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March 1 2013

FridayLetter THE

this issue In The News:

Park News P.1 Enterprise Services P.2

Nature Preserves and Natu-

Community & Recreation Center Services P.5

ral Resources Division Now Accepting Orders for 2nd Annual Plant Sale The Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Division and MeckTeens are accepting


Park and Recreation— Park Rangers


March 29 for their 2nd annual plant sale benefiting youth outdoor programs. Citizens & the public will be able to place an order and pick up at Latta Plantation Nature Center, McDowell Nature Center or Reedy Creek Nature Center. Plants will be available April 8-12,

Park Operations News Beginning February 21, 2013, Park and Recreation will no longer have Park Watch Coordinators (PWC). All current PWCs will become Park Rangers, complete with a new look. You will see new decals on our trucks and a new uniform on the current Park Watch staff. The goal of this move is to bring our department in line with the current Park Rangers across the nation and to make us more recognizable to the public in our parks. The Park Ranger's duties will not change from the current Park Watch position duties. Our Park Rangers fall into the category of non sworn Park Rangers so they will not be armed. We are excited for this change and staff have worked very hard to make this happen. If anyone has any questions, please contact Greg Clemmer.

from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public sale will take place at Yorkmont Farmer's Market, 1801 Yorkmont Road, on April 13 and 20, from 8 a.m. 4 p.m. Click here for a listing of plants and vegetables available.

Park Ops Weekly Minute We hope you’ve continued to find the weekly Park Ops minutes informative. Join us this week to learn about the transition from Park Watch Coordinator to Park Watch Ranger and the impact it will have to the image of Park and Recreation and the Community. Click here or click the images below to watch this weeks exciting Park Ops Weekly Minute.

Park Operations Jeff Robinson, Division Director Greg Clemmer, Park Superintendent Chris Hunter, North Park Region Manager Michael Campbell, Central Park Region Manager Patricia Poteat, South Park Region Manager

Grady Cole Center & American Legion Memorial Stadium




Grady Cole Center was proud to continue the long tradition of hosting Miss Donna’s School of Dance rehearsal on Sunday, February 17th . The rehearsal has taken place at the Grady Cole Center for over 10 years and is the final step before the kids take the stage for their annual performances in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. Over 200 kids rehearsed between the ages of 6-16 years old.

23rd, Queens University of Charlotte held Senior Day at the Grady Cole Center. It marked




game for the Royals’ men’s and



teams at Grady Cole. The Queens women lost a hardfought




Greenville, 80-71. Leading the way for the Royals was the only senior, Dyonna Battle, with 14 points. The men’s team prevailed with a 76-63 victory over the Crusaders as they said goodbye to five seniors. Antonio Stabler and Brandon Nichols, both seniors, led the way with 23 and 13 points, respectively.


The Grady Cole Center played host to Queens University of Charlotte’s homecoming festivities on Saturday, February 16th. The women’s basketball team rolled to a 65-46 victory over visiting Erskine in front of 750 fans. Shonice Pettaway led all scorers with 27 points. In the men’s game, Queens overcame a 13-point second half deficit to knock off the Flying Fleet, 60-59, in front of 800 fans. Freshman Joby Glymph set a career high with 19 points off the bench. The Royals will play their final regular season game at the Grady Cole Center on Saturday, February 23rd, when the North Greenville Crusaders pay a visit. Senior Day will start with the women’s game at 5:30pm and be followed by the men at 7:30pm.

Grady Cole Center & American Legion Memorial Stadium The Grady Cole Center hosted the Xtreme Fighting Championships MMA event on Friday, February 22nd. It was the second consecutive year the Grady Cole Center hosted the event. Over 1,200 spectators attended the event which featured 11 bouts. The final six fights were all televised live on AXS TV. The event, which lasted nearly four hours, had three main bouts in addition to the undercard fights. Charlotte’s own Ricky Rainey defeated Joseph Corneroli - a Simpsonville, SC, native - in a “Battle of the Carolinas” match.

