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FEBRUARY 2010
Greetings again from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. We hope this e-newsletter helps you enjoy our many offerings of fun,and healthy activities. Winter is a great time to get going with Park and Rec!

   
Fairy House Festival encourages outdoor play, imagination, family fun.  

'FAIRY HOUSE FESTIVAL' PROMISES ENCHANTING TIME FOR YOUNGSTERS AT LATTA PLANTATION NATURE PRESERVE

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites children and families to the second annual "Fairy House Festival," Sat. Feb. 13, 10am-4pm, at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve . Admission is FREE! Youngsters learn to build a fairy house, a habitat for fairies, insects and small animals. Event includes storytelling, face painting, crafts, etc. Prizes for best fairy (girls) and gnome (boys) costumes and for building best fairy house on a nature trail. Raffle to win four Tom Clark yard gnomes. For more info call 311 or Latta Plantation Nature Center at (704) 875-1391.


TIME TO THINK ABOUT SUMMER CAMP FOR YOUNGSTERS AND TEENS. SIGN-UP NOW, ONLINE, FOR A GREAT SUMMER EXPERIENCE!

Park and Rec offers more than 40 summer day camps, and a few overnight camps, for youngsters and teens. Camps are all over Charlotte-Mecklenburg and feature many positive activities: aquatics, education, ecology, sports, exploring nature, trips, skating, science, adventures, etc. Many camps offered in partnership with other community organizations at our facilities. We also have special "Therapeutic Recreation" camps for residents with disabilities, both children and adults. Register online for many camps, right now!

   
Get Going Guide is great to keep on your coffee table to help find fun things to do!  

IF YOU LIKE PARK AND REC, YOU'LL LOVE GET GOING GUIDE, OUR DEPARTMENT'S SEMI-ANNUAL PROGRAM CATALOGUE!

The Spring/Summer Get Going Guide will be hot off the press the second week in Feb. Printed copies will be distributed through CMS elementary schools, libraries, county offices, rec centers, senior centers, and many Harris-Teeter and Food Lion supermarkets. Get Going Guide is loaded with Park and Rec programs and activities for all ages, also has maps and locations of parks, greenways, rec centers, hundreds of activities. Learn to sign-up for sports teams, register for nature programs and swim lessons, discover special events. Get Going Guide is great!



SEE PARK AND REC'S NATURAL CONNECTIONS NEWSLETTER FOR MANY REASONS WHY WE SAY WE ARE 'THE NATURAL PLACE TO BE.'

If you like nature, Natural Connections newsletter is a wonderful way to find fun and educational things to do at Park and Rec's nature preserves and centers. Did you know we are the steward of more than 6800 acres of nature preserves with large expanses of woodlands, wildlife habitat, and lakeshore property? Our nature preserves are a great place ot visit and learn in any season, especially spring.


MECKLENBURG COUNTY 4-H TAKING ORDERS FOR PLANTS FOR SPRING PLANTING. PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW, ONLINE.

As spring approaches, now is the time to plan to update yards and gardens with plants from Mecklenburg County 4-H. The 4-H Clubs are taking orders for berry plants, fruit trees, flowering trees and shrubs. Order now through February 24. Proceeds support Mecklenburg youth and teens attending summer camps and leadership programs. Many varieties of berries, fruits, trees and shrubs available. For more information and to order online, visit www.mecklenburgcounty4h.org . Or call the 4-H office weekdays 8am–5pm at 704 336-2082. Orders confirmed by mail. Plants ready for pick-up March 4 and 5.

   
Work with an experienced swimming coach in the U.S. Masters program!  

MECKLENBURG COUNTY AQUATIC CENTER OFFERS US MASTERS SWIMMING PROGRAM FOR ADULTS

Our Aquatics Section invites adult swimmers to join the US Masters Swimming Program at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.  Program is for swimmers, ages 18-older, who swim for fun, competition, or fitness. US Masters allows participants to plan and participate in structured workouts with an expert coach. Program establishes specific goals and provides active support. Swimmers at all skill levels welcome. Join at any time. Register first at www.usms.org/reg/ and use group name: Charlotte Swim Masters. Contact the Aquatic Center at 704-336-3483 for fees and schedules.


NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO LEARN TO SWIM AT INDOOR POOL AT WEST CHARLOTTE HIGH SCHOOL

Park and Recreation invites children, teens, and adults to learn-to-swim classes, Saturdays at West Charlotte High School. Separate classes for ages 3-5, 6-12, teens and adults. Charges apply, but scholarships available based on need. This swimming program is the result of a partnership between Mecklenburg County Park and Rec and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, to make maximum use of public facilities. For more information on learn-to-swim programs, contact Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center at 704-336-3483.  


   
Charlotte Woodcarvers Showcase is a splendid chance to see neat carvings and learn about this hobby in mini-seminars.  

WOOD YOU LIKE TO SEE SOME SKILLFUL WOOD CARVING? FREE WOODCARVERS SHOWCASE FEB. 20-21 AT MARION DIEHL

Visit the Charlotte Woodcarvers Showcase of Woodcarvings, Sat. and Sun. Feb. 20 & 21, 10am-4pm, at Marion Diehl Rec Center.  Admission is FREE. The show is a judged exhibition, attracting amateur and professional wood carvers from all over the southeast. Competitions for novice, intermediate, and open in various categories. Carvings of caricatures, birds, chips, human busts, ducks, etc. Vendors sell wood, tools, and supplies. For more info call Rod Gatlin of the woodcarvers: 704 529-1748 or check www.charlottewoodcarvers.com






E-PLANT TIPS FOR FEBRUARY WINTER FROM THE NC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE

In Mecklenburg County, the Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers the following tips for gardeners in winter:
  • February is pruning time for most plants, if needed! Pruning may be needed because landscape plants have grown too large for locations.
  • When planting in the spring or fall, take the time to "size" the plant to the site you have selected for planting. A properly situated landscape plant requires little yearly pruning.
  • If you still have bulbs stored in the garage that you didn't plant in fall, go ahead and plant them now. Bulbs are tough and do better in the ground than on the shelf!
  • Crabgrass control season is around the corner. Check out our Turf files site for management recommendations-- http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/weeds/Crabgrass_Large.aspx

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND RECREATION: WE CAN ALWAYS USE SOME HELP ON MANY FUN PROJECTS AND EVENTS!

Park and Recreation thanks almost 17,000 volunteers who helped us in the past year. 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:

  • Special events: Rodney's Great Kids Triathlon: Sat. April 17; Bark in the Park: Sat. April 24; Senior Games: several dates in May; National Trails Day: Sat. June 5
  • Fairy House Festival: Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, Sat. Feb.13, 9:30am–1pm or Noon–4:30pm. Festival based on children making fairy houses, small shelters of natural materials. Help staff tables with face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, etc.
  • Coaches needed! We need coaches for Youth Flag Football, Football, Soccer, and Basketball. Sign-up now! 
  • Bumper Bowlers at George Pappas Park Lanes, Saturdays Jan.16–Feb.20, 10am–12 pm, for 3-12 year olds with disabilities. TR Volunteers must have understanding and interest in children with disabilities.
  • Other Therapeutic Recreation Volunteers needed Many opportunities to work with children and adults with disabilities in a wide range of programs and events.
  • Nature Preserve Greeters needed at McDowell Nature Preserve in southern Mecklenburg, weekends, May-Sept, 9am-4pm. Welcome guests, give directions, etc.
  • Freedom Park Volunteers: Third Sat. of most months, 10am–12noon. Help remove invasive plants and weeds using loppers and saws, clear trails of debris, install erosion controls, lay woodchips, raking, clean up creeks, streams, ponds, etc. Schedules are flexible, but sign-up ahead of time.
  • Opportunities for Businesses and Groups: Many opportunities to adopt a facility, periodic projects, special events at many parks, nature preserves, etc. 

 



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