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Appointments Available: It’s Not Too Late To Take Action For Your Health! Due to an overwhelming response, myTotalHealth has opened up more appointment times to allow employees to get a free, confidential health screening. County employees who are enrolled in the County’s health insurance with Cigna are eligible. The free screenings will be held Feb. 11 – Feb. 25 at various county buildings, and appointments are currently available at all locations except Kuralt. Appointments are filling up quickly so if your first location isn't available, please try an alternate location. Walk-ins will not be guaranteed service. Please take action now to benefit from this free opportunity to take charge of your health!

Park News

County Manager Wants to Hear From You! The county manager is interested in hearing from employees who have concerns or suggestions to improve the way the County does business. In order to provide employees with a direct, anonymous link to the manager, a “suggestion box” link has been added to the county manager’s webpage. All submissions to the suggestion box are completely confidential. If you would like to receive a response, you will need to include your name and email address in the submission box.

Latta Plantation Fairy House Festival February 8, 10am-4pm Come spend an afternoon discovering the joy and magic of fairy houses! Storytelling, face painting, crafts, activities, pony rides and food will be available. Prizes for best fairy or gnome costume and best fairy house will be awarded. Learn how to build your own fairy house on one of our nature trails! Enchanting fun for all ages! FREE! No registration required. Schedule of Events Fairy House Building: 10am to 4pm Fort Building: 10am to 3pm Pony Rides: 10am to 3pm ($2 fee) Story Telling: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 Costume Parade: 2pm Fairy House Judging: 2:30pm Fairy House Awards: 3:30pm Craft Activities: 10 - 4 Fairy Boats: 10—4 Gnome Geocaching: 10 - 4

Community & Recreation Center Services Revolution Park Sports Academy: Health and Wellness Radio Show Revolution Park Sports Academy was featured this week on the ‘Start Something’ radio show. The show airs weekly on WGIV 103.3 FM to promote Health and Wellness in the Charlotte community. This nonprofit radio station is dedicated to helping other nonprofits and organizations throughout the community. Youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte and Leaders of Tomorrow along with the community, participated in fun nutrition games, indoor golf, and fitness stations. Charlotte Boxing Academy, Royal Movement line dance, and Charlotte Flight Track & Field Club demonstrations also took place at intervals throughout the day. Blue, the Plott Hound from the local Charlotte Hounds Lacrosse Team, even made an appearance, so you never know who may stop by! For more information on this event or others, please contact Revolution Park Sports Academy at (704) 432-4963.

Revolution Park Sports Academy: Senior Wellness Kicks off Spring Session Senior program participants at Revolution Park Sports Academy (RPSA) kicked off spring programming this week in the form of FREE Health and Wellness classes. Any senior is welcome to come join us as we learn more about nutrition and how to exercise properly. Classes take place weekly on Monday and Wednesday mornings, from 10am -11am. Be sure to bring a friend, you don’t want to miss out on this great program! For more information on senior programming at RPSA or any other program opportunities, please contact us at (704) 432-4963.

Community & Recreation Center Services Grady Cole Center: NC AAU Wrestling Tournament On Saturday, February 1st, more than 2,000 people flocked to the Grady Cole Center for the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Wrestling Tournament. Multiple weight classes and ages ranging from six years old to fourteen years old competed. Each age group was awarded their own separate medals and trophies. Many of the participants gave it their all and were rewarded greatly and some were defeated but held their heads high because they did the best they could. The cheering from parents, teammates, filled the Grady Cole Center and made for an electrifying and enthusiastic event. For more information about our programs and events, email us at: or call 704.336.2884. Upcoming event: Mixed martial arts — known as MMA — is a combination of wrestling, boxing, kickboxing and jiu jitsu. It’s regarded as the fastest-growing sport in the country and is coming to Grady Cole Center on Saturday, February 8 with doors opening at 5 PM.

West Charlotte Recreation Center to team with 4-H for filmmaking class 4-H Filmmaking: Come discover how to develop, produce, and edit your own movies! For Ages:

12 - 17

Every Monday & Thursday 3:00-4:30pm Feb 10th - May 8th This project was made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council, the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Albemarle Road Recreation Center: Shining Stars At their most recent meeting, seniors from the Shining Stars played corn hole and watched Granny’s Got Game in preparation for the upcoming Senior Games. Shining Stars is a senior club at Albemarle Road Recreation Center that meets on the first Tuesday of each month. The program is designed to bring seniors together for fellowship, fitness, field trips, and fun! For more information, contact Ivan Jones, Club Advisor, at 704-567-1941 or

For more info contact: Tamika Pollard West Charlotte Recreation Center 2401 Kendall Dr. Charlotte, NC 28216 704-432-6474

Hickory Grove Recreation Center 6 & Under League Five teams continue to improve skills while having fun. Staff and Coaches are doing a great job continuing the tradition of Friday Night Games at Hickory Grove Recreation Center. For more information, contact Hickory Grove Recreation Center at 704432-4811.