Event Highlights: One hundred seventy (170) swimmers participated in a Hornets Nest Swim League dual meet on Friday, February 22 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Mecklenburg County’s Mecklenburg Makos competed against the Harris YMCA. SwimMac Carolina conducted a swim clinic and dual swim meet on Saturday, February 23. The clinic took place from 12 – 1:30pm and the swim meet took place from 1:30 – 3pm. One hundred sixty (160) kids took part in the event. ________________________

Upcoming Events: LEFT: For more information on the featured event flyers below, please visit: WPEGFM98

This weekend, the Grady Cole Center is excited to host the Official CIAA Step Shows. On Friday, March 1, the college step show, “Throwdown: Greeks vs Greeks” will be hosted by Power 98’s “No Limit Larry” and will start at 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, March 2, Miss Mykie from BET’s 106 & Park will host the high school “Stepoff: School vs School” show which starts at 7:00 p.m. Both events are anticipated to sell out with limited tickets still available at

Event Highlights: On Saturday, February 23rd, the McMullen Greenway hosted the Charlotte 10 Miler. 455 participants braved the cold rain to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Relay for Life. The event offered a 10 mile course and a 4 mile run. Top “10 Miler” male, Scott Woodbury, finished with a time of 56:22 and top female, Dalena Custer, completed the race in 1:03:33. Top “4 Miler” male, Chase Smith, finished in 24:38 and top female, Tunisia Milner, crossed the finish line in 27:43.

Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center

For complete results please visit. here . For more information on upcoming races contact Preston.Buckman@Mecklenbur ________________________ On February 23rd and 24th, Winget Park hosted the 2013 Ice Bowl Disc Golf Tournament. Saturday saw 63 individual players competing on 24 holes while Sunday included 64 doubles matches. The event raised money for The Carolina Food Bank. For complete results please visit here:For more information on Charlotte area disc golf please visit or contact Preston.Buckman

The 15th Annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimming Championships took place at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center February 13 – 16. The championship included the following teams: Catawba College, Converse College, Davis & Elkins College, Fairmont State College, Johns Hopkins University, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Limestone College, Pfeiffer College, Queens University, Randolph Macon College, Savannah College of A&D, Washington and Lee University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and Wingate University. Three hundred forty-five (345) college kids participated to win both a conference championship and qualify to compete at the Division II National Championship in Birmingham, Alabama. Mecklenburg County’s Queen City Dolphin swim team took 3 of the their swimmers to the State Championship Swim Meet the past two weekends. Sydney Sellars finished 24th place out of 61 kids in the 50 Yard Freestyle at the Age Group State Championship. Sydney competed in the 11 – 12 year old division and finished with a time of 27.35. Jahari Dunn and Shawn Williamson competed in the Senior State Championship swim meet. Jahari Dunn finished in 90th place out of 130 swimmers in the 50 yard freestyle. She swam a time of 26.07. Shawn Williamson finished 104 out 133 in the 50yard freestyle with a time of 23.84. He also competed in the 100 yard freestyle where he finished 117 out of 136. He swam the 100 yards in 52.52. The State Championship swim meet competition is for the best qualified swimmers in the state of North Carolina. The Swim Meets took place at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC February 15 – 17 and February 22 – 24.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Safety Fair at Berewick Berewick Recreation Center staff, along with Berewick Elementary School PTA hosted a Safety fair on Tuesday, February 19th to showcase safety tips & tricks to children, parents, families and friends of the community. Over 175 people attended this event and had a chance to gain valuable safety information in many aspects of life; such as pool, bicycle, health, outdoor, animal, stranger danger, fire protection, and more. Information was provided featuring animal and outdoor safety presented by McDowell Nature Center Staff. For more information regarding Community Outreach Events or programs, please contact or call 704.432.4934.

Wild Wednesdays at Berewick Recreation Center: 12 children ages 2-5 years old attend this wild fitness class on Wednesday mornings at Berewick Recreation Center. Each week the children work on their cardiovascular endurance, small and large motor skills, listening skills, social skills, and have a blast with Recreation Specialist; Kimberly Golden as they get fit while having fun! Each class is full of new activities for the children to explore and every class is a new adventure. For more information about preschool programs, please contact or call 704.432.4934.

