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JULY 2009
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Our parks, recreation centers, nature preserves, pools and greenways are ready to serve your recreation needs. We hope many activities listed below will help you have a summer filled with fun and good health.


   
 Fireworks start at 9:30pm in uptown Charlotte.  

WATCH 'RED, WHITE, AND BOOM' FIREWORKS JULY 4 FROM FAMILY FUN FEST AT MEMORIAL STADIUM

Park and Recreation invites you and your family to view the fireworks from Memorial Stadium, at a family fun event. Beginning at 6pm, the stadium hosts the US Airways Family Fun Festival, benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank, which runs through the Red, White and Boom! 2009 presented by Lance fireworks display after dark. Admission is FREE! This event features live music and games for kids of all ages. Come anytime after 6pm. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and use the stadium field as a prime viewing area! Food and non-alcoholic beverages on sale (no food or drink may be brought in). Stadium seating is also available. Recent erosion issues at Memorial will NOT hinder this event. Bring non-perishable food for Second Harvest Food Bank to help feed the hungry. Donations qualify for prize drawings including a $500 voucher to fly anywhere in the continental US on US Airways! Parking in stadium lots off 7th Street is $5.


   
 Our TARP can get kids and adults moving again!  

PARK AND REC'S 'TARP STIMULUS PACKAGE' CAN GET KIDS AND ADULTS MOVING AGAIN THIS SUMMER, AND IT DOESN'T RAISE TAXES!

How about this? Park and Rec presents The Active Recreation Plan (TARP), a recreation stimulus package to help beat a tough economy and get your summer back on track. TARP can stimulate kids and adults to a recreation recovery. This TARP can return our community to an index of health, fun and activity. If your child says, "Mom, I don't have anything to do," or your neighbor says, "It's a boring weekend," your answer should be TARP! -- FREE or moderately priced activities for youngsters, individuals and families.


This package has bipartisan endeavors:

1.  CLANK the chains at any of our seven Disc Golf  courses.
2.  HANG TEN at Grayson Skatepark
3.  TROT on horseback through Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.
4.  PONY UP on rides for kids at  Latta Equestrain Center.
5.  SPLASH with great fun at Ray's Splash Planet.
6.  GET FIT by working-out, toning-up at our Fitness Centers
7.  COOL OFF in fountains and spouts at our five Spraygrounds.
8.  GOOD NATURE at our three differently themed Nature Centers.  
9.  FETCH with man's best friend at one of our 5 Dog Parks.  
10. GO GREEN: Walk, bike or skate on 33 miles of Greenways.  
11. ACE: Serve up your best shot on our Tennis Courts.  
12. FORE: Play a round of golf at any of our four Golf Courses.  
13. GET WET swimming at the Aquatic CenterMarion Diehl  or our Outdoor Pools.  
14. PICNIC in our many . Parks. Ants not invited. 
15. SEGWAY: a tour through the beautiful terrain at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve .  
16. GIGGLE while frolicking at any one of our dozens of Playgrounds.  
17. CAMP OUT in the woods, near the lake at McDowell Campground , a great urban escape.
18. DAY CAMP: Enroll in a weekly session at a Recreation Center  near home or a parent's workplace.
19. HIKE on miles of wooded trails at Nature Preserves..  
20. GO FISH at eleven of our ponds and lakes that offer great Fishing  opportunities.

TARP will get us moving again-- a twenty point program to do the job for recreation recovery!

JULY 15 DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR "NATURE OF MECKLENBURG" PHOTO CONTEST AND EXHIBITION; PHOTOGS INVITED TO ENTER

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. Deadline is July 15. Photographs may be taken, by amateurs or professionals, in any of our 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. There will be cash and prize awards for the winners. Submit three photos for each $15 entry fee. Jurors choose winners for exhibition  Rules and Details


   
Carolina Thread Trail will incorporate many local greenways and link significant destinations.  

MECKLENBURG RESIDENTS ASKED TO PARTICIPATE IN ONLINE SURVEY ABOUT FUTURE GREENWAYS FOR 'THREAD TRAIL'

Mecklenburg residents are invited to take part in a special online survey about greenways conducted by the staff of Carolina Thread Trail. The survey will help determine the need for future greenways, their importance, and how often they would be used. It will help in making choices on routes and destinations. Take the survey. Carolina Thread Trail is envisioned to run through 15 counties. For more info contact Gwen Gook






   
 Last year, Park and Rec provided 2,300 FREE swim lessons for youngsters.  

FREE SWIM LESSONS FOR CHILDREN AT PARK AND RECREATION OUTDOOR POOLS!

Park and Rec's outdoor pools offer FREE swimming lessons for youngsters, with sessions for ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 at:
  • Cordelia Pool: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:30am-11am or 11:15am-11:45am
  • Double Oaks Pool: Mondays and Wednesdays 9am-9:45am, 10:am-10:45am, or 11am-11:45am; Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:am-9:45am; and Fridays, 9am-9:45am, 10am-10:45am, or 11am-11:45am.

