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Volume 2 ISSUE



December 20 2013


FridayLetter THE

this issue In The News:

Park News P.1 Enterprise Services P.2

Nature Preserves & Natural Resources

Community & Recreation Center Services P.4

Park and Recreation— Park News Citizen Involvement Continues in Park and Recreation Citizen Schools Leadership Apprenticeship Busy with Winter Projects: While visitation to the nature preserves slows in the winter, the nature preserve operations staff kicks into high gear to work on various projects that don’t get attention during the hectic summer season. Staff have been focusing on cleaning and making repairs to signs, decks, picnic areas and other facilities.

Staff from Latta Plantation Nature Center and McDowell Nature Center have been working with the Citizen Schools organization at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to offer an outdoor leadership apprenticeship this semester. Citizen Schools is an organization that “partners with public middle schools in low-income communities to provide an expanded learning day, rich with opportunities.” Every week approximately nineteen 6th and 7th grade students participate in the apprenticeship taught by nature center staff where they learn the skills and the ethics needed to be leaders in the outdoors. Students in the apprenticeship put their leadership skills to the test with an overnight campout on Copperhead Island where they were responsible for setting up their tents, cooking their meals, and building a campfire to stay warm. The apprenticeship culminated with a presentation organized by the students at Citizen Schools’ “WOW!” event on December 17th.

In The News:

Adult Athletics

Co- Rec B Volleyball will start the Winter season on January 6. Games will be played at Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center on Monday evenings.

Volleyball Co-Rec B Fall Championship game was held Monday December 16th at Bette Rae Recreation Center. The winning team was Plan B. There were a total of 6 teams that participated during the Fall Season. All regular season games were played at Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center.

Citizens Looking For Things To Do? There is no shortage of things to do in Mecklenburg County! Throughout the year Park and Rec hosts many popular athletic events, activities, and programs that offer great things to do on idle weekends. You can even find and register for them online at eParks.

Co- Rec BB Volleyball will start the Winter season on January 8. Games will be played at Tom Sykes Recreation Center on Wednesday evenings.

Adult Athletics

Co- Rec AA Volleyball will start the Winter season on January 7. Games will be played at Bette Rae Recreation Center on Tuesday evenings.

Aquatics Union County High Schools competed in their championship swim meet on Saturday, December 14th at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Two hundred ninety (290) athletes competed in the meet. Central Academy, Cuthbertson, Forest Hills, Marvin Ridge, Monroe, Parkwood, Piedmont, Porter Ridge, Sun Valley, Union Academy, and Weddington High were the participating teams. The swim meet ran from 12pm - 4pm.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Mallard Creek Recreation Center Elf on the Shelf

Bridge Club Holiday Potluck at Berewick: Nine members of the Berewick Bridge club gathered on Monday, December 16th for a special holiday potluck meal. In addition to fun and fellowship, they also made time for some friendly competition! Bridge club meets each Monday from 1:003:30pm for cards and socializing.

For more information about Senior Programs at Berewick Recreation Center, please contact BerewickRecreationCenter@MecklenburgCounty or call 704.432.4934.

Mallard Creek held the first in its “In the Woods” series of programs, last week, offering the Elf in the Woods to preschoolers. Children listened to the book "Elf on the Shelf" and then went in the woods following a trail of tree cookies (cookies made out of logs” to find what the elf had done in the woods. The elf had frozen pine cones, leaves, and tree branches. There were glittering leaves and pine cones hanging from trees and Christmas shapes made out of pine cones. Along the path were cardinals for the children to find and a shelter built for the elves’ woodland friends. At the end of the path was a tree decorated in nature ornaments. The children made their own wood cookie and pine cone ornaments to take home. This class is the first in a series, and was created to get children outdoors into nature and to spark their imagination.

Mallard Creek Recreation Center For more information, contact: Stephanie.Frisbee@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or (704) 548-8234.

Mallard Creek Recreation Center Home School Physical Education Class takes a field trip to Ray’s Splash Planet: For the last day of the fall session of Home School Physical Education the students ventured to Ray’s Splash Planet. The children had a great time splashing and swimming. There are three classes of P.E. classes for participants ranging in ages from pre-school to high school. The winter session will begin in January. For more information, contact: Shawn.McCants @MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or (704)5488234.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Mallard Creek Recreation Center Ray’s Jr. Explorer Nature Series Preschoolers enjoyed reading the book “ The Night Tree” which is about a family that every year decorates a tree in the woods for the animals. The children made their own ornaments for the animals out of dried oranges, apples, cheerios and also made pine cone bird feeders. The children took their ornaments, popcorn and string for bird and squirrel nests outside to the trees and decorated them. The birds were chirping as the children walked out in anticipation of the treats they were leaving for them. The children took the ornaments that they made to hang on their own trees at home. For more information, contact: Stephanie.Frisbee@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or (704)548-8234.