Enterprise Services Events Highlights: On Sunday, February 24th, Park Road Park and Jeff Adams Tennis Center hosted the Carolina Tennis Network Championships for Girls and Boys 18 and under. The event was initially scheduled to start that Friday but rain delayed play until Sunday. 156 players participated in the abbreviated tournament where many were able to reach the Quarter and SemiFinals. Players were still able to earn valuable USTA points for their efforts meaning the rain shortened weekend was not lost. For complete result please visit here. For more information on upcoming tennis tournaments contact Preston.Buckman@Mecklenbur ________________________

Black History Celebration at Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center During the week of February 18th – 23rd , the Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center hosted its Annual Black History Celebration. The celebration included an exhibit of Black Inventors and their inventions. A scene of Harriet Tubman’s “Underground Railroad” was reconstructed by students from Bruns Academy. The students played the roles of freed slaves leading our participants to freedom. On Saturday, the Greater Enrichment Program hosted its Annual Black History Bowl. Students from six after school sites competed by answering questions on topics ranging from sports and music to civil rights. Approximately 1500 visitors enjoyed this year’s exhibit.

For more information contact 704-432-6775 or WallacePruittRecreationCenter

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities MeckSeniors MeckSeniors visit Historic Reynolda in Winston-Salem, NC On Tuesday, February 26 seniors traveled to Winston-Salem, NC to visit Historic Reynolda District and Germanton Winery and Vineyard. Seniors were taken on a guided tour through the Reynolds House and then enjoyed the Germanton Winery and Vineyard located in quaint Germanton, NC. The next MeckSeniors Day Trip is March 12, to The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, NC for the Titanic Artifact Exhibition.

For more information on MeckSeniors Day Trips, email at or call 704.336.8105.

MeckSeniors February Leisure and Learn at WR Davie Park MeckSeniors held its February Leisure and Learn at William R. Davie Conference Room on Thursday, February 21. The theme was “Happy Healthy Hearts” in observance of National Heart Month. Senior Advisory Council Member and Women Heart Coordinator, Rosalind Taylor presented information about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. Tiffany Hollingsworth from Shad’s Landing Senior Living Facility, lead Ageless Grace Exercise teaching simple movements seniors can do daily to increase flexibility, muscle strength, bone strength, all while increasing their heart rates. Award winning poetry from Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes were read and seniors were given the opportunity to share an experience that touched their lives in observance of Black History Month. The Charlotte Woodcarvers Club was on display during the duration of the program as they demonstrated their woodcarving skills. Spring Leisure and Learn dates are March 21, April 18, and May 16 at Clanton Pavillion.

For more information on MeckSeniors programs, email at MeckSeniors or call 704.336.8105.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Valentine’s Day Party at Berewick Recreation Center On Friday, February 15th Berewick Recreation Center had 16 pre-school aged children attended our Wacky Valentine’s Day party. The children created a Lady Bug Valentine, paper heart hats, made cards and listened to the story “Marry me, Smurfette!” all while sharing the love with friends and family. Wacky Holiday programs are ran most Friday mornings, celebrating unique holidays and creating one-of-a-kind crafts.

4-H Afterschool Club at Berewick Recreation Center Throughout the month of February, the 4-H Club at Berewick Recreation Center in partnership with CMS Afterschool Enrichment Program at Berewick Elementary School has been exploring careers. Kimberly Golden leads the club which meets monthly with over 55 members. This month the topic was about the importance of staying in school to accomplish their goals and dreams of their future careers. Children helped list over 44 careers that they knew about and possibly wanted to be when they grew up and shared them with the class; with the most popular responses being teachers, veterinarians, athletes, and engineers. For more information about this or other programs, contact or call 704.432.4934.

Berewick’s Start Smart Stars Berewick Recreation Center Superstars participated in the Start Smart basketball program. 15 high energy young boys and girls completed six weeks of basketball skills and drills. Start Smart is a national program offered thru the NRPA, that helps develop basketball skills for young children that includes parent participation.

