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PARK AND REC E-NEWSLETTER, MARCH 2009
Greetings again from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation! After the big snow Sunday night, can you imagine spring is just around the corner? Park and Rec is ready for early spring with many fun and healthy things to do. We hope this e-newsletter helps you learn about many of our activities.

TIME TO ENTER YOUR POOCH FOR "TOP DOG" HONORS AT 2009 PEDIGREE® BARK IN THE PARK DOG FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY FOOD LION
   
   The dog in the logo, Cocoa Latte, won last year's Top Dog Photo Contest!
The dog in the logo, Cocoa Latte, won last year's Top Dog Photo Contest!
Registration is now open for Park and Rec's Top Dog Photo Contest, part of the 2009 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion on April 25, 2009, 10am-4pm. Bark in the Park has a new sponsor and new location this year—at Metrolina Expo, 7100 Statesville Road (site of old fairgrounds). Last Year dog owners entered 93 photos, and the public cast 58,000 votes. This year's entry period just opened and runs through March 23 (received by 5pm). Register online (preferred) or by mail. Entry fee: $12 with Visa, MasterCard online. Rules, prizes, instructions at www.parkandrec.com or 704 336-7853. Bark in the Park drew 13,000 people last year, most with dogs. It was becoming too large for Davie Park, so we found a bigger location with plenty of space and parking. Admission and parking is FREE and there are many contests and pet activities. Let your dog bring you, on a leash please!


PARK REC OFFERS SPRING FLING/SHOWCASE MAR. 21:
A CHANCE TO LEARN MANY FUN THINGS TO DO AND SEE

Our 2009 Spring Fling/Program Showcase is a great place to learn about many Park and Rec activities on Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1pm-3pm at Freedom Park.  This showcase includes information and exhibits about many programs for pre-school children, youth, teens, adults, and seniors. Visit demonstrations, booths and tables with emphasis on spring and summer activities. The showcase is FREE, so join the fun around the band shell beside Freedom Park Lake. For more information call 311 or contact  Linda Williams at 704 336-7644.

   
   

CALLING ALL SENIORS TO 'COME OUT AND PLAY': REGISTER NOW FOR CHAR-MECK SENIOR GAMES

Park and Rec invites seniors, ages 55 and better, to sign-up for the 2009 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Games which encompass more than 50 sports and activities. The games are open to seniors in Mecklenburg, Gaston and Lincoln counties. This year's games go from April 18 to May 16 at many venues. Participate with award-winning National SilverStriders (walkers) or SilverArts. Athletic events include archery, badminton, billiards, bocce, bowling, croquet, running, golf, horseshoes, basketball, softball, racquetball, shuffleboard, swimming, track & field, tennis, race walking, etc. Register until Apr 1. Entry fee: $10. More information and applications or call 704 332-4020.

IF YOUR YOUNGSTERS WANT TO GO TO SUMMER DAY CAMP WITH PARK AND REC, NOW IS THE TIME TO SIGN-UP. OPENINGS ARE LIMITED!

Now is the time to register to send youngsters to summer day camp. Mecklenburg Park and Recreation hosts more than 60 camps. They include many fun and educational activities, with special camps for youngsters and adults with disabilities through our Therapeutic Recreation section. We offer many camps in partnership with groups like the YMCA. See our list of camps . Register for most online at Eparks . Use barcode camp number, if listed. Otherwise call 311 or the listed contact number.

   
   

REMEMBER ROLLER DERBY? FLASHING WHEELS SPIN RETRO-ACTION AT GRADY COLE CENTER!

Mecklenburg Park and Rec hosts the 2009 Roller Derby home season for the Charlotte Roller Girls at Grady Cole Center, 310 North Kings Drive. The season's opening "bout" is at 7pm on Sat, Mar 7, 2009. Doors open 6:30pm. Charlotte Roller Girls is an all-female flat-track roller derby team that plays in a league throughout the southeast. Roller Girls skate to benefit charities. Tickets at http://www.charlotterollergirls.com/. Bouts also scheduled for April 18 and May 17. Additional summer and fall dates to be announced soon. Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, with season tickets for $55.


PHOTOGS INVITED TO CAPTURE BEAUTY OF PARK AND RECREATION IN 2008-09 "NATURE OF MECKLENBURG" CONTEST AND EXHIBITION 

Partners for Parks and the  Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association invite photographers to enter the 2008-2009 "The Nature of Mecklenburg" Photography Contest and "juried photography exhibition" to benefit Park and Recreation and the Partners for Parks, the non-profit organization which promotes parks, greenways and open space in Mecklenburg. Photographs may be taken, by amateurs or professionals, in any of Park and Rec parks, nature preserves, playgrounds or greenways. Must be taken Sep15, 2008-Jul 15, 2009 in categories: Plant Life, Landscapes/Scenic, People in Parks, and Wildlife. Cash and prize awards. Submit three photos for $15 entry fee. Deadline: July 15, 2009. A panel of jurors chooses winners for exhibition. See  rules and details or call 311.

   
How will local pugilists do in this year's NC Golden Gloves? Come see the tourbey!

