55 October 5-12 2012
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER OF THE PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
FridayLetter this issue
In The News:
Park News P.1 Enterprise Services P.2
Park Vol-Ops It’s been an “early Fall” kind of week. Not too hot, not too cold., but as always our corps are fired and up and volunteers joined together in our parks to get the job done. Bank of America planted flowers and weeded on Lit‐ tle Sugar Creek Greenway. West Charlotte and Harding High Schools began the sea‐ son‐long task of leaf re‐ moval at Hornet’s Nest and Tuckasegee Parks. Garinger High School limbed up branches and cut back overgrown vegetation at Reedy Creek. Also at Reedy Creek, Mallard Creek High School removed limbs and leaves at the Nature Center and Nature Play area. Thanks to these groups who help make our parks a de‐ sired destination for the public in the Fall.
Capital Planning P.4 Nature Preserves & Natural Resources P.5 Community & Recreation Center Services P.6
Capturing the Serenity and Peace of Parks— It’s a wonderful time of year to reminder park patrons and employees of the Memorial Tree and Bench Program, which are wonderful ways to honor a loved one or commemorate an event. Trees are planted from November thru March. Bench donations may be made in two styles, the Standard Park bench, or our Solid Steel Com‐ memorative bench. These benches are both 6 feet long, and are installed on a concrete pad. The Commemorative brick is then installed in that concrete pad. All calls from potential do‐ nors should be referred to the main contact for Park Services (Tim Turton; 704‐549‐5617 who will assist you with your donation. The Purchaser can select a variety of trees. These are trees that are available locally, are well adapted to our region, and promise to perform to your expectations.
Be The One Run 38th Wendy’s Invitational: McAlpine Creek Park once again played host to the longest running The Be The Match Foundation hosted it’s second annual Be The One Run on Saturday, September 29 at Jetton Park. Over 250 participants ran the 5K to help raise money to assist in; finding matching bone marrow donors, afford transplants, and support medi‐ cal research. The days events also included a Tot Trot and 1K Fun Walk. For more informa‐ tion visit www.bethematchfoundation. org or contact Pre‐ ston.Buckman@MecklenburgC ountync.gov.
High School Invitational Cross Country Meet in the Southeast. This years event featured 102 schools and over 3,400 athletes. Athletes competed in 9 races starting at 9:00am. Schools traveled to Charlotte from; North and South Carolina, Georgia, Ten‐ nessee and Virginia. Aaron Templeton from Hardin Valley Academy set a meet record with a time of 14:54:00. The Providence girls team took home the Girls Open race easily with 55 points.
Scenes from events: Wendy’s 38th Invitation participants in stride to win.
Cycle North Carolina – Cycle North Carolina traveled through Charlotte on Tuesday, October 2nd on there way to Carolina Beach. Over 1,100 riders began the 6 day trek in Brevard. Riders passed through Charlotte on there way to Matthews where they camped overnight. Cyclist rode through uptown and entered the Little Sugar Creek Greenway via the Trade Street en‐ trance. They rode the greenway into Freedom Park where a water stop was stationed for them. After a short break riders got back on the greenway to complete the last stretch of there close to 80 mile day, to Matthews. For more information on the ride and other upcoming events visit, www.visitnc.com or contact Preston.Buckman@MecklenburgCountync.gov.
Did You Know ~
Cross Country Running
UNCC Charlotte Invitational – McAlpine Creek Park played host to the 4th Annual UNCC Char‐ lotte Invitational Cross Country meet on Friday, September 28. Over 40 colleges and over 1000 participants from the Southeast traveled to Charlotte to compete in this event. Virginia Tech won the Men’s 8K team portion of the event with Wake Forest and Davidson rounding out the top three. Clemson won the Women’s 6K team event followed by Appalachian State and Rich‐ mond. For the first year the Charlotte Invitational added two High School races to the schedule, a Men’s and Women’s 5K. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation will partner with UNCC to host the Division I Southeast Regional on Friday, November 9th. This will be a great opportunity to watch some of the top runners in the nation compete.
