Parks and rec wants community to ‘rise up’ in July

Published 10:00 am Friday, July 1, 2022

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July is National Parks and Recreation Month and Winchester-Clark County Parks and Rec (WCCPR). is celebrating and wants to involve the entire community in what it calls “We Rise Up”.

“We are going to celebrate by hosting different activities during the month of July,” said WCCPR Program Director April Stanfield.

The public can expect park pop-ups on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.

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“We have done them several times this year and last year, and it seems to have really brought a lot of our community out to the park – which they have done in awhile. So we are excited to be engaging with the community and getting them back in our parks, and just having fun,” Stanfield said.

For such a special month, though, WCCPR is going to up its game.

“We are going to do themed pop-ups,” Stanfield said. “So each park that we go to during the month of July is going to have a theme.”

On July 5 College Park will host “Bubble Bonanza”. The next week, on July 12, there will be a “Sidewalk Chalk Walk” at Heritage Park. July 19 is all about “Racing Through Summer” at Melbourne Park. July 26 will see Community/Harmon Park become a “Sports Spot”. Then on July 30 “Western Wrap-Up” will be hosted at Lykins Park with a “Bicycle Rodeo”.

Each pop-up will also feature corn hole, balls and plenty of other fun things to do and play with.

Local residents with a keen sense of investigation might be interested to “Find Out Where the Gnomes Roam”.

“We are going to place two gnomes in every park and we have a little card that people can pick up here at parks and recreation [15 Wheeler Ave.],” Stanfield said. “You go and you find the two gnomes [at every area park] and then you check them off every time that you find them … We have decorated those so they are really cute and we can’t wait to get out there and hide them.”

Parks and rec. will also offer a series of free exercise classes, and the full list for that is found on WCCPR’s Facebook page.

The classes will serve as an unofficial meet and greet with the community.

“We want to introduce those in the community who may not be a part of parks and recreation right now and give them a taste of what we have to offer,” Stanfield said.

WCCPR also plans to have “Suns Out, Funs Out” event on July 15 from 6-9 p.m. at College Park that Stanfield described as what will be a “big party in the park” complete with food trucks, slip-n-slides and inflatables.

The month of fun will cap off with the annual bike event at Lykins Park. WCCPR will receive a grant from the Elks to purchase bicycles that will be raffled off to children in the community. Not only will area children have a chance to win a bike they will learn about bike safety and go through obstacle courses at the event.

And as the community rises up, WCCPR hopes their knowledge about the department will do as well.

“Sometimes people don’t know what parks and recreation is and they don’t know that we even exist. They know there are parks but they don’t know that there are people behind the scenes that keep the parks up and running, and who provide events in the community. So we want to use this month to highlight that and all the new equipment we’ve recently had installed” Stanfield said.