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JULY 2010
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. We hope that this newsletter will provide you with some great ideas for summer fun in Mecklenburg County. Visit www.parkandrec.com to find out how you can "Recreate All Year!"

   
Nothing says '4th of July like fireworks.  

MEMORIAL STADIUM OFFERS FREE AND FUN LOCATION TO WATCH JULY 4TH FIREWORKS IN UPTOWN CHARLOTTE

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites the public to watch July 4th fireworks in uptown Charlotte from Memorial Stadium. The stadium hosts the Red, White and Boom Family Fun Festival presented by Lance and U.S. Airways. The festival begins at 5:30pm and runs through the fireworks display called Red, White and Boom! 2010 presented by Lance and U.S. Airways  which starts after dark. Admission to Family Fun Festival is FREE, and the festival features live music and games for kids of all ages. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be on sale inside the stadium (no food or beverages may be brought in). Everyone is also asked to bring non-perishable food to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank to help feed the needy in our area. Donations will qualify people for prize drawings including a $500 gift card from U.S. Airways! Parking will be available at Memorial Stadium lots, off 7th Street, for $5. Other off street parking will be available in decks around uptown. Parking will be not be allowed along many streets avoid restricting traffic lanes. Parking is discouraged in neighborhoods in the surrounding area such as Elizabeth, First, Third and Fourth Wards.. Sponsors and partners include Lance, US Airways, Charlotte Center City Partners, Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, The Kat WKKT, Lite 102.9 WLYT and CMPD.

   
McDowell Nature Center is a proud member of the North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers.  

MCDOWELL NATURE CENTER CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY JULY 17 WITH FUN EVENTS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY 

McDowell Nature Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary on July 17, 10am-2pm, with several fun activities for the entire family! A vine cutting by dignitaries will kick off the morning for hikes, hayrides and live animal encounters, as well as live music, birds of prey from the Carolina Raptor Center, and stories and poetry by Keith "Little Bear" Brown. McDowell Nature Center opened July 27, 1985 and is located in the southwestern part of the county on property that was once used as a Boy Scout Camp. It is the oldest of Park and Rec's three nature centers and the only one built by the county. The center serves as the source for educational programs and information related to the 1115-acre preserve.


PARK AND RECREATION ANNOUNCES NEW SUMMER HOURS FOR RECREATION CENTERS

Park and Recreation announces new summer hours for recreation centers, beginning June 21. These shortened schedules are necessary to meet sharp budget cutbacks and extensive staff reductions ordered by County Commissioners. Most recreation centers will close on Sundays and earlier in the evenings. St. Paul "Ray of Hope" Recreation Center is already closed completely. Amay James, First Ward and Greenville Recreation Centers will close when summer camps are completed. See the new hours at all recreation centers.


SENIORS INVITED TO SIGN–UP NOW FOR FUN AND LEARNING AT MALLARD CREEK RECREATION CENTER IN JULY

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites active retirees, empty nesters and boomers to sign-up now for "Summer Leisure and Learn 2010," 10:30am-2pm on Thursdays: July 8, July 15, July 22 and July 29. This is a series of fun and informative programs for seniors, ages 50 and up, at Mallard Creek Recreation Center.

The programs include guest speakers and seminars. Included topics are:
  • Astronomy: Exploring our Galaxy and Beyond
  • Chef "Shad:" cooking demonstration to watch and taste the results
  • Technology 101: Learn how to choose the best cell phones, digital cameras, and televisions, presented by experts in the field
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics: Women across the country turn to Mary Kay again and again. See what makes these products so popular.
  • BB & T Presents Financial Seminars: "Navigating Your Retirement Fund" and "Saving For Future"
  • And much more!

The series also offers morning coffee and refreshments, blood pressure checks, lunch, door prizes and lots of fun. Cost for the whole series is $18. Space is limited, so register today. To register visit the recreation center, visit E-Parks and use Course Code #6932, or call 311. For more information contact: Caroline Carver at 704 548-8234. This series is presented in partnership with Shad's Landing Holiday Retirement, AccuQuest Hearing Center, Best Buy, and Walgreens


PARK AND RECREATION INVITIES KIDS TO REGISTER FOR YOUTH SOCCER OR FLAG FOOTBALL JULY 1-31

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites parents with children interested in playing soccer, ages 4-6, 7-8 & 9-10, or flag football, ages 4-6, & 7, 8 to register for the upcoming fall co-recreation season. Space is limited so register early! Birth Certificate required for proof of age Registration fee is $55 which includes league play and uniform. The deadline for individual players to register is Saturday, July 31. League play runs September-October with practices beginning in mid-August. Teams interested in registering must do so by Wednesday, July 21. Team registration fee is $375. Groups that register as a Team must provide their own uniforms and secure their own practice sites. To register, go online to EParks", "Program Registration", find School Level" and, click on Athletics" to see league offerings. You may also call 311 or go to your nearest Recreation Center and staff can assist you.

   
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

NCCSR operates on a two-acre site at Blythe Landing on Lake Norman. It is the only center of its kind in the region. 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 (9am-noon) or afternoons (1pm-4pm). Boats used will be 420's and / or Sunfish. Campers will be streamed into novice or more advanced. Cost has just been reduced to $175 per camper for the first camp and if a camper signs up to a second camp, the cost for the second camp is $145. camp is $145. Check out our web site at www.nccsailrow.org or call the office at 704-947-7245.

Upcoming sessions include:

  • July 12 – morning and afternoon
  • July 19 – morning and afternoon
  • July 26 – afternoon only
  • August 2 – morning only

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

  • Drought and hot, dry winds can cause pepper and tomato blossoms to drop off. Try misting plants twice a day to cool them and help the blossoms set fruit.
  • Before you spray an insecticide on your vegetables, check the label. Each insecticide has a time you must wait before you can harvest.
  • A garden needs one inch of rain or irrigation each week. Raised bed gardens dry out a little faster so will likely need about two inches of water per week.


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



Park and Recreation thanks all the volunteers who helped us in the past year. For information on volunteering for any programs contact: Lori.Saylor@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov 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:

MCPRD Volunteer Services is initiating a few new and updated volunteer positions/opportunities. The positions/opportunities are:

  • Rec Buddies: Help staff at recreation centers with programs, after-school activities, athletics, special events, building and ground maintenance, administrative tasks, customer service, data entry, etc. Opportunities are available all around Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. List of recreation center locations.
  • Park Partners will support Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department staff with the implementation of a broad range of beautification and maintenance projects in our Parks and on our Greenways.
    • Park and Greenway Adoptions: The adoption program offers an opportunity for businesses, neighborhood associations, churches, schools, civic clubs and other organizations to take ownership of a specific property.
    • Periodic Projects: This is the option for the group that wants to come out on a regular basis but cannot commit to a monthly project.
    • Unsupervised Group Projects. This option is great for Neighborhood Associations, Scouts, Schools, Summer Camps and Churches. Groups come out on their own to do trash pickups and light park maintenance.
  • Park Ambassadors: Assist with programs, maintenance, safety and operations in many parks and nature preserves. Monitor activities and facilities, report deficiencies, insure follow-up, assist with special events, report suspicious behavior, provide information to patrons, help with customer service, etc. More information on the Park Ambassador Program
    Summer Camp for Seniors: Leisure and Learn at William Davie Conference Center – Tues. July 6,13,20, and 27, 10:30am-2pm. Volunteers needed to assist with program set-up, greeting and implementation of lunch, break out sessions, and clean up
  • Neighborhood Associations, Youth Groups, Civic Clubs: We are looking for community groups that are interested in coming out on a regular basis to do unsupervised park clean ups. Park clean ups would include trash pick up, debris clean up, and general maintenance (if necessary)
  • McDowell Nature Center 25th Anniversary Celebration: July 17, 9am-3pm Volunteers needed to help with the festivities; help is needed with crowd control, arts and crafts, and photography, set up and break down
  • Hummingbird FestivalReedy Creek Nature Preserve - August 28, 8:30-5pm, Volunteers needed to help with crowd control, litter control, disperse information and help with children's activities.

Recreation Center Programs

  • Share Your Talent: Community members interested in sharing their talents with rec center attendees from youth- seniors. Activities or talents include chess, gardening, painting, drawing, pottery, scrabble, cosmetology, swimming, woodworking, etc
  • Summer Camp Volunteers: Albemarle Road Rec Center - 7:30am-6pm, 5 days a week. Includes basketball and traditional camp activities. Volunteers responsible for sign-in, assisting with breakfast and lunch.. Must have worked with kids in the past and have administrative abilities
  • Coaches NeededAlbemarle Road Rec Center - 8 hours per week August1-October . Volunteers needed to coach various youth sports. Volunteers expected to run practices and teach sports specifics and fundamentals.
  • Girls ClubGreenville Rec Center – Mondays starting Jul 6. This is an outreach program for young girls in the community ranging in ages from 7 to 18.

Therapeutic Recreation VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD TO VOLUTNEER WITH THE TR DIVISION

  • Therapeutic Enrichment ProgramMarion Diehl Rec Center - Mon-Fri (following the CMS Schedule) 3:30pm-5:30pm. TREP is an afterschool program for teens, 13-21 with disabilities. The program's activities consist of games, gardening, sports, music, crafts, as well as enhancing life skills and socialization. Volunteer assist with set-up & break-down, participant supervision, and facilitating activities. Volunteer must be at least 18 years old and able to lift at least 25lb, stand, and bend
  • SEALS: Marion Diehl Rec Center-Tues & Thurs (following 2009-10 CMS school year) Volunteers will work 1:1 with kids (1st -3rd graders) assisting with reading, math, spelling, writing, etc.. The program ends at 6:00pm, so volunteers would be needed until until parents pick up their children

 

MONTHLY PROJECTS:

  • Ribbon Walk, Reedy Creek Nature Center-2nd Sat. of every month, 10am-noon – November. Freedom Park -3rd Sat. of every month-November, 9am-noon Volunteers help remove invasive plants (pulling weeds and using loppers and saws on shrubs and vines), keep trails clear from debris, install erosion control brakes (shoveling), lay down woodchips, raking, clean up creeks, streams & ponds, etc.

 

OPPORTUNITES FOR BUSINESSES
These are turn key projects, just show up dressed appropriately and raring to go!! We can even arrange for a shelter to be made available for a picnic lunch.

  • Adoptions: The adoption program is a great one for businesses that encourage staff to do a certain amount of volunteering each month. You'll have a set date/time and place so you can just post the info and folks can plan ahead. You have to commit to a group of at least 10 showing up each month for at least 4 hours (sometime less depending on what the project is).We'll have signs put up stating that you have adopted the park/greenway/recreation center.
  • Periodic Projects: These would be on a regular basis but not necessarily as often as once a month. We'd lay out the dates a year in advance (for example: the second Friday of the month). The locations would be decided upon at least a month in advance.
  • Special Events: These are great fun and are very popular amongst the corporate world. Some take place on weekends; some during the work week, they are a great way to bond and build teams!!


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