College Football Extravaganza Memorial Stadium hosted Johnson C. Smith University vs. Winston Salem St on Saturday October 6th. The stadium was host to over 3500 people to cheer on both teams. Winston Salem St won and is still undefeated on the year. This is the second straight year that we have hosted this game and people come out to not only see the football teams but to see the well known bands perform at halftime. (See Picture on Back Page)
Adult Athletics News On October 7th play will begin in the Men’s 30 & Over Fall Basketball League at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center. In addition to the Men’s 30+ basketball league, the Women’s Basketball League will also start their playoff games at Tuckaseegee Recreation Center on October 7. Men’s 40 & Over will also start their playoffs on October 9th at the Ivory Baker and Hickory Grove Rec‐ reation Centers. Weekly volleyball leagues are currently being played at Tom Sykes, Bette Rae, Wallace Pruitt, and West Charlotte Recreation Centers. Flag Football is still in season at Nevin Park on Tuesday nights. In addition to the basketball leagues, volleyball, and flag football fall softball games are being played at Renaissance Park and Nevin Park each Monday through Thurs‐ day. The fall softball season will start their play off season on October 18.
Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open‐air courses over natu‐ ral terrain. The course, typi‐ cally 2.5–7.5 miles long, may include surfaces of grass and earth, pass through wood‐ lands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road. It is both an individual and a team sport, runners are judged on individual times and a points scoring method for teams. Both men and women of all ages compete in cross country, which usu‐ ally takes place during au‐ tumn and winter, and can include weather conditions of rain, sleet, snow or hail, and a wide range of tem‐ peratures. Cross county running is also an excellent form of cardio‐ vascular exercise and an en‐ durance building activity.
Did You Know ~
Little Sugar Creek Greenway Community Garden
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Robert Haywood Morrison Gardens: Little Sugar Creek Greenway Robert Haywood Morrison Gardens
The mission of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway Community Garden (LSCG) is to bring the residents of Mecklenburg County to‐ gether to experience fun and fellowship while learn‐ ing eco‐friendly gardening methods and techniques. Classes are regularly held onsite to teach people vari‐ ous methods of eco‐ friendly gardening. These classes include ses‐ sions on composting, soil management, toxicity re‐ duction and seed saving, fresh food harvesting, preparation and preserva‐
Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on Wednesday , October 3, 2012 for the Robert Haywood Morrison Garden that will serve as a place of respite for cancer patients near Le‐ vine Cancer Institute on the campus of Caroli‐ nas Medical Center. Robert Haywood Morrison Gardens is made possible with a $250,000 gift from the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation. Morrison was a Charlotte businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist. The garden will be developed as a joint ven‐ ture with Mecklenburg County and part of the History Trail on Little Sugar Creek Greenway. The garden’s focal point will be a statue by artist Wendy Ross depicting Jane Wilkes, founder of St. Peter’s Hospital, the precursor to Charlotte Memorial Hospital, now CMC.
Scenes from events: MCPRD Director Jim Garges participates in the groundbreaking ceremonies for the joint venture to create the Robert Haywood Morrison Gardens
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
tion. A good contact for more information is: Nadine Ford 704 201 ‐2201
You Know ~
What is a Wilderness Area?
Hiking Trip to Shining Rock Wilderness Area Staff from Reedy Creek Nature Center led a backpacking trip to Shining Rock Wilderness Area last weekend, participants spent the weekend enjoying waterfalls, crossing creeks, the early fall colors off the Blue Ridge Parkway and the stars under bright night skies without the light pollution from the city. Participants met before the trip to fit backpacks and practice on our trails before having to haul food, clothes and tents on a hiking trip. Hawk Rescue at McDowell Nature Center
McDowell Nature Center educator Bryan England noticed a Red‐Shouldered Hawk sitting near the side of a road inside the nature preserve. When approached, the hawk flew only a short distance before falling back to the ground. After calling the Carolina Raptor Center, Bryan was advised to capture the apparently injured bird. After a chase through the woods and with the help of a box provided by MDNC educator Kristen Haas, the hawk was safely captured and sent to the Raptor Center that evening. An initial medical exam found the bird to be extremely weak, severely under‐ nourished and bruised, but no bones appeared broken. The cause of these injuries remains un‐ known, although it is common for raptors to be injured by cars. Even a minor injury can leave a bird unable to fly well enough to hunt, leading to eventual death by starvation. The bird has responded well to treatment at the Raptor Center and is now eating and gaining weight. Raptor Center staff are hopeful that in time it will be a candidate for release, and plan on returning it McDowell Nature Preserve. You can follow the progress of “McD” the hawk yourself online – just head over to rap‐ tormed.carolinaraptorcenter.org and search for patient #16455.
A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where im‐ pacts from human activities are minimal—that is, as a wilderness. It might also be called a wild or natural area. The WILD Foundation states that wilderness areas have two dimensions: they must be biologically intact and legally protected. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) classifies wilderness at two levels, Ia (Strict Na‐ ture Preserves) and Ib (Wilderness areas).
Kristen Haas carefully handles the injured hawk. (below)
Did You Know ~ What’s Plastic Made Of?
Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities After School Skate Sessions at Grayson SkatePark
Twelve 4‐H homeschoolers between the ages of 7‐13 participated in a fun activity that allowed their exploratory minds to delve into the art science of plastic making. Participants took everyday safe and environmentally friendly household items and mixed them to come up with a form of common items that we use daily. The homeschoolers then tested the plastic and an‐ swered experimental ques‐ tions about its durability and/ or elasticity. Throughout the remainder of the 2012‐2013 school year 4‐ H cooperative extension based curriculum pro‐ grams will be done by our 4‐ H participants. If you would like to partici‐ pate in this or any other pro‐ grams at Marion Diehl Rec‐ reation Center; please email Ivan.Cohen@MecklenburgCo untyNC.gov or call 704.432.4335.
Each Monday and Wednesday, as well as every other Saturday, young skateboard‐ ers attend Grayson Skate Park after school skate sessions where they learn about the basics and fundamentals of skateboarding. These young boys and girls participate in games & activities, learning how to build their own ramps, and repairing/customizing their skate‐ boards. The skateboarders visit other skate parks to demonstrate newly ac‐ quired skills.
Naomi Drenan’s “SKY HY creates footsteps at the UNCC Community Day!” The Naomi Drenan Recreation Center’s Sky Hy Steppers journeyed to University of North Caro‐ lina at Charlotte to show how stepping is really done! Sky Hy participated in the UNCC Com‐ munity Day, in front of many families which also took part in other games & activities. The group performed their top two step routines, and were cheered on by a multitude of on‐ lookers impressed by their skills and talents. Many thanks to Donell Stines‐Jones, Community Outreach Coordinator at UNC Charlotte Center City for this invitation.
Naomi Drenan Recreation Center For more information about this or other programs or events, contact NaomiDrenanRecrea‐ tionCenter@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov or 704.432.5231.
Learn to Play Tennis at Sugaw Creek
RAY Play at Sugaw Creek Lights, camera and action! The Ray Play program is full of excitement and activity. Each Tuesday 10:00am‐ 12:00 noon, preschool aged children participate in activities: storytelling, stretch and flexibility activities, fitness stations, group games, sports, arts & crafts, music and free play. The Ray Play program will feature upcoming special events: Fall Festival, Thanksgiving Luncheon and a Christmas program.
NFL Punt, Pass and Kick Competition at Sugaw Creek Park On Saturday, October 6, children and teens in the community took part in the local competition. The winners will move on to the sectional round held Saturday, October 27, at Memo‐ rial Stadium. The participants in that round will have the op‐ portunity to compete at the Bank of America Stadium later this fall to challenge for a national title and be recognized during a NFL televised post season game. The NFL Punt Pass and Kick event is held annually to measure distance and ac‐ curacy of throwing, punting and kicking a football
Sugaw Creek “Young at Heart” Seniors Citizen Club The seniors are actively participating in programs and community activities: The Island Party (Albemarle Rec‐ reation Center), Senior Fest (Arbor Glen Outreach Cen‐ ter), arts and crafts (Niles Community Theater), chair aerobics and monthly club meetings. These energetic seniors are gearing up to volunteer at the Sugaw Creek Annual Fall Festival on Thursday, October 25. They are organizing the First Annual Seniors Citizen Motown Review scheduled for December 5. The Young at Hearts Senior Club has a membership with the North Carolina Association Senior Citizen Club (District 8). New members are welcome to join at any time. The seniors are busy working on the Mazette Lewis ‐ Christmas Shoe Boxes (named in honor of the former club president) to be distributed to Favar Ministries. Favar Ministries mission is to positively assist men with restoring their lives back into society. The halfway house is located in the Hidden Valley Community.