Registrations for lessons will be taken Wednesdays, 12Noon-6pm, for the following week at the pool you wish to attend. Registration is week-by-week, and must be done in person. No phone reservations. Slots are first come, first served. For more information on aquatics programs, call 311 or 704-336-DIVE


MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND RECREATION STAFF WIN SEVEN NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS

Congratulations to Park and Rec staff who won seven 2009 Achievement Awards presented by the National Association of Counties (NACo). These awards recognize programs that can serve as examples to all counties. Mecklenburg County won 12 in all this year. The Park and Recreation awards are for:

  • Accessible Mountain Bike Trail: Building a mountain bike trail at Jetton Park, accessible to people with disabilities using hand-powered cycles, as well as to traditional bike users. Stephanie Frisbee and Joyce Figueroa.
  • Go Get Them and They Will Come: Special sports programs targeted to at-risk youth to help steer them away from gangs. James Alsop.
  • MeckTeen Chefs: A program to teach at-risk youth about being a chef. Tari Grinnell.
  • Natural Enhancements Service/Learning Partnership: A partnership with CPCC for students in marketing, design, landscaping, welding, and horticulture to use their skills to enhance nature preserves. Staci Clark.
  • Physical Education Teacher In- Service: Outdoor Recreation Alternatives A partnership with CMS to introduce phys ed teachers to ways of teaching various subjects through activities in parks, nature preserves, greenways. Christopher Horrigan and Deb Kaclik.
  • SEALS: After-school program for elementary children with visual impairments. SEALS atands for the program's goals: Socialization, Empowerment, and Life Skills. Angela Conti.
  • Solar GEM: Adaptation of a commercially produced electric vehicle to charge batteries with solar power, for a maintenance vehicle that's pollution free, uses no fossil fuels, and runs essentially for free! Gary Marshall.

 

PARK AND REC WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR "GREEN" INITIATIVES

Mecklenburg Park and Rec is the first agency in America to win the Barb King Environmental Stewardship Award presented by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). The award recognizes outstanding efforts for environmental protection and energy-conservation. Entry was prepared by our Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Division. Entry especially highlighted "GreenPrinting," a process to choose natural areas for acquisition and protection using a point scale, and the department's Natural staff which actively manages sensitive natural areas, rare and endangered species, Natural Heritage sites, and nature preserves.


APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR PARK AND REC ADVISORY COUNCILS ON SENIOR CITIZENS AND CULTURAL ARTS PROGRAMMING

Park and Recreation Department seeks applicants to serve on two new citizen advisory councils: the Senior Citizen Advisory Council and the Cultural Arts Advisory Council. These councils advise the department about service needs and recreation programming. Each will include five citizens, a member of the Park and Rec Commission, plus four representatives of service providers in a related field. Applicants must be Mecklenburg residents. Members will be chosen by the Park and Recreation Commission. To apply click here or call 704 432-1157.


   
Even if not watered, most fescues lawns will come out of sumer dormancy when the cooler season arrives in October.  

E-PLANT TIPS FOR WINTER FROM THE  NC COOPERATVE EXTENSION SERVICE

In Mecklenburg County, the Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers the tips for gardeners for the hot summer growing season:

  • It is common for lawns to be under "drought stress" in 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.
  • Spot treat broadleaf weeds in lawn with appropriate post emergent broadleaf weed control herbicide.
  • Hot and dry condition can cause pepper and tomato blossoms to drop off. Try misting plants twice a day to cool them and help the blossoms set fruit.
  • Water container plants daily.

Call Extension office at 704-336-4011 or 704-336-4008 for further assistance with weed ID and herbicide selection.


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

For information on volunteering for any programs contact: Lori Saylor: 704 336-5478 or lori.saylor@mecklenburgcountync.gov. 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:

  • Girls Club, Greenville Recreation Center, Mondays: 5:30pm–6:30pm. An outreach program for young girls in the community, ages 7-18.
  • Quickstart Tennis, Practices at Naomi Drenan Rec Center and matches at Sugar Creek Recreation Center. Volunteers teach basic tennis skills to kids, ages 6 to 8. Practice one night a week, matches on Saturdays ** Tennis Volunteers also needed at Mallard Creek Rec Center.
  • Park Ambassadors for parks and greenways. Hours flexible. On foot or bike, help monitor parks, trails, and greenways. Greet patrons, give directions. Must serve for six months.
  • Sewing or Quilting Instructor, Tuckaseegee Recreation Center, Monday evenings. Lead a class in basic sewing and quilting for ladies in the neighborhood.
  • Coaches for T-ball for ages 5 and 6 at Naomi Drenan Rec Center. Practice one night a week, play on Saturday mornings. Games at Sugar Creek Rec Center.
  • Volunteers in Parks (VIP): Monthly projects for groups on greenways, nature preserves, parks. You choose the time. We provide projects like picking-up litter, limbs and other debris; mulching, pruning, and planting. Number of Volunteers: 5-10, preferred ages: 16 and older.
  • Help at RibbonWalk Nature Preserve near Derita, Second Saturday each month, 10am–12 noon. Volunteers help remove invasive plants, pull weeds, keep trails clear from debris, help with erosion control, lay and rake woodchips, etc. Work outside in good weather.

For more volunteer opportunities including projects for business groups and help with special events, click here.



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