TOP AMATEUR BOXERS FROM ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA COMPETE MARCH 6 AND 7 FOR GOLDEN GLOVES IN CHARLOTTE

See top-flight amateur boxing at the NC Golden Gloves Tourney, Mar 6 & 7 at Sugaw Creek Recreation Center, 939 Sugar Creek Rd. There are 15-20 bouts each evening. Boxers ages 17-34. Bouts begin 7pm Fri and 4pm Sat. Boxers represent 10 clubs from across the state. Matches for novice and open categories each night, up to11 weight classes. At least one women's exhibition bout. Eight local boxers expected to compete. Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission: $10 adults, $5 youth, ages 11-17, FREE to 10 and younger. Seating is limited! For more info call Park and Rec Boxing Coach Al Simpson: 704 241-0314 or Charlotte Boxing Academy: 704 372-0140.


REGISTER NOW FOR INDOOR FUN SOCCER LEAGUE FOR YOUNGSTERS AT ARBOR GLEN OUTREACH CENTER

Park and Rec invites boys and girls, ages 4-9, to sign up through Mar 20 for the second annual Indoor FUN Soccer league at Arbor Glen Outreach Center, 1520 Clanton Rd. Games on Sats in Apr–Jun. Participants receive uniform, shin guards, socks, and medal. Cost: $40. The emphasis of the league will be on basic skills and FUN. Register online at www.parkandrec.com, click on Eparks and use Course Barcode 42861 or call 311 or come by Arbor Glen desk. Volunteers needed to help. For more info contact Joel Kent at 704-432-1533

'GET POTTED' MARCH 11 AT DAVIE PARK WITH A MASTER GARDNER WHO REALLY KNOWS PLANTS!

Join Master Gardener Carol Carraux, Mar 11, 7pm to learn how to 'pot' beautiful container plants. Learn importance of drainage and design techniques for 'spiky, filly, frilly, and floppy' plants for breathtaking displays. Learn about soil and plant selection, how much to water and fertilizer, etc. To pre-register call 311 or visit www.parkandrec.com. Master Gardeners also answer questions on Hotline: 704-336-4011.

MAKE YOUR GARBAGE PAY YOU! MASTER GARDENER SHOWS HOW.

Join Master Gardener Nancy DeVries Saturday, Apr 4 at 12:30pm at McDowell Nature Center to learn how 'recycling' kitchen garbage and lawn waste can save you and the county money. Proper composting can turn your annual 650 lbs of garbage into rich, wonderful 'black gold' for home gardens.

   
   

CONGRATULATIONS JAMES WORSLEY, PARK AND RECREATION'S GENERAL MANAGER IN THE EAST PARK REGION!

James Worsley received The Ethel Martus Lawther Alumni Award, given by the Sch ool of Health and Human Performance at UNC-Greensboro. Named for the school's first dean, the award goes to outstanding alumni who make significant contributions through scholarship, leadership or service, in their career and/or civic involvement. The citation says Worsley "has a passion to serve his community as a role model for youth, teens, and professionals. He developed therapeutic recreation programs for homeless and was named the NC Recreation and Park Association's Young Professional of the Year in 2007.

LOSE WEIGHT, DONATE CHALLENGE: POUND FOR POUND EVERYONE WINS!

Are you a little heavy after the holidays? Here's a way for residents to give back to the community while helping themselves live a healthier lifestyle. The "Lose Weight, Donate Challenge," sponsored by Fit City Challenge and "Earth Fare, the Healthy Supermarket," encourages weight loss through physical activity and healthy eating. If you sign up to participate, for every pound you lose, Earth Fare will donate a pound of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Sign up now at http://www.fitcitychallenge.org/.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT PARK AND RECREATION; COME HELP US WITH MANY EVENTS

For information on volunteering for any of these programs contact:  Lori Saylor OR 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:
  • Invasives Removal along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway through Freedom Park, Tuesday, Mar 24, 9-2. Help remove invasive plants with pruners, loppers, hand saws, etc.
  • Rodney's Great Kids Triathlon, Sat Apr 18, 7am-1 pm, Aquatic Center on MLK Blvd, Volunteers help monitor course, pass out water and cheer on participants. Teens welcome.
  • Bark in the Park, Sat, Apr 26 at Metrolina Expo (old fair grounds). For wonderful dog festival. Help 6am–1pm or noon-5:30 pm. Help set-up and take-down, run contests, keep water bowls full, etc.
  • Be A Champion Track and Field: Tuesdays, May 5, 12, 19, 26, 5:30pm-8:30pm, JCSU, ages 16 and up needed. Help run track meets.
  • Community Easter Egg Hunt, Sat, Apr 11, 9:30am-1pm: Albemarle Rd Recreation Center (Idlewild Rd). Help hide eggs and assist little children with hunt, tattoos, and ring toss. Teens welcome.
  • Spring arnival: Tuckaseegee Recreation Center, Sat 18, 1pm–6pm, Help with set-up and take-down of carnival, run booths, games, etc.
  • Senior Games: Various days in April and May, many venues. Help with many things. Teens welcome.
  • Triathlon at Jetton Park, May 9, 7am – 12 pm. Help with registration, information, the events and pick up after the event. Teens welcome.
  • Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Races at Ramsey Creek Park, Sat, May 16, 7am–4pm (2 shifts available). Pass out information, trash pick up, event set up and take down, etc.

FOR MORE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES click here.



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