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Finding health & happiness

By Staff | Jul 9, 2013

The city of Cape Coral is celebrating its green spaces and activity centers throughout the month.

Since 1985, July has been recognized as National Park and Recreation Month. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has two events planned as part of the celebration, along with other efforts.

Discover Parks and Recreation Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 20, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Several divisions will share information on programs and showcase demonstrations.

The event is free and open to the public.

“People can just go to the Yacht Club and find out everything about environmental recreation, to the Eagle Skate Park,” Michelle Dean, spokeswoman for the Parks and Recreation Department, said.

She estimated that there would be approximately 15 to 20 booth set up.

“It’s really a great opportunity to highlight the great facilities we have in the city,” Dean said.

The city has 39 facilities, which includes 19 parks with playgrounds and staffed recreation centers.

“Our program offerings are constantly changing to meet the needs of the community,” she said.

There will also be several activities on site, such as pony rides, a daytime telescope viewing, live butterflies and reptiles, a bowling game and balloon animals made by a stilt walker. Those attending can also register to win more than $1,000 in prizes, including rounds of golf and tickets to Sun Splash Family Waterpark.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the day.

“It’s going to be a really fun exciting day for the family,” Dean said.

Last year, several hundred people turned out.

“It’s really for everybody,” she said.

Families can learn about preschool care or programs at the skate park and William Bill Austen Youth Center, while older residents can get information about the senior centers and available programs.

“It’s for all ages,” Dean said. “There’s gong to be a wide range of things going on.”

In addition to Discover Parks and Recreation Day, an open house and ice cream social will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center. Pre-registration is required at 574-0575.

“People would need to RSVP,” she said.

The event is free, but donations are being requested for canned goods or paper products.

Entertainment will be provided by local favorites David and Sally Sayh.

In recognition of National Park and Recreation Month, the city will also offer free boat trailer parking at the five public boat ramps July 20-21. Dean said it typically costs $10 per day for trailer parking.

Children’s artwork featuring Cape parks will be on display at City Hall throughout the month, and Coral Oaks Golf Course is offering PGA “Family Golf Month” specials to encourage family fun.

Mayor John Sullivan also issued a proclamation declaring July as Park and Recreation Month.

“National Park and Recreation Month helps to recognize the opportunities that parks provide for people to play, free of stress,” Steve Pohlman, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said.

“That could include a walk in the park, parents and children interacting on a playground, participation in competitive athletics or exercise programs that cater to senior citizens,” he said.

According to Dean, the city facilities hosted more than 5.1 million participants last year alone.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.

The Lake Kennedy Senior Center is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.