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Festival in the Park Freedom Park Friday, September 20 4:00 pm-9:30 pm Saturday, September 21 - 10:00 am–9:30 pm Sunday, September 2211:00 am–6:00 pm

Since 1964, Festival in the Park has been bringing good music, good art and good times to Charlotteans and visitors from around the world. The sounds of "big band music" drift across Freedom Park's lake whose still surface reflects the lights strung from Camelot exhibit tents. This fun filled event is designed to promote and stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear, and learn from over 180 artists and crafts people who actively demonstrate and display their art. Nearly a thousand entertainers provide free ongoing performances at the main band shell and many stages surrounding it.

2013 Hummingbird Festival The Hummingbird Festival is an annual celebration held each August at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve within Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte, NC. Now in its 8th year, the Hummingbird Festival attracts over 1,300 attendees each year. Fun for the whole family, the festival celebrates the migration of hummingbirds through the area. Both educational and inspiring, the festival offers numerous activities from informative exhibits, banding demonstrations, musical entertainment to children's storytelling. Please join us at Reedy Creek Park on Saturday, August 17th from 10am-4pm.

2013 Summer Camp Summer Camp is drawing to a close, with schools resuming August 26th in Mecklenburg County. The department has hosted camps at 18- Recreation Centers; 2- School Recreation Sites; 3- Nature Preserves; 3-Aquatic Facilities, as well as, parks and indoor shelters. Every type of has been offered from Traditional to Seniors to Therapeutic to Sports to Outdoor Adventure to Aquatic to Environmental and everything in between. Excellent staff and partner agencies make it all possible. Here’s to a great Summer 2013, let the planning begin for Summer 2014.

Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Aquatic Lessons and Nature Center Events Classes

National Night Out a Huge Success The Aquatics Division of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department consists of the nationally known Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, Ray's Splash Planet, the Marion Diehl Center Pool, two seasonal outdoor pools (Cordelia and Double Oaks), and the Sprayground. We offer indoor and outdoor swimming, adult/youth programs, swim lessons, special events, fitness classes and water exercise for all ages. Mecklenburg County Aquatics makes it easy for you to enjoy water recreation all year-round. Visit us today and see all that we offer!

Aquatic Center 


Starfish Swim School

Starfish Stroke School

Hydromania Easy Does It Arthritis Foundation Water Fit Stroke Clinic Starguard Lifeguard Training

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Huntersville Police Department sponsored a local National Night Out event at Birkdale Village in Huntersville, NC on Tuesday August 6th. Representatives from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Nature Preserves and Natural Resources and Aquatics Divisions took part handing out information about all the amazing opportunities available to get out and recreate with MCPR. Well over 3000 people attended the festival.

Campfires and Hayrides Every Friday night throughout the summer, Trevor Hudspeth and Chad Moore from the McDowell Nature Center entertain visitors with two popular programs, Family Campfire and Nature at Night Hayride. During the campfire program, staff teach families how to make a fire using natural materials and demonstrate various survival techniques. Once staff build the fire, everyone participates in making smores which are provided free of charge. This extremely popular program averages 55 people each Friday. After the campfire program, those who registered in advance stay for a hayride to the restored prairie on the preserve's property. Visitors learn about nocturnal wildlife as the sun goes down including bats, raccoons, night insects, and coyotes. They also learn about how the prairie was restored and is now maintained by fire. Both programs are not only a way to connect with local residents, but also with visitors from as far away as the West Coast staying at the campground. Join us this Friday!

Aquatics Double Oaks vs Cordelia Swim Meet

Aquatic Lessons and Classes cont...

The 5th annual Double Oaks vs Cordelia swim meet was held on August 7 at Double Oaks pool. There were 187 participants this year. Participants in the swim meet were all students from the 2013 Summer Free Swim Lesson program conducted at both outdoor pools. To start the meet off, there was a demonstration swim of the 4 different strokes. The demonstration was performed by advanced swim lesson participants, Cassandra Perry age 14 (backstroke), Juwan Shands age 11 (breaststroke), Skylar Higgins age 15 (butterfly) and Brandon Perry age 15 (freestyle). This wonderful event allows the 2013 Free Swim Lesson students to showcase their new swimming skills.

