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MARCH 2011
Greetings from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Spring is almost here! We hope that you can find some time to enjoy one of our beautiful parks or nature preserves or participate in some of the outstanding programs featured in this newsletter.


Frazier Park is located in beautiful uptown Charlotte. It features athletic fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds, a dog park, greenway trails along Irwin Creek, and is home to Our Children's Memorial Walkway.

 
  Get Going Guide
  The spring 2011 Get Going Guide highlights programs occurring in March, April and May.

SPRING GET GOING Guide NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE 

The spring 2011 issue of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Get Going Guide is now available online. This is the third edition of the guide’s new online-only format. This issue features a comprehensive list of Park and Rec summer camps that are now available for registration. The Get Going Guide is posted as a PDF and linked to download from other County sites. The new format allows for fresher content in each issue as well as quicker access to program and event registration since it will be linked directly to E-Parks. And, for extra convenience, the Get Going Guide is easy to download and save to your computer desktop for reference or printing. The summer 2011 issue will be available in May and cover June, July and August.

 Bark in the Park  
Enter your dog in the 2011 Top Dog Photo Contest by March 20.  
ENTER YOUR POOCH FOR ‘TOP DOG’ HONORS AT 2011 PEDIGREE® BARK IN THE PARK PRESENTED BY FOOD LION!

Sign-up your dog for this year’s Top Dog Photo Contest, part of the 2011 Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion on Saturday, April 30. Bark in the Park will be at Rural Hill. This festival is a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department to promote dog parks. Dog owners entered 75 pet photos last year, and the public cast so many votes that the system crashed and the winner had to be determined by a drawing. The winner was a Belgian Malinois named Zane, featured in this year’s logo! The entry period this year runs March 1- March 20. Registration is preferred online or by mail (mail to Top Dog Photo Contest c/o Marion Diehl Rec Center, 2219 Tyvola Rd. Charlotte, NC 28210). Entry fee is $12 with Visa and Mastercard accepted online. Judges will select three finalist photos for cleverness and originality. Finalists will be posted on www.parkandrec.com March 30, and the public can vote online April 1- April 17 for Top Dog. The winner will be announced April 20 on the website. The Top Dog and owner will receive a professional portrait by Tianna Fisher, a year’s supply of dog food and be grand marshals of the Pooch Parade at Bark in the Park. For information on becoming a vendor at the Pedigree® 2011 Bark in the Park presented by Food Lion, please visit the Bark in the Park page.  

   Reedy Creek
  Nature Explorer Zone at Reedy Creek.
REEDY CREEK HOSTS "NATURAL PLAY AREAS" WORKSHOP

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and Central Piedmont Community College Center for Sustainability invite the public to the “Designing Natural Play Areas” professional workshop at Reedy Creek Nature Center on Monday, March 7, 2011. The workshop is 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and costs $20 per person. Fee includes lunch and five CEUs (Continuing Education Unit) through the NC Recreation and Parks Association. Natural play areas are “natural playgrounds” designed to encourage longer and richer outdoor play and exploration. They promote imaginary play, enhance creativity, and provide a valuable link between child and nature. The workshop will provide information on the history and benefits of natural play areas, and how to begin designing one at your park, school, or child care facility. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the new “Nature Explorer Zone” at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, a new nature play area that incorporates these concepts. Workshop facilitators include Robin Moore, director of the Natural Learning Imitative and professor of landscape architecture at NC State University and Fran Mainella, visiting scholar at Clemson University, co-chair of U.S. Play Coalition, and the 16th director of the National Park Service and first woman to lead that agency. Major funding for the workshop comes from Landscape Structures Inc. Register through E-Parks or call 704-598-8857. In addition to the workshop, the public is invited to watch “Play Again,” a free documentary about reconnecting kids with nature. The showing is at 6 p.m. and will take place at Pease Lane Auditorium on the campus of CPCC. Both Fran Mainella and Robin Moore will also speak at the documentary showing.

YOUTH BOXING FITNESS CLASSES OFFERED AT REVOLUTION PARK SPORTS ACADEMY

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites youth ages 8-18 to register now through March 31 for youth boxing fitness classes at Revolution Park Sports Academy. Classes are Monday – Thursday, April 4 – May 9, 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Registration cost $15 per person and is free for Park and Recreation rec center groups. Space is limited to 10 people per class. Participants will learn authentic boxing based on techniques to improve fitness and mental focus. Boxing for fitness uses focus pads, speed bags, floor to ceiling balls, punching bags, and stability exercises without sparing. Classes are divided into the following age groups: 8-9. 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18. Register through E-Parks or call 704-432-4963. Classes are taught by registered USA Boxing Coach Al Simpson.

   Memorial Stadium
  Memorial Stadium opened in 1936 as the first major sports facility in the city of Charlotte.
MEMORIAL STADIUM CLOSED FOR STRUCTURAL ASSESSMENT

The American Legion Memorial Stadium is closed while an engineering firm is being sought to assess the structural integrity of seating areas and to provide recommendations for repairs. A portion of the seating area was closed and repairs made in 2010 due to an underground drainage system collapse. Park and Recreation officials estimate that it may take up to six weeks to complete the assessment phase. As a precaution, the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department will contact groups and organizations that have booked the facility to assist them with finding other event sites. The community will continue to be updated on the status of the assessment, the recommended repairs, and if possible, a schedule for the re-opening of the facility. The stadium has been the site of a variety of events such as high school and collegiate football games, the Shrine Bowl from 1937 through 2000, concerts, including Pearl Jam, Hootie & the Blowfish, and K.C. & The Sunshine Band, a viewing area for the July 4th fireworks shows, professional wrestling matches, motocross races, the 2008 presidential campaign stops, and most recently, filming of the movie “Leatherheads,” featuring George Clooney. The American Legion Memorial Stadium opened in 1936 as the first major sports facility erected in the City of Charlotte. Funding for the facility was part of relief programs extended to cities during the Great Depression. 

UPPER MCALPINE CREEK GREENWAY AND THE PROPOSED CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG UTILITIES RELIEF SEWER PROJECT

On Feb. 7, 2011, the South Park Region and Park and Recreation Greenway Advisory Councils held a public meeting to gain citizen input on the proposed relief sewer project and its impact on McAlpine Creek Greenway. Click here to view facts and key issues.

E-PLANT TIPS FOR MARCH FROM THE NC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM
 
  • Wait until early to mid April before planting transplants of tender annual vegetables like peppers and tomatoes. 
  • Cut ornamental grasses back to the ground.
  • Prune Yew shrubs in late March or early April. Cut back to green shoots.
  • Spray fruit trees before buds open with a dormant oil if scale or insects were a problem. Temperatures must be above 32°F with no chance of freezing within 24 hours after spraying.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT MECKLENBURG COUNTY PARK AND RECREATION

Park and Recreation thanks all of its volunteers who helped in the past year. There are plenty of ways to get involved in March. For more information on volunteering contact Lori Saylor at 704-353-0504.





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