For more information on Start Smart programs and other center program, contact BerewickRecreationCenter@MecklenburgCountyNC. gov or call 704.432.4934. _______________________

Mini Chef’s make Mini Puffs at Arbor Glen Outreach Center

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Bricks4Kids Afterschool at Berewick Recreation Center 19 children ages 6-11 years old attend Bricks4Kids each Wednesday and have the opportunity to free build and build motorized Lego creations such as see-saws, Ferris Wheels, catapults, clocks and more as they learn the laws of motion and physics concepts all while keeping their hands and minds busy!

On Wednesday, February 13th the Arbor Glen Mini Chef class learned to make their first hors d'oeuvres. The preschoolers learned to slice with their nylon knives on their apple cutting boards, peel and cut onions‌even experienced the onion tear, and pasty press. The Mini Ham Puff Pastry was small in size and big in taste. For more information call 704-432-1531 or email ArborGlenOutreachCenter@M

For more information about afterschool programs, please contact BerewickRecreation Center@ or call 704.432.4934.

Bring the Outdoors In: Pitch a Tent at Arbor Glen Outreach Center On Tuesday, February 19th the Arbor Glen Afterschool learned how to pitch a tent with Anthony Shaheen from the McDowell Nature Center. They learned the importance of team work, the benefits of camping, basic camping skills and setting up a standard tent. After, each team took time to enjoy their new home away from home.

Arbor Glen Recreation Center For more information on programs call 704-432-1533 or email

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Ray Play at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center Naomi Drenan Recreation Center gets little ones involved in a variety of age-appropriate activities and games. This "Monkeys in a Tree" picture is an example of one of the multimedia art projects done by one of our participants. It is an ongoing program every Tuesday morning.

Naomi Drenan Recreation Center Seniors Celebrate “Love” at Wallace Pruitt: On February 26th, a group of lovely ladies from Naomi Drenan Recreation Center took a trip to Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center to share a day of love with others throughout the county. It was a day of laughter, music, dancing, and more! We would like to thank Wallace Pruitt for hosting a wonderful Valentine’s Day event and for showing our seniors a great time.

Naomi Drenan Recreation Center For more information, contact or call 704.432.5231.

Track & Field Workshop On Sunday, February 17, Sugaw Creek Recreation Center held a workshop for parents and athletes. The discussions included sport values, athlete growth & development, training theory, nutrition, and ethical conduct for coaches. The athletes participated in team building activities, dynamic stretches and strengthening exercises. USATF Master Gold Medalist, Toccata Murphy, made nutritional smoothies and shared healthy tips. Former Professional USA Sprinter, Kevin Lyles, did an outstanding job as the guest speaker. Participants received refreshments, goodie bags, and won door prizes. The following groups supported the event: The Running Company of Charlotte, Cross Country for Youth, Atomic Awards & Design and the Young at Heart Senior Club.

Contact Cynthia.SmithPerkins@ or 704.336.7655

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Naomi Drenan Recreation Center’s 3rd Annual Senior Valentine’s Day Ball On Saturday evening, February 16th through the snow and wind, over 50 seniors showed up to Naomi Drenan Recreation Center for an evening of food, dancing, and fun. All dressed up in their red and black party attire, there was an array of new and old school dance moves as they strutted down the soul train line. Fun was had, memories were made. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for assisting with this wonderful event and showing us great dance moves. For information about this and other programs, contact or call 704.432.5231.

BID Whist Tournament at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center The event was a great success with seniors from other recreation centers and a few from South Carolina turning out to support and to show off their card playing skills. Seniors are looking forward to next quarters tournament and an opportunity to “run a boston” on fellow players. Bid Whist Card Club plays Monday thru Friday from 1:00pm – 5:00pm for seniors.

Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center For more information, call Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center @ 704-432-3048 or email at BetteRaeThomasRecreationCenter@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov.

Scenes from Events

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Valentine’s Day Party at Berewick Recreation Center

Track & Field Workshop (page 10 column article)

Outdoor Nature Comes Alive Inside at Arbor Glen Outreach Center Arbor Glen’s Nature Club was visited by Anthony Shaheen of McDowell Nature Center on February 5, 2013 to learn more about exotic animals. Students were shown live hissing cockroaches, a corn snake, turtles, and a variety of animal furs, skeletons, and plants. The students were able to touch, hold, and ask questions about the animals. The Nature Club meets every other Tuesday of each month as an ongoing partnership that Arbor Glen and McDowell Nature Center have to expose urban youth to outdoor recreation. For more information, please contact 704.432.1531 or

District VIII Senior Valentine’s Party at Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center On Thursday, February 14, 2013 the Wallace Pruitt, Golden Angels Senior Club hosted the District VIII Valentine Party. The Seniors enjoyed themselves as they ate, danced and played games.

Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center For more information contact 704-4326775 or mail at

For more information contact Cynthia.Smith-Perkins@ or 704.336.7655


Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities On Saturday evening, February 16th through the snow and wind, over 50 seniors showed up to Tom Sykes Recreation Center- College Tours: Johnson C. Smith & Wingate University On Monday February 18, Tom Sykes Recreation Center took a group of middle and high school students on a college tour. Twenty-one teens received a guided tour of Johnson C. Smith and Wingate University. They met with admissions staff, ate on campus, received informational packets, and ask current students questions. Tom Sykes Recreation Center will be offering additional college tours this fall when CMS is Out of School.

Tom Sykes Recreation Center For more information, contact TomSykesRecreationCenter@ or 704.432.4806.

“Show Your Love” Preschool Valentine’s Day Crafts at Arbor Glen Outreach Center Day Care Centers attended Arbor Glen on Valentine’s Day to participate in preschool arts and crafts. Participants colored pictures that expressed “love” and made heart picture frames to give to their parents. Afterwards, the children danced, exchanged Valentine’s and ate a healthy snack. For more information, contact or call 704.432.1531.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities

Revoltuion Park Sports Academy

Therapeutic Recreation School’s Out Club Teens: Teens spent the day at the Schiele Museum on Monday, February 18, 2013. The teens had fun watching a show at the planetarium, learning about wildlife habitats, and seeing a huge display of rocks and minerals. The teens enjoyed making their own planet using a mixture of flour, water, salt and oil. If you would like more information about teen school day out opportunities, or to register for the program, please contact, or


Youth Basketball – Countywide Tournament is Underway:

The 2013 Post-Season Countywide Youth Basketball Tournament is underway! 100 Teams will compete at 12 different recreation centers through Saturday, March 9th. 95 Games will be played in 8 different divisions to decide the overall Countywide Champions. Upcoming Youth Spring Sports to register for include Baseball, Track & Field and Disc Golf Leagues. Registration is in its last week so register today!


Revolution Park Sports Academy For more information email or call Revolution Park Sports Academy at (704) 432-4963.

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 recreating during the late winter and spring months. Subscribe to the Park and Recreation ENewsletter 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

for publication assistance.

The Friday Letter Volume 2 • Issue 8• March 1, 2013

Upcoming Events: Powerade State Games of NC February Update The Powerade State Games is returning to the Charlotte region in 2013 and we want YOU to be a part of the largest sports festival in North Carolina! Held throughout the month of June, the Powerade State Games will feature over 12,000 athletes participating in 19 different sports across more than 30 venues in a true Olympic-style sporting event. Please read this information carefully to ensure you won't miss out on all the FUN in Charlotte this June!

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Senior Leadership Team Jim Garges, Director

Online registration for the Powerade State Games is open for most sports at You can save up to $20 on registration fees by registering online through the step-by-step Powerade State Games registration system.

Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director James Alsop, Enterprise Services Renea Barber, Human Resources Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Lola Massad, Community and Recreation Center Services Jeff Robinson, Park Operations

The Friday Letter | March 1, 2013  
The Friday Letter | March 1, 2013  

The MCPRD Friday Letter