Sugaw Creek Recreation Center For more information, contact Cynthia.Smith‐Perkins@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov or 704.336.7655
On Saturday, October 6, Su‐ gaw Creek Recreation Cen‐ ter staff and volunteers or‐ ganized and conducted a free “Learn to Play Tennis” Program for the community. Over (15) fifteen kids ages 3‐ 14 years had the opportu‐ nity to learn the basic funda‐ mentals of tennis. The skill stations consisted of proper tennis grips, footwork, fore‐ hand and back hand swings. The youngsters played group games, participated in a talk session and took pic‐ tures. A huge thank you to Recreation Assistant, Ian Hunter, and Tennis Pro, Coach William Brown for making this program a suc‐ cess!
Line Dancing for Breast Cancer at Arbor Glen Outreach Center Arbor Glen’s Divine Divas hosted a line dancing work‐ shop on October 3, 2012 in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Participants wore pink to support survivors and re‐ member those who lost the battle with this disease . For more information about programs at Arbor Glen Outreach Center call 704.432.1531.
Therapeutic Recreation Young Athletes: Young Athletes, in partnership with Special Olympics, started in the Mecklenburg County schools on October 1st. Young Athletes is an innovative sports play program for children with intellectual disabilities, intended to in‐ troduce them to sports prior to Special Olympics . We are excited for a fun‐filled school year! If you would like more information about Young Athletes please contact: Abigail.Bergman@MecklenburgCounty.gov or Ariel.Kliem@MecklenburgCounty.gov.
Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities The VIP Travel Club travels to Rock Hill, SC:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
This energetic group of adults and seniors who have visual impairments visited the Comporium Telephone Museum in Rock Hill. Through a variety of hands‐on and audio displays, partici‐ pants experienced the history of Rock Hill and Comporium, which began with just a few sub‐ scribers to the Rock Hill Telephone Company in 1894 – and today is a major communications company. We also enjoyed a home‐cooked meal at Kinch’s restaurant, a local favorite, and stopped by the Glencairn Gardens to take in the beautiful weather and check out the Veteran’s Garden, fountains and walking paths. For more information about the VIP Travel Club, contact Karen Howard at 704‐432‐4325 or Karen.Howard@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
World-Renowned Public Garden Designer to Visit Charlotte Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation will welcome Lynden Miller, a world‐renowned pub‐ lic garden designer, to Charlotte to speak about the importance of preserving open space and making places memorable. The event, which is open to the public, will take place Oct. 25, at 6 p.m., in Tate Hall (inside the Overcash Building), on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College. Parking is avail‐ able at the Student/Faculty deck off 4th Street. About Lynden Miller
Lynden Miller & The Conservatory Garden, NYC The Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park, New York City. Comprising 6 acres, it takes its name from a conservatory that stood on the site from 1898 to 1934. The Garden is composed of three distinct parts, skillfully restored since the 1980s,.. Some large shrubs, like tree lilac, magnolias, buddleias and Cornus alba 'elegantissima' provide verti‐ cal structure and offer light shade to offset the sunny locations, planted by Lynden Miller with a wide range of hardy perennials and decora‐ tive grasses, intermixed with annuals planted to seem naturalized. This garden has seasonal fea‐ tures to draw visitors from April through October.
Park and Recreation News: 5841 Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216 (704) 336-8840
Submissions for the Newsletter
Recreate All Year!
As the weather changes, look forward to new and exciting way to continue recreat‐ ing during the fall and winter months. Subscribe to the Park and Recreation E‐ Newsletter to stay up to date on activities that may be available to you.
Please submit all news for the Friday Letter to your Division Director for review and routing. Park Partners may contact Kesha Meads at Kesha.Meads@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
for publication assistance.
The Friday Letter Issue 55 October 5-12, 2012
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Senior Leadership Team
Jim Garges, Director Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director James Alsop, Enterprise Services Renea Barber, Human Resources Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Lola Massad, Community Services and Recreation Centers Jeff Robinson, Park Operations
Johnson C. Smith University Gold Bulls enter the field to square off with HBCU rival, Winston‐Salem State University.