Ray’s Splash Planet    

Jarrett and Ximena

Starfish Swim School Parent and Tot / Meet and Greet Homeschool Thursdays Halloween at Ray’s Water fitness Senior Aerobics Club

Marion Diehl

800 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. August 29 – October 10 Fees $76.00 Public—M, W, F $56.00 Public— Tu, Thu $57.00 Member—M, W, F $42.00 Member—Tu, Thu

Marion Diehl 2219 Tyvola Road

215 N. Sycamore Street September 3—September 26 fees $80.00 Public—Tu, Thu $40.00 Public— Saturday $64.00 Member—Tu, Thu $32.00 Member—Saturday

September 14—September 28 fees $60.00 Public—Twice a week $48.00 Member— Twice a week September 9—September 27 fees $30.00 Public—Once a week $24.00 Member— Once a week

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Starbabies/Startots Starfish Swim School Starfish Stroke School Hydromania Deep Water Fitness Easy Does It Arthritis Foundation Deep Water Running Fall Stroke Clinic Marion Diehl Swim Team

Greenway Information Hours of Operation  Greenway trail is open at all times, except for floods or repairs  Parking lots are open from dawn to dusk  No parking in nondesignated areas  No loitering between dusk and dawn  Bicycle lights and reflectors are required from dusk to dawn

Beneficial Programming. Developing Character. Enriching Lives. Revolution Park Sports Academy Summer Sports Camps: Revolution Park Sports Academy wrapped up their 8-week Summer Sports Camp series. Sports this summer included football, soccer, boxing, lacrosse, golf, baseball, wrestling, track & field. A total of 368 campers of various skill levels attended the camps over the summer with the desire to develop their general fitness levels and specific sports aptitude but most of all to have fun! Campers received specialized training from certified coaches, enjoyed cross-training with other sports, and nutritional education from a wellness partner during the camp. For more information on these camps for the spring and summer or other programs offered at the Revolution Park Sports Academy, please contact us at (704) 432-4963 or visit under "Recreation Centers".

Safety – Call 911 for emergencies  Secure valuables out of sight in your locked vehicle  Respect nature; Trail surfaces are slippery when wet  Children under 16 years of age must wear helmet when riding bicycles,  roller blades or skateboards  Pedestrians have the right of way; Cyclists slow when approaching pedestrians  Travel on right, pass on left; Give audible warning before passing  Stay alert/listen for approaching traffic; Decrease volume of audio device  Do not block greenway 

"X-Treme Teen Finale!": On August 9th, Naomi Drenan Recreation Center staff said its goodbyes to our X-Treme Teens Summer Camp participants with a Grand Finale to commemorate an outstanding and exciting summer full of new experiences, challenges, and fun! The teens this summer built friendships, challenged themselves mentally and physically, and became the most amazing young adults! The Grand Finale included presentations from the teens of what they learned during the summer, their favorite activities during the summer, and a video highlighting our time spent together. The staff at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center would like to thank all of our sponsors, guest speakers, and trip contacts for their help and dedication to making sure our teens had a great summer camp experience. For more information about our programs and events, contact or call 704.432.5231.

Greenway safety...  For your safety please walk with a friend


Albemarle Road Recreation Center Charlotte Elite Summer Camp: Charlotte Elite is hosting an enrichment summer camp at Albemarle Road Recreation Center. Every morning campers look forward to enrichment lessons including Spanish, Reading, Problem solving, 21st Century skills, and African Dance. The Spanish lessons, which include vocabulary, conversational Spanish and even music, are geared to each of the structured age groups. During Stop, Drop, & Read, campers enjoy reading in a wonderfully crafted, nontraditional environment of bean bags, ottomans, and hammock chairs! While participating in lessons designed with 21st century skills development in mind, campers engage in critical thinking and problem solving activities, aiding in our efforts to ensure students are ready for their next grade level. Through a partnership with Girls Scouts of America, Charlotte Elite was even able to offer onsite meetings for girls in 5th through 7th grade. Each afternoon, campers are engaged in a variety of recreation activities such as basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, soccer, and football. For more information on youth programming at Albemarle Road Recreation, contact Ivan Jones or Tiffany Peterson at 704-567-1941.

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Pets must be on leash 6 ft. or shorter Pets must be kept on right; pass on left Pets are not allowed in playgrounds or athletic field areas Pick up after your pet and deposit in trash can

Prohibited activities   

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Community Explosion: Temple of Refuge hosted a Community Explosion at Albemarle Road Recreation Center on Saturday, August 3rd. This day of service included free haircuts, food, clothes, shoes, and school supplies for school aged children! Over 500  people participated in the annual event! Local healthcare professionals were also onsite to offer a variety of free screenings. For more information on youth programming at Al-  bemarle Road Recreation Center, contact Ivan Jones or Tiffany Peterson at 704-5671941. 

