Parks and rec offers fall fun
Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2022
As the summer winds down and kids return to school, it may seem like there isn’t as much to do, but Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation is combatting this idea.
Utilizing what’s become known as a Parks Mobile Recreation Unit, or PMRU, parks and rec allow youth to gather and participate in numerous pop-u” events at parks across Winchester on Tuesday nights through Oct. 18.
Upcoming locations will include College Park (Sept. 27), Heritage Park (Oct. 4), Fairfield Park (Oct. 11), and Harmon Park (Oct. 18).
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For this fall’s session, the event times have changed from 4:30-6:30 p.m. instead of 5-7 p.m. because it gets darker a bit earlier during the fall.
“This originated from our [park] master plan that we did a couple [of] years ago with the BLOOM project,” said April Stanfield, the program director at Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation. “It seemed to really bring a lot of people to the park. They were wanting to give their information and their ideas of what they wanted in each neighborhood park.”
The events offer gatherers a chance to enjoy a snack, light meal, games, festivities, and much more.
Specifically, those who indulge in the event might find cornhole games, volleyball, bubbles, connect four, Jenga, kickball, and even hula hooping.
This fall, something extra was added to the mix.
“We’re also having a fall craft. So we are going to be taking pictures … That you’ll get, and then you’ll decorate a picture frame with some little fall festive stickers and things like that”, Stanfield said. “[It is] something they can sit and enjoy and do. The weather’s getting really nice to play.”
While kids have a good time, adults aren’t left out of the events either.
Tiffany Fletcher, the assistant program director at Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation, said the fellowship has been key to enhancing the experience.
“There are several families that come to all of the events because they know us now, and we’ve made great friends with them,” Fletcher said. “Coming out to every park like this lets them know that we are looking at them [and] we are there. We do care about what they look like. We do care about what’s going on there.”
In addition to what’s coming up this season, the PMRU has previously been at Melbourne Park, Wiseman Park, and Massie Park.
These pop-up events come on the heels of other successful ventures this year, including July’s “Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out” Community Festival.
Fortunately, thanks to social media, the events’ news has continued to be shared positively.
“Social media has done great things,” Stanfield said. “Word of mouth does a great job of spreading the word about what we have to offer, but social media is something that…It spreads out all our information like wildfire.”
And although the staff may juggle multiple responsibilities, the rewards make it more than worthwhile.
“You have to enjoy what you’re doing,” said Jeff Lewis, the director of Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation. “If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do all right … Luckily, we love it.”
Several other events, including the 2022 Winsprint Triathlon on Oct. 2 and Thriller Dance Party classes going on through Halloween, can also be enjoyed via Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation.