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JUNE 2010
Greetings again from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. This month's newsletter is heavily devoted to our need of volunteers. Please consider helping if you can. Many things are going to change at Park and Rec because of Mecklenburg County budget cuts.


   
About 17,000 volunteers helped us last year, but we must expand participation significantly.  

MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND REC NEEDS YOUR HELP; IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP, SIGN-UP NOW TO VOLUNTEER!

Mecklenburg County faces historic budget shortfalls. Park and Recreation is hit especially hard. With less staff and the same number of parks, programs and centers to run and maintain, we need your help! This is an opportunity for individuals and groups who take pride in their neighborhood parks and recreation centers to rally together. With your support we can continue to provide the high level of service that citizens of Mecklenburg County know and deserve. We need you to volunteer to help Park and Recreation! Please let us know if you can help with any of the following programs:
  • 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. Click here for a list of recreation center locations.
  • 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. 
  • Volunteers in Parks (VIPs): A special program for groups, clubs, scouts, neighborhood associations, civic clubs, churches, etc. which encourages groups to "take ownership" of a specific property or facility. Groups commit to a supervised project each month and/or perform weekly unsupervised walks through a facility for clean-up and light maintenance. The County will post a sign in the adoption area specifying the group that has volunteered.

Volunteers must be friendly and dependable, willing to make a commitment. Commitments and schedules vary according to needs. NOTE: Volunteers younger than age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. So join the fun! Help your community. To volunteer or to seek more information on how you can help, contact Volunteer Coordinator Lori Saylor or 704 336-5478.


VOLUNTEERS ALSO NEEDED FOR MANY SPECIFIC PROGRAMS AND EVENTS:

  • Summer Camp for Seniors: Leisure and LearnWilliam Davie Park  Conference Center at Park Rd, Tuesdays; Jul. 6, 13, 20, 27, 10:30am-2pm. Assist set-up, greeting, set-up, name tags, lunch, sessions, and clean-up. Shift One: 8:30am-12:30pm, Shift Two: 11:30am-3:30pm
  • Calling all Neighborhood Associations, Youth Groups, Civic Clubs etc…Help pitch-in with neighborhood parks. Dates and Times are flexible. We seek community groups interested in helping with clean-ups on a regular basis, may include general maintenance.
  • McDowell Nature Center  25th Anniversary Celebration, Jul. 17, 9am-3pm. Help with the festivities; crowd management, arts and crafts, photography, set up and break down
  • Share Your Talent (new opportunity!) at many recreation centers. Work with youth to seniors. Do you have a talent you would like to share with others? Activities include chess, gardening, painting, drawing, pottery, scrabble, cosmetology, swimming, woodworking, etc. Times are flexible.
  • Summer Camp Volunteers (new opportunity!) at Albemarle.Road Recreation Center. Help needed for summer camp basketball and other camp activities. Volunteers sign in kids, assist with meals, and help with programs: 7:30am-6pm 5/days week. Must have worked with kids in the past and have administrative abilities
  • Royal Chess Club at Berewick Recreation Center, Sunday afternoons,2pm-4pm. Volunteers teach kids about chess on selected occasions.
  • Girls Club at Greenville Recreation Center , starting July 6, 5:30pm–6:30pm. Help with outreach program for girls, ages 7 to 18.
  • Nature Preserve Greeters, McDowell Nature Preserve , Saturdays and Sundays now-Sept, 9am-4pm. Staff welcome station.
  • 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. We also need Park Ambassadors to act as our ambassador to the patrons at parks and greenways and help us to provide customer service and information to our patrons.
  • We also have opportunities for recurring monthly projects at parks and nature preserves, special opportunities for groups such as clubs, businesses, church groups, scouts, etc, and special opportunities to work with youth and adults who have disabilities in Therapeutic Recreation (TR).
  • More information on many more volunteer opportunities.

To volunteer 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. Join the fun! Volunteer for any of the following.


   
Last year our outdoor pools had 36,000 visits.  

COOL-OFF ON HOT DAYS AT PARK AND REC OUTDOOR POOLS; FREE SWIM LESSONS AGAIN THIS YEAR!

Park and Rec's outdoor swimming pools are now open for the summer. All admissions are still only $1 to swim all day. Pools will be open for regular swimming Saturdays: 11-5pm and Sundays: 1-5pm. After school closes, Jun. 11-Aug. 24, they will be open weekdays: Noon-6pm. Pools will be open weekends through Labor Day. Our outdoor pools are: Cordelia or Double Oaks These pools offer FREE swimming lessons for youngsters with sessions for ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 at Cordelia Mondays and Wednesdays: 10:30am-11am or 11:15am-11:45am and at Double Oaks Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 9am-9:45am, 10 am-10:45am, or 11am-11:45am. Registration opens Wed., June 16, at the pool you wish to attend, and registrations will be taken every Wed, 12-6pm, for the following week only and must be done in person. No phone reservations. Limited spots are available, first come, first served. Last year, we provided more than 3,000 FREE swim lessons for youngsters. For more information on aquatics programs, call 311 or 704-336-DIVE.


MECKLENBURG PARK AND RECREATION NAMED A FINALIST FOR PRESTIGIOUS 2010 NRPA GOLD MEDAL AWARD!

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has been named one of three finalist agencies in competition for a 2010 NRPA Gold Medal Award. The award is presented annually by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to honor excellence in management and planning of parks and recreation agencies. Recreation professionals consider the Gold Medal Award as the top national recognition of excellence in their profession. A panel of experts chose our department as a finalist for the in the category for communities with a population of more than 250,000. Other finalists are New York City, Miami/Dade County, and Fairfax County, VA. The winner will be announced in October.


MECKLENBURG PARK AND REC OFFERS YOUTH TENNIS CAMPS IN JUNE AND JULY AT TOM SYKES RECREATION CENTER

Park and Recreation Department invites youth, ages 5-14, to sign-up for summer tennis camps at Tom Sykes Recreation Center. Participants can choose one of four sessions. Each session lasts one week and runs 8:45am-5pm. Session 1: Jun. 14-18, Session 2: Jun. 21-25, Session 3: Jun. 28-Jul. 2, Session 4: Jul. 12-16. The camp is designed to teach kids fundamentals of tennis and offer match play activities. Participants must bring their lunch. Cost is $150 for the week. Camp is offered in cooperation with RDU Tennis. To register visit www.rdutennis.net.

   
Sailing is a great sport, and we are pround to partner with NC Community Sailing and Rowing at Blythe Landing Park.  

NC COMMUNITY SAILING AND ROWING CENTER OFFERS YOUTH SUMMER CAMPS AT BLYTHE LANDING

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. Check out our web site at www.nccsailrow.org or call the office at 704-947-7245.
 








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

In Mecklenburg County, the Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers tips for gardeners. The following tips are recommended gardens in June:

  • Maintain a good mulch layer in vegetable gardens to help conserve moisture in root zone and to reduce weed growth.
  • 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 1 inch of rain or water each week. Early morning is the best time to water. Evening watering is less desirable because leaves that remain wet through the night are more susceptible to fungal diseases.

 



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