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Day at the park

By Staff | Jul 5, 2016

The city of Cape Coral is joining municipalities around the country during the month of July to celebrate the power of parks and recreation.

This year marks the 31st anniversary of National Park and Recreation Month, an initiative created by the National Recreation and Park Association in 1985. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has a handful of events and promotions set throughout the month in recognition of the national campaign.

“With a lot of people having off in the summer, it makes it a great time to emphasize the importance of parks in people’s lives,” Michelle Dean, spokeswoman for the city Parks and Recreation Department, said. “To bring attention and awareness to our community about what parks and recreation has to offer here.”

There are 39 parks and recreation locations in the Cape. In addition to typical “parks,” the department include facilities like Sun Splash Family Waterpark, senior centers and the Cape Coral Arts Studio.

“They may not realize they’re part of a bigger umbrella encompassing parks and recreation,” she said.

On July 16, the department will host Discover Parks & Recreation Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Free for the public, the family event will offer information on the facilities and divisions within the department, along with showcase demonstrations and feature a mix of activities.

Prior to that, an open house and ice cream social will be held at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center. Planned for Friday at 2 p.m., the event is free and open to the public, but registrations are requested.

“There’s no charge, it’s just a matter of making sure we have enough for everyone,” Dean said.

RSVP by the end of today by contacting the center at 239-574-0575.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out about what is offered there,” she said.

The center has hosted the event for a couple of years now. Representatives from the facility will be on hand to provide visitors with information on the different programs and activities that are available.

“They do a little bit of everything, from dance and exercise classes, to day trips,” Dean said. “They do a lot of different day trips to sporting events and statewide attractions – they also do dinner shows.”

An annual membership to the center costs $30 for Cape residents or $40 for non-Cape residents. It includes membership to the Tony Rotino Senior Center, as well as discounts and special events.

“There are some things that are only members-only events,” she said.

Discounts are offered across the board, from day trips to classes.

“They get discounts on everything if they become a member,” Dean said.

While the center primarily caters to the 50-plus age group, all ages are welcome on Friday.

“They’ll have entertainment there also,” she said.

Timeless Tunes will perform.

On July 30-31, free boat trailer parking will be offered at the city’s public boat ramps.

“We’re doing that in combination with the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department,” Dean said. “They are offering free boat trailer parking those same days (at the county’s public boat ramps).

In addition, the city-owned Coral Oaks Golf Course will offer specials in combination with PGA Family Golf Month, while children’s artwork will be on display at the Cape Coral City Hall.

“We have a wall that the public is welcome to view,” she said.

The artwork is from children participating in the department’s summer camps.

“It’s pretty cool to see all this artwork in City Hall,” Dean said. “All our young artists.”

The artwork will be on display through July 29.

Officials urged people to pick up the department’s Program Guide.

“We encourage people to go out and explore on their own – there’s some great resources available out there in Cape Coral,” she said. “Celebrate and get outside – enjoy the parks.”

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.

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

The Coral Oaks Golf Course is at 1800 N.W. 28th Ave.

Cape Coral City Hall is at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

For more on the city’s Parks and Rec Department, visit: www.Cape-Parks.com or follow along on Facebook or Twitter at: www.facebook.com/Cape-CoralParks or www.twitter.com/CapeCoralParks.