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Cape to celebrate Parks Month this Saturday

By Staff | Jul 17, 2015

Learn about the recreational opportunities available in Cape Coral during an event Saturday.

Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Discover Parks & Recreation Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. The entire event is free to the public.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to find out about all the fun things that their city has to offer,” Michelle Dean, a spokeswoman for the Parks and Recreation Department, said Thursday.

“It’s a nationwide initiate, and this is a great way for us to bring it home,” she said.

In 1985, the National Recreation and Park Association declared that July is National Park and Recreation Month. This year marks the 30th anniversary that the nation celebrates the month.

According to Dean, the Cape first began recognizing National Park and Recreation Month a couple years ago by holding open houses at the various city facilities, by putting up artwork and more.

Four years ago, it started hosting Discover Parks & Recreation Day as a one-stop shop.

“We try to make it more convenient for the public,” she said, adding that many divisions will be represented. “We chose to do it there because the Yacht Club already gets so much weekend traffic.”

Last year, an estimated 500 people turned out for the event.

“We’re hoping for a similar turnout or more this year,” Dean said.

The activities at the event will take place inside and outside.

“It’s gaining more momentum each year,” she said.

Represented on site will be the Cape Coral Arts Studio, athletic division, Four Freedoms Park, senior centers, Rotary Park Environmental Center, Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center and more.

“It’s really a wide gamut of what parks and recreation has to offer,” Dean said.

The facilities will share program information and showcase demonstrations. For example, the arts studio will have a pottery wheel on hand, while Coral Oaks Golf Club will have a putting mat set up.

“The Rotary Club will bring creatures,” she said. “Which are always really popular.”

Four Freedoms will oversee a children’s craft area, designed for ages 3 to middle school-aged.

“They’re really known for their preschool,” Dean said.

Other activities include an ice cream social, a photo scavenger hunt and photo booth.

“It’s going to be an ’80s theme for the photo booth,” she said.

There also will be a variety of dancing and other demonstration on the main stage. There will be martial arts, paddle boarding and a Zumba demonstration, which is taught at one city facility.

“So they all kind of tie in,” Dean said.

A dance party will take place at 12:30 p.m., where visitors can learn different dances.

“All the activities are free, even the ice cream social and popcorn,” she said.

Prize drawings will be held throughout the day.

Prizes will also be awarded in the scavenger hunt, which kicks off at 11 a.m.

The prizes range from Sun Splash Family Waterpark tickets, free rounds of golf at Coral Oaks and Yacht Club pool passes, to theater tickets, passes to the Coconut Festival and recreation T-shirts.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase from vendors.

In addition to Discover Parks & Recreation Day, the Cape is offering free boat trailer parking at the city’s five public boat ramps from July 25-26 to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month. They are the Yacht Club Boat Ramp, Horton Park, Rosen Park, Burnt Store Marina and BMX Boat Ramp.

Dean noted that the typical cost is $10 per day.

“National Park and Recreation Month helps to recognize the opportunities that parks provide for people to play, free of stress,” Steven 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 in a statement.

For more information, call (239) 573-3128 or visit: www.CapeParks.com.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.