Littering Swimming & golf practice Hunting or possession of weapons and firearms Posting commercial or political signs Selling, soliciting or exhibiting materials without a Park and Recreation issued permit Consumption of alcoholic beverages without a Park and Recreation issued permit Damage or removal of park property Collection, removal or disturbance of any natural or cultural object: Fishing allowed in accordance with NC state rules and regulations No motorized vehicles allowed on greenway unless authorized by Park and Recreation

Join the Fit City Challenge The Fit City Challenge is a community-based initiative to encourage and empower participants to increase their levels of physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption. At the core of the Fit City Challenge are the parallel goals of walking a minimum of 5 miles per week or the equivalent, and eating a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables each day. Participants can record their activities on the fitness log and track their progress through a dynamic and interactive w e b s i t e : Contact Fit City for more information.

Beneficial Programming. Developing Character. Enriching Lives. Inventive Builder Camp: Tom Sykes Recreation Center held their second week of Inventive Builder's Camp this past week. Campers used engineering and teamwork skills to build a variety of projects such as: architectural Lego kits, a rollercoaster, birdhouses, pine cars, contraptions, rockets, and more! For more information on programs happening at Tom Sykes call 704-432-4803 or email

Seniors Set Sail on Lake Norman Seniors from the Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center set sail on the Lake Norman "Lady of the Lake" Dinner Cruise on Thursday, August 8. The cruise featured a beautiful sunset, amazing buffet, and socializing amongst peers. It was an awesome occasion! For more information on Senior Trips and Programs, email or call 704.432.3048.

Therapeutic Recreation X-Treme Kids Summer Camp: X-Treme Kids Summer Camp jumped, climbed, swam, fished, skated, and splashed their way through 8 weeks of fun! They explored their creative sides through pottery, music therapy, dance, and arts & crafts. Excess energy was burned through physcial activities at the playground, sprayground, gymnasium, and athletic fields! We took full advantage of the various services available in Mecklenburg County including visits from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte Fire Department, Latta Plantation Nature Center and fishing at Freedom Park!

Camp Be-Tween: At Camp Be-Tween, a Therapeutic Recreation Summer Day Camp program, we've had a GREAT summer: swimming, roller skating, dancing, gardening, making pottery and lots of crafts, playing games and much more. We had lots of visitors, like a pet therapist with her dog Kobe; Stephen Hutchinson from Latta Plantation Nature Center; and firefighters from Station #10. We've had the BEST time, with help from all of our summer camp friends! It will be back to school soon...we have a lot of fun memories from Camp Be-Tween.

Athletics Dive after Five: On Saturday August 17, there will be a volleyball tournament at Memorial Stadium. The name of the tournament is “Dive after Five”. There are a total of 60 teams signed up to play, the tournament will be played in doubles format.

Romare Bearden Park 300 S. Church Street Charlotte, NC 28202 Central Park Region

Basketball: Men’s 30 and Over Basketball Summer league will start playoffs on August 18 at Bette Rae Recreation Center. Games are held on Sunday afternoons. There are a total of 9 teams participating this season.

Grand Opening events for Romare Bearden Park are scheduled for August 31— September 1, 2013, on the anniversary of Bearden's 102nd birthday. Features: 5.4 acres Two large gardens Event lawn designed for informal play as well as for large event gatherings (capacity: 3,000) A section named Paris Memory includes tables and chairs reminiscent of Parisian parks Bearden visited while studying in Paris The Childhood Muse Plaza includes interactive cascading water, a major art piece and children’s play elements A formal lawn area for smaller events such as weddings or small art exhibits

Softball: Co-Rec and Men’s Softball first week of the Fall season was a success. Games are held Monday through Thursday at Renaissance Softball Complex. Also a Co-Rec league will be played on Thursday evenings at Nevin Community Park. There are a total of 70 teams participating this season.

In addition to the festivities, Park and Recreation will hold an art show to encourage youth, ages 1 to 18, to express their understanding of Romare Bearden’s legacy through the creation of collages. If your child would like to enter, call 704-336-3854 by August 23. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners.

Bearden cont... The Arbor and Trellis,

perched atop one of the highest points in the park, provides an opportunity to sit under a shaded canopy and offers space for catering and a small band setup The Evocative Spine, with its water, art, and a sloping site, makes this area a central focus of the park.

Recreate All Year!

The park will offer fitness and cultural arts programs throughout the year. Bearden Music Series Music Box Lunch Series Party in the Park Series Art and Photography Classes Art Show Fitness Program Romare Bearden Birthday Bash Fall Festival Winter Wonderland Santa’s Workshop Easter egg Hunt RomareFest

The Friday Letter Volume 32 • Issue 20• August 16, 2013

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation 5841 Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216 (704) 336-8840

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

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.

Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director James Alsop, Enterprise Services Renea Barber, Human Resources Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Lola



Recreation Center Services Jeff Robinson, Park Operations


The Friday Letter | August 16, 2013  
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