Community & Recreation Center Services Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center: Cheerleading Go…Fight…Win!!! Come and be a part of our newly formed Bette Rae Thomas Cheerleading Squad. Our cheer squad has practice very hard to prefect every cheer and chant to support the Bette Rae Thomas Legends basketball teams. If you like more information email BetteRaeThomas RecreationCenter @mecklenburg or call (704) 432-3048.

Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center: Big Hat Hot Tea Ladies came dressed in their Sunday best, sampled hot tea and showed off their fancy hats. We discussed the history and benefits of hot tea along with participants sharing their tea stories. We also voted on the biggest hat, most unique hat, most colorful, most sassy. For more information on other senior programs, please, contact us at 704432-3048 or email at .

Tom Sykes Recreation Center: Start Smart Basketball Tom Sykes Recreation Center just completed its 1st of 2 Start Smart Basketball sessions. Ten preschoolers learned the basic motor skills necessary to play organized basketball while they work one-on-one and spent quality time with their parents. This program for 3-4 years olds taught children and their parents’ skills in dribbling, ball handling, passing, catching, and shooting. Session 2 for Tom Sykes begins this Thursday for another energetic group of 10 preschoolers! If you would like to register your child for other programs at Tom Sykes Recreation Center, contact or 704.432.4806.

Community & Recreation Center Services Rae Thomas Recreation Center: MLK Day of Service Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center hosted HOPE Worldwide Charlotte and City of Charlotte for a community awareness campaign throughout the Freedom Drive area. Over 123 volunteers talked with residents (1016 homes visited) and left behind door hangers with fire safety on smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking & heating a home safely this winter. For more information on other senior programs, please, contact us at 704-432-3048 or email at

Sugaw Creek Recreation Center: Play Ball! With spring right around the corner, the Indoor Baseball Clinic at Sugaw Creek Recreation Center began on Friday, January 31. The program Is designed as an instructional clinic for youth ages 8-14. Participants will learn fundamental and advanced skills in pitching, hitting, fielding, and baserunning. The camp will run every Friday at 6:00 pm through the end of February and is a great warm up for the youth baseball and softball seasons. For more information, contact Brett.Krizanik@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or call Sugaw Creek Recreation Center at 704-336-7655.

Mallard Creek Recreation Center: Little Tykes Open Gym AParticipants at the Mallard Creek Recreation Center had a wonderful time during the open gym time for little tykes. Staff provide tricycles, basketballs, mini basketball goals, gym mats and a variety of age appropriate activities. Gym time is for youth ages 6 years and younger and is available Mondays from 1:30 – 3:00pm. For more information, contact Shawn.McCants@MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov or (704) 548-8234.

Hickory Grove Recreation Center Super Bowl Sunday Showdown TSS Photography ( 2 photographers + 2 registration staff) VS. 190 participants + 36 coaches + 200 parents from Hickory Grove Recreation Center's Youth Basketball Program - 18 teams. The victory goes to ALL. Everyone had photos taken timely, with great customer service and lots of smiles. The gym was jampacked and full of spirit. For more information, contact Hickory Grove Recreation Center at 704-432-4811.

New Greenway in North Mecklenburg County Phase I, the first section of Long Creek Greenway to be developed, will extend approximately one mile from I77 to Target along Dixon Branch Road. Phase II, extending the greenway farther west to Primm Road, is expected to receive funding in 2018. Once complete, Long Creek Greenway will connect the future extension of Mallard Creek Greenway to the Catawba River at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The completed greenway will provide an east-west corridor across Mecklenburg County. For more information on Mecklenburg County greenways, click here.


Beneficial Programming. Developing Character. Enriching Lives.

Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center: Team Charlotte Swimming hosted the Speedo Western Open this past weekend at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. The swim meet started at 4:30pm on Friday, January 31st and ran through Sunday, February 2. The meet is designed as a last chance state qualifying meet for swimmers that have not yet achieved state cuts. Teams from the western part of North Carolina gave their athletes the last opportunity of the season to make a State Meet time. Nine hundred fifty-one (951) swimmers took part in this year’s swim meet. One hundred thirty-one (131) middle school swimmers raced in a conference championship swim meet on Wednesday, February 5 from 12 - 3pm. Participating teams were: Cannon, Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Latin, Providence Day, and Charlotte Christian.

Athletics Men’s Basketball Men’s A Basketball League will start the Winter season on February 9. Games will be held on Sunday and Thursday evenings at the Grady Cole Center. There a total of 8 teams participating this season.

Men’s B Basketball League will start the Winter season on February 11. Games will be held on Tuesday evenings at the Grady Cole Center. There a total of 6 teams participating this season.

Nature Preserves and Natural Resources Walker Branch Dirtway: Mecklenburg County's first Dirtway is complete! Walker Branch Dirtway, which extends from the existing Walker Branch Greenway to Smith Road, is now open with rock crossings, bridges, and signs. The Dirtway program is a real Park & Rec team effort, with staff from Nature Preserves and Natural Resources, Park Services, and Greenways working together to provide natural surface trails to many communities. McDowell Creek and Long Creek Dirtways will also open soon. For more information contact Christa Rogers at 704-9484504 or email

Big Rock Eagle Scout Project: Eagle Scout candidate Nathan Fisher chose to do his Eagle Scout project at Big Rock Nature Preserve. Nathan raised money to construct a foot bridge across a shallow ravine in the preserve, and worked with nature preserve staff to design the bridge and re-align part of the entrance trail. This was an ambitious project and we are very pleased with Nathan’s work. The bridge will create a better walking experience for visitors.

Park and Recreation Volunteer Opportunities Please take a look at some of the exciting volunteer opportunities listed below. Berwick Sweetheart Ball: Berewick Recreation Center Friday, February 7 6pm-8:30pm Fairy House Festival: Latta Plantation Saturday, February 8 9am-5p, and various shifts TR Challenger Basketball: Marion Diehl January 7-February 11 5pm-7pm Coaches Needed: Various locations Youth Basketball Coaches Youth Flag Football Coaches Youth Soccer Coaches Ongoing Volunteer Projects: Nature Centers Latta Plantation McDowell Nature Center Reedy Creek Nature Center Administrative Docent Grounds/Maintenance Animal Care Greenhouse care Park Ambassadors All Parks and Greenways

For more information please contact:

News From Volunteer Services On MLK Day, volunteers from Northridge Middle, Johnson and Wales and Queens College joined us at Hornet’s Nest Park. They took on the huge task of mulching a tractor trailer load (80 yards) in the front parking lot. This group helped to complete the largest part of getting ready for peak season in that area; they did a great job and staff can go on doing other things to get ready for peak season. These 31 volunteers contributed 124 hours of service worth $2,745.36 to our department.

Therapeutic Recreation Challenger Basketball: The Therapeutic Recreation Section is in the middle of the 2014 season of Challenger Basketball! This program is for youth and teens aged 6-21, and is an introduction to basic basketball skills. Thirteen enthusiastic players practice dribbling, passing, and shooting with the assistance of TR Section staff, interns, and volunteers. At the end of practice, youth and teens engage in 3-on-3 scrimmages, showing off the skills they have been practicing!

Spill Your Beans: Spill Your Beans is a support group for young women with disabilities ages 16 and up. The group met Monday, January 27th at McAlister’s Deli on Park Road. We discussed the importance of nutrition and fitness. The group played trivia, developed goals and finished with a group exercise game. The next Spill Your Beans will be Monday, February 24th. If you would like more information, or to register for the program please contact

Therapeutic Recreation Karate: The preschool and youth of the Therapeutic Recreation Section have

Volunteer Services cont... MLK Volunteers

been punching and kicking their hearts out on Monday evenings! This karate program is geared to introduce karate to preschool and youth with disabilities and incorporate appropriate training for their age and abilities. The kids learn basic karate moves, physical fitness, balance, memory skills, and eye hand coordination. Our favorite instructor, Sensei Riaan, makes sure everyone has fun and stays safe!

Tiny Tumblers: The Therapeutic Recreation Section Tiny Tumblers crawled, jumped, hopped and tumbled this past Monday, February 3rd. The Tiny Tumblers program is for children ages 3-8 with disabilities and focuses on gross motor skills, strength, balance, and coordination. We are looking forward to our next session on Monday, February 10th! If you would like more information about Tiny Tumblers please contact: or

Beneficial Programming. Developing Character. Enriching Lives.

Volunteer Services is very excited to kick of the 2014 Volunteer Season. We have many great projects and events planned this year that we could never make happen without the help and support from our community.

5841 Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216 (704) 336-8840

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 The Friday Letter Team at Kier. Harrison for publication assistance.

The Friday Letter Volume 3 • Issue 6 • February 7, 2014

Mandatory Training—Fraud Awareness & Information Privacy and Security Mecklenburg County’s Compliance Program, established and set forth in the policy established by the Board of County Commissioners, strives to provide and maintain quality service and public stewardship through cultivating an environment of statutory, regulatory, and ethical compliance at all levels of our organization. In continued support of our strong commitment to compliance, the completion of two new MeckEDU online training modules will be required by every County employee.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Senior Leadership Team Jim Garges, Director Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director James Alsop, Enterprise Services Renea Barber, Human Resources

Ongoing, all County employees will be required to complete the trainings annually. All new hires will complete the modules within the first 60 days of their employment. Learning & Leadership Development staff will provide department directors with monthly reports to track employee completion of these modules.

Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Lola Massad, Community and Recreation Center Services Jeff Robinson, Park Operations

The Friday Letter | February 7, 2014  
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