Marion Diehl and Charlotte Senior Center: Marion Diehl staff members partnered with Charlotte Senior Center staff for the “3rd Annual Senior Claus” holiday giving initiative. This program provides gifts for more than 50 less fortunate senior adults. The gifts will be distributed to the intended senior recipients on December 20th by Senior Center and Marion Diehl staff. For more information on Senior Programs please contact MarionDiehlRecreationCenter or call 704.432.0237.

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities

Youth Basketball: On Saturday, December 14th, the youth basketball program completed the second of three scheduled pre-season games. These pre-season games will be utilized to evaluate and assess each team’s overall skill level, which will assist the staff in creating equity and overall parity within 31 individual leagues. The 202 teams will take a break over the holidays and return on Saturday, January 4th to complete the pre-season. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, January 11th at 18 different recreation centers countywide.

For more information, email YouthSports @MecklenburgCountyNC. gov or call Revolution Park Sports Academy at (704) 432-4963 or visit your closest recreation center.

Senior Trip to Village Park in Kannapolis Ivory/Baker Recreation Center took 10 seniors to Village Park in Kannapolis to see their Celebration of Lights. Some of the features at Village Park include over 250,000 lights, singing bears, a fire pit to make smores, and a train ride that takes up to 50 passengers throughout the park to see all the lights and light displays.

Ivory/Baker Recreation Center For more information on programs happening at Ivory/Baker Recreation Center, call 704.432.4580 or email

District 8 Christmas Party at Ivory/Baker Ivory/Baker Recreation Center hosted close to 100 District 8 members for the club's annual Christmas party. Club members were able to eat, fellowship, dance, and win prizes. A new addition to the party this year was the, Toy's for Tots, toy drive that gave over 150 brand new toys to families in need of assistance at Christmas time. Special thanks to Calandra Barnes for her assistance in organizing the party, as well as the other recreation center staff for their help with transportation of seniors and their assistance at the event. For more information on programs happening at Ivory/Baker, call 704.432.4580 or email

Recreational News from Mecklenburg Communities Naomi Drenan Basketball Pep Rally: On Friday, December 13th, Naomi Drenan Recreation Center hosted the Youth Basketball "Season Kick-Off Pep Rally." Over 100 participants and parents represented their teams with team colors, signs, and loud cheers! Participants were excited to be featured in their very own parade with team banners and warming up to music that kept the crowd on their feet. After the "KnockOut " and "3-Point" competitions, the kids had the opportunity to be the spectators and cheer on the adults in a "Coaches vs. Parents" basketball game!

Naoimi Drenan Recreation Center For more information on our programs and events, contact or call 704.432.5231.

"Back Down Memory Lane" Talent Show: On Saturday, December 14th, Naomi Drenan Recreation Center held a special performance to get seniors up and moving. The very first Senior "Back Down Memory Lane" Talent Show, was hosted by seniors for seniors, and displayed an array of vocal, dancing, and other talents along with gift giveaways. With "Love is a Two Way Street," "Stop in the Name of Love," and other memorable songs, the night was full of smiles, cheers, and sing-alongs. By the end of the show, everyone was on their feet to finish off the night with some line dancing. Thank you to our amazing senior volunteers for bringing an amazing show to our facility! For more information, contact or call 704.432.5231.

Healthy Eating Workshop at Revolution Park Sports Academy: Revolution Park Sports Academy was the host site for a Healthy Eating Workshop presented by the HeartBright Foundation. This free workshop for seniors focused on healthy eating during the holiday season, as well as how to incorporate moderate exercise into a busy schedule. Participants were invited to taste a healthy chili recipe, perfect for those cold nights ahead. Everyone left with a full belly and various recipes to try at home. For more information on senior programming, or any other programs at Revolution Park Sports Academy, call (704) 4324963 or visit our website.

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

Submissions for the Newsletter

Recreate All Year! Subscribe to the Park and Recreation E-Newsletter to learn of new and exciting way sto continue recreating during the spring and summer 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

for publication assistance.

The Friday Letter Volume 2 • Issue 45• December 20, 2013

Scenes from Events: District 8 Party— Article Page 6

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 and Recreation Center Services Jeff Robinson, Park Operations

The Friday Letter | December 20, 2013  

The MCPRD Friday Letter