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SEPTEMBER 2009
Greetings again from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. We hope this e-newsletter helps you enjoy our many offerings of fun, competition and good health. We have many FREE and low cost activities and programs, perfect for a tough economy.

   
More than 150 artists and crafts people display works at Festival in the Park.  

FESTIVAL IN THE PARK READY TO GO SEPT. 24 FOR ITS 45TH YEAR, WITH A SPARKLING CAMELOT ATMOSPHERE

More than 125,000 visitors are expected to visit the 45th annual Festival in the Park  in Freedom Park Sept. 24-27. The festival offers wonderful music, art, foot, and a great time for all. The sounds of "big band music" and the smell of great food drift across the Freedom Park's lake, which glistens with reflected lights strung from exhibit tents and pavilions. So much for adults and children to see and do! Almost a thousand entertainers  give free performances. Festival in the Park, started by our late friend, Grant Whitney, is run by a private group of the same name, in partnership with Park and Recreation. Many organizations participate with the first hint to fall in the air. For more info check www.festivalinthepark.org


WEST CHARLOTTE HIGH SCHOOL POOL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC STARTING SEPT 12 UNDER ARRANGEMENT WITH PARK AND RECREATION

Park and Rec partners with West Charlotte High School, to operate the school's indoor pool on Saturdays, 8am-2pm, beginning Sept. 12 and running through June 2010. The partnership will allow the public to use the facility for various aquatic programs and open swimming. The schedule includes:
  • 8:05-8:50am: Adult water fitness class
  • 9-9:30am: Beginner swim lessons (Sand Dollars, ages 3-5)
  • 9:45-10:30am: Beginner swim lessons (Otters, ages 6-12)
  • 10:45-11:30am: Beginner swim lessons for Teen/Adult
  • 11:45-1:30pm: Open swimming for $1/person admission (youth and adults)

Swim lessons will last four weeks and cost $16. Class is limited to six people per instructor. Register at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center . or by calling 704 336-3483. Scholarships available for Sand Dollars and Otters based on need. Pool will not be open when school is out for holidays.

   
Carolina Thread Trail logo will mark Little Sugar Creek Greenway near Freedom Park.  

CEREMONY TO MARK THE START OF CAROLINA THREAD TRAIL SET FOR LITTE SUGAR CREEK GREENWAY SEPTEMBER 15

Park and Rec invites anyone interested in greenways to a ceremony called "Marking the Thread," 10am, Tues. Sept. 15 on Little Sugar Creek Greenway, in the section behind Charlotte Nature Museum, beside the lake in Freedom Park. It will be announced that Little Sugar Creek Greenway will be central link of the Carolina Thread Trail, a network of existing and future greenways that will "weave" across 15 counties and provide recreation opportunities for more than two million residents. To "mark" this greenway as a key part of the system, a sign with the Thread Trail logo will be unveiled. The total trail will take decades to develop. This is the start of it! Similar ceremonies will be held in other cities.  Click here for a concept map of the whole Thread Trail Walk-in or bike-in on the greenway, or park cars at Charlotte Nature Museum or in lots at Freedom Park


OUR CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL WALKWAY IN FRAZIER PARK HOLDS SPECIAL MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR VICTIMS OF 9/11 

 Our Children's Memorial WalkwayFrazier Park  invites the public to the 5th annual "Charlotte Remembers," a memorial service for those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks. The service is at 8:30am on Sept. 11. Anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11 is invited to say words of remembrance. A long scroll with names and pictures of the thousands who died on 9/11 will also be displayed. The Charlotte Fire Department will provide a bagpipe player, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will provide a bugler for taps. For more information about Our Children's Memorial Walkway, visit www.ocmw.org


REGISTER NOW FOR 4-H CLUB GOLF TOURNAMENT OCTOBER 6 TO RAISE MONEY FOR SUMMER CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS

Mecklenburg County 4-H Club invites players to sign-up now for a golf tournament on Tuesday October 6, with a shotgun start at 1pm at  Charles T. Myers Golf Course This tournament celebrates the 4-H Club's 100th anniversary. Proceeds go to scholarships for 4-H summer camps. Play will be captain's choice with four-player teams, longest drive contest, and closest to the pin contest. Space is limited, and teams must register by September 20. Entry fee is $200 per team which includes: golf cart, green fees, range balls, door prizes and awards and BBQ dinner (following the tournament). To pay by credit card, call (704) 336-4015 weekdays, 8am–5pm. For further information, contact Robert Furr (704) 336-4015.


   
NC Community Sailing & Rowing Center is a partnership with Park and Recreation, at our lakeside park on Lake Norman.  

HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH INVITED TO SIGN-UP FOR COMPETITIVE SAILBOAT RACING AT PARK AND REC'S BLYTHE LANDING

North Carolina Community Sailing & Rowing at Blythe Landing  has formed the Lake Norman High School Sailing League for competitive sailboat racing between area schools. Youth from public, charter, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. Classes start September 10. Register now on-line at www.nccsailrow.org  or call 704-947-7245. The center offers residents of Mecklenburg and surrounding counties the chance to learn and enjoy the mental and physical challenges of sailing and rowing. The center presents affordable, accessible, sailing and rowing opportunities for youth and adults.


PARK AND REC'S OUTDOOR POOLS NOW OPEN WEEKENDS ONLY THROUGH AND THEY CLOSE AFTER LABOR DAY; SPRAYGROUNDS STILL OPEN DAILY THROUGH MOST OF THE MONTH

Park and Recreation has closed weekday operation of its two outdoor swimming pools, Cordelia  and , Double Oaks Both pools operate WEEKENDS ONLY for rest of this season, 11am-5pm each Saturday and 1pm–5pm each Sunday, through Labor Day, Spet. 7, 12noon-6pm. Then they close for the season. Admission is $1 each day This year on weekdays, our staff taught 3,030 swim lessons lessons. Park and Recreation's free spraygrounds will continue to operate daily, 10am-8pm, up until Sept. 28, depending on the weather. sprayground locations are in: Nevin ParkCordelia ParkLatta Park,  Veterans Park, and West Charlotte Rec. Center .

   
 Get Going Guide is a great resource to keep on your coffee table to find fun things to do.  

Get Going Guide is a great resource to keep on your coffee table to find fun things to do. LOOK FOR FULLER LISTING OF PARK AND REC PROGRAMS , ACTIVITIES, AND FACILITIES IN WHAT WE CALL 'GGG,' NOW GOING TO PRESS WITH DISTRIBUTION SOON

The fall/winter Get Going Guide flips hot off the press in mid-September. Copies will be distributed to kids in CMS elementary schools. See a copy online here. Or look for a copy at libraries, county offices, recreation centers, senior centers, and many Harris-Teeter and Food Lion supermarkets. Get Going Guide is full of Park and Rec programs and activities for all ages. See maps and lists of parks, greenways, rec centers and special facilities. Learn how to sign-up for sports teams, register for nature programs or swim lessons, and discover special holiday events. Pick-up a copy or mark GGG as a favorite place in your online listings.


JOIN PARK AND REC FOR A CAMPING TRIPTO BEAUTIFUL HAMMOCKS BEACH STATE PARK ON NC COAST

Park and Recreation invites adults, ages 18 and older, to join a camping trip to Hammocks Beach State Park in eastern North Carolina. Participants leave Reedy Creek Nature Center at 8:30am on Sat. Sept. 5 and return around 5pm the next Monday. Hammocks Beach on Bear Island , features a turtle nesting ground and a great place to watch migrant sea birds. Go hiking, explore marshes and tidal pools, fish, relax on the beach. Cost: $190 per person, includes van transportation, guides, all camping equipment, and meals (minus traveling lunches). Participants must attend a pre-trip meeting at Reedy Creek Nature Center  Thurs., Sept. 3 at 6pm to fill-out paperwork. Space is limited. To register click here? and use Course Barcode # 1352. For more info: 704 598-885.

   
Master Gardeners operate through the NC Cooperative Extension Service, part of Park and Rec in Mecklenburg County.  

COME TO MECKLENBURG MASTER GARDENERS FALL PLANT SALE AR FARMERS MARKETS SEPT. 19

Mecklenburg Extension Master Gardeners offer a wide selection of plants for sale on Sat., September 19, 2009 at:

  • Mecklenburg County Farmers Market, Building A, Yorkmont Road, Charlotte, 7am-1pm.
  • Matthews Farmers Market , North Trade Street, Matthews, 8am- 12noon.

Master Gardeners propagate them from their own gardens for this sale. Plants include sun and shade perennials, herbs, ground covers, indoor plants, shrubs and trees. Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer advice and answer questions. Plant prices range from $2 to $20. For more information contact Shannon Stober, Plant Sale Chair at sbstober@gmail.com or Scott Ewers, Extension Horticulture Agent at scott_ewers@ncsu.edu


INTERESTED IN GARDENING? SPECIAL PROGRAMS OFFERED FOR FALL AND WINTER

Extension Master Gardeners in Mecklenburg County are eager to increase your knowledge and enjoyment of gardening. Master Gardeners offer many programs that free for the public. Two coming up soon are:

  • How to Get the Lawn Your Neighbors Will Envy: Sept. 24, 7 pm at Marion Diehl Recreation Center. Learn more about regular maintenance, smart watering and how much fertilizer healthy lawns really need. Presented by Phyllis Ferguson, Mecklenburg County Extension Master Gardener. Course Barcode #1674
  • Designing Outdoor Spaces that Work: Oct.13, Tues., 7 pm at Tom Sykes Recreation Center. Understand different garden styles and use of focal points. Learn how to blend color, texture and form in your outdoor living spaces. Presented by Pam Crown, Mecklenburg County Extension Master Gardener. Course Barcode #1623

Pre-registration suggested. Pre-register here? (Register using the Course Barcode Number)

PLANT TIPS FOR EARLY FALL FROM THE NC COOPERATVE EXTENSION SERVICE

In Mecklenburg County, the NC Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers these gardening tips for this time of year:

  • Mid September is the best time to seed your fescue lawn. For best results be sure to mechanically (i.e. raking, aeration, tilling) disturb the soil prior to spreading seed. This will ensure the seed makes contact with the soil.
  • Fall is the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. Be careful when selecting plants for your landscape. The most common mistake is selecting a plant that is too big for the site you are planting. Thinking a head and "sizing" your plant selection to your planting site will help you to avoid annual pruning to manage the size and shape of a plant.



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

Park and Recreation THANKS almost 17,000 volunteers who came out to support the Department in the past year. Volunteers provided 112,969 hours service with a value equal to $2.2 million! For information on volunteering for any 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:

  • United We Serve, Sept. 11: An initiative of President Obama to expand volunteering in the US., based on the Edward M. Kennedy Service America Act for a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Park and Rec partners with Hands on Charlotte for projects in Freedom Park, 11am–3pm. Volunteers will work on park beautification and plant a tree and dedicated to Hands On Charlotte.
  • Coaches needed for :Youth Flag Football, Football, Soccer, Cheerleading, Basketball, Track and Field, Tennis and Baseball. Sign-up now! Coaches run practice one day a week (minimum) and coach games on Saturdays. Opportunites at many recreation centers. Find a center near you.

 



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