfill “The Tomato Quest”/Rosenberg; or the overview “How-to Produce Your Produce”/EMGs. Be inspired with “Don’t Purge the Spurge”/Sprott; or a “Winning Plant Combination” like “How to Stop a Car”/Mandrapelias. Need advice? “Pullll-eeeease Don’t Crepe Murder!”/Clark; or “Garden Recycling: Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes…!”/Crown. Get serious about the environment “Earth-friendly Ideas for Your Lawn”/Genkins; “Eating Locally is Healthy and Easy”/Mignery; and “What is BioDiversity and Why Should We Care?”/Stauble.
  • Check the Gardener’s Calendar for a month-by-month list of what to do and when.
  • Have a garden problem and need reliable, professional advice? See Got Questions, Get Answers! direct from the County Extension Horticultural Agent. 
  • Ready to plow through the local Charlotte Mecklenburg garden and green scene to see what's happening? Head over to Fresh DIRT—A gardener's forum.
  • Need inspiration and want to see what’s growing well here? Visit the EMG Demonstration Gardens at Freedom Park or Independence Park.
  • Digging deeper? Visit the EMG collection of our favorite websites for top online resources in links and resources.
  • Call us on the hotline, where we answer your horticultural questions from 9 a.m. until noon, weekdays at 704.336.4011. Or email your question to us at info@mastergardenersmecklenburg.org

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

  • It is common for lawns to be under “drought stress” during July and August. One inch of water per week is enough to keep a fescue lawn from going dormant. If you decide not to water that is okay too. Most fescues lawns will come out of summer dormancy nicely once the cooler season arrives in October. 
  • Water, water, water…. one inch of rain or irrigation each week is what most garden to stay productive. Raised bed gardens usually need a bit more. Two inches of water per week for raised beds is best.

HELP PARK AND RECREATION BUILD A PLAYGROUND IN THE LINCOLN HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD

Park and Recreation is seeking volunteers to help build a playground in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood.on September 9,10,11th 2011. Tax deductible donations are also being accepted and can be made by going to http://www.partnersforparks.org/, clicking on the drop down box in the middle of the page and selecting the Hats Off Fund. Make a difference for the youth in our community!! To help with the actual build or get more information on the project please contact Lori Saylor.  

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




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