Several new events detailed in latest Park Dept. guide
A community cookout, a family photo scavenger hunt, a tea party, tie-dye day and the return of Soggy Doggy Day.
Those are just a few of the new events planned by the Greencastle Parks and Recreation Department and included in the March-September edition of its program guide.
The new guide, which will have spring and fall editions this year instead of one annual brochure, has been created by Assistant Director Erin Ray.
The Greencastle Board of Park Commissioners praised her work and approved the listed programs and all accompanying fees as presented during its regular monthly meeting Thursday night at City Hall.
Billed as a “special event,” the Community Cookout is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Friday, July 27 at shelterhouse No. 2 (near the skate park) at Robe-Ann Park.
The cookout event is meant to celebrate the end of Parks and Recreation Month with food and games for all ages. A free-will donation will be asked. More information will be announced closer to the event.
Among other new ideas for park events, the guide includes:
-- A free adult pottery class, coordinated by the Park Department and the DePauw University Bonner Scholar Program, and set for 6-8 p.m. March 14 and 21 at the Peeler Art Center at DePauw. More information is available at www.greencastleparks.com.
-- A Spring Has Sprung event in which participants will decorate their own clay flower pot, plant seeds and take it home. Set for 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 at the park office. Cost $6 per person.
-- A family photo scavenger hunt, a free event Ray has brought with her from her time working with the Vigo County Parks Department. Set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 at Robe-Ann Park, the event provides a modern-day twist (cell phone selfies) on the old scavenger hunt idea for items found throughout the park.
-- Tea Party fun is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Putnam Inn on North Jackson Street. Youngsters can bring a tea party pal such as a favorite stuffed bear or favorite doll to join the tea party in a venue similar to the wildly successful Breakfast with the Grinch last December. Cost is $10 per person.
-- Chalk Up the Park, a “food-raiser” for the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry, is set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 19 at Robe-Ann Park. Participants can use chalk to decorate their own parking spot at the aquatics center. Admission will be one non-perishable food item.
-- Firefighter Academy, slated 9 a.m. to noon June 15-29 at shelterhouse No. 2 at Robe-Ann Park. Open to students in grades 6-8 for $10 per person, it is designed to explore the career of a firefighter with fire extinguisher and fitness training, hose drills, team-building exercises and more. Registration deadline June 13.
-- Junior Lifeguard program, June 19 and 21, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and June 23, 10 a.m. to noon at Greencastle Aquatic Center. Cost is $15 per person for an opportunity to shadow city lifeguards and learn what lifeguarding is all about. Participants will learn basic water safety drills. Fee includes lunch, sunglasses, a whistle and junior lifeguard T-shirt.
-- Soggy Doggy Day returns Aug. 14, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. as only dogs will be allowed in the water, not humans. With the pool closed for the season, it will be drained soon thereafter and max chlorinated at the start of the next season in accordance with new State Board of Health guidelines. Cost will be $3 for preregistered dogs or $5 the day of the event.
-- Totally Tie Day, a program in which participants will create their own tie-dyed shirts. Designed for grades 1-6. Set for 4:30-5:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Robe-Ann Park shelterhouse No. 1. Registration deadline is Aug. 13.
In addition to those new or revised events, the program guide lists the prices for facility rentals, pool admission, swim lessons and more. Those fees were all approved by the Park Board at the same rate they were in 2017.
In other business, the Park Board:
-- Agreed to the Greencastle Civic League’s 25th anniversary Parkfest concert schedule for Tuesdays, May 29-July 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Robe-Ann Park.
-- Learned that Vectren will be digging in Robe-Ann Park this spring to replace a four-inch gas main that runs from near the DAR cabin and over to Anderson Street.
-- Gave permission to the Greencastle Youth Baseball organization to install additional batting cages in between fields 2 and 3 at the sports park. Representatives Tom Hamilton and Miranda Heavin said the Babe Ruth field will be getting better drainage and a better surface, as well as having dugout roofs replaced and new dugout benches. “Hopefully it’ll dress up the place a little,” Hamilton said. A security system is also being installed, he added.
-- Tabled approval of the final paperwork on the five-year park master plan. It is due to be turned in to the state by April 15, Park Director Rod Weinschenk said, so it will need to be approved next month.
-- Approved Friday, July 13 from 6-8 p.m. for Dr. John Hennette’s annual pool party for his Greencastle Pediatric Dentistry patients, staff and families. Last year the event drew more than 650 people.
-- Heard Weinschenk report that a new backboard has been secured and will be installed soon to replace the vandalized one at the Keith Carr basketball court at Big Walnut Sports Park.
-- Approved Saturday, May 12 as the date for the FOP 5K Run in support of the COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) organization.
-- Heard Weinschenk report that the Youth Basketball Program wrapped up play last Saturday after seven weeks of games.
-- Heard from Ted and Janna Kissel, who said they would like to see Jaycee Park promoted and would do what they can to help with that. Ted already has been active in creating and maintaining mountain bike trails at Jaycee Park.
Board members Tim Trigg, Beva Miller and John Hennette were present for the meeting, along with Park Director Weinschenk and Assistant Director Ray. Board member Cathy Merrell was absent.
The Park Board will next meet in regular session at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5 at City Hall.