By Heather Wood
Happy New Year, welcome to 2020 and a new decade! Ringing in a New Year is great. As an agency we get to reflect on the successes of the past and look forward to the challenges of the future. We at Kernersville Parks & Recreation are looking forward to a bright future, beginning with an impactful 2020. However, before we touch on that, let us reintroduce Kernersville’s Parks & Recreation system. We manage twelve parks and one recreation center, owning over 430 acres of Park Property. The system offers several types of parks ranging from Athletic Complexes, Neighborhood Parks, to a Mountain Bike Park offering our community a variety of activities. We also provide hundreds of programs and events throughout the year, headlined by our Annual Father Daughter Dance and Honeybee Festival.
So, what are we planning in 2020? Let’s begin with one of Kernersville’s original facilities, Civitan Park. Civitan Park opened in 1986 and was made possible by a Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund grant. The park has served our community well throughout the years, but recent renovations at Fourth of July Park and the aging facilities at Civitan have led to declined usage and outdated programming for the space. It is time for a facelift! Department officials are currently putting together the components for two grants, a Park and Recreation Trust Fund grant and a new Land & Water Conservation Fund grant. If we are successful in our efforts, these grants will go a long way in funding assistance for the renovation of Civitan Park. The park’s renovation plan will alter the park’s theme from a traditional neighborhood park to a multigenerational fitness-focused park. Once completed, the park will feature a challenger course, an outdoor fitness gym, expanded tennis courts, basketball courts, new shelter structures, and a formalized U-10 ballfield. In combination with this facelift, the park will be renamed Civitan Fitness Park.
The New Year also brings the excitement of planning for a new indoor recreation center. The planning process will kick off with our selected Architectural firm, Clark, Patterson, Lee, in January and will continue throughout a good portion of the year. This process will consist of meeting with several focus groups as well as the public to gather input to identify our needs. Would you like to be involved? We have designed 6 categories for our focus groups. The categories are as follows: Recreation Advisory Board, Elected Officials & Staff, Civic Groups, Community Service Agencies, Athletic Groups, and Program Instructors/Participants. Staff will be contacting identified agencies to populate these focus group meetings. For those who fit into one of these groups, they are encouraged to contact Kernersville Parks & Recreation to ensure their representation. Our goal is to produce a great plan for a community center for Kernersville today and tomorrow. Please follow our social media outlets to stay informed of this process as we formulate our timeline.
Make sure you share our story with your friends and neighbors. If you or someone you know is involved in an organization in Kernersville and would like to be a part of one of our input sessions, please let us know. If you feel there is a need in a specific area… tell us! It is your feedback that helps us build great parks and facilities for our community and beyond to enjoy.
While planning facilities and taking on the challenges and making them a reality is one thing, it is not as fun or exciting as planning events or programs. If you read our December article, you have already gotten a sneak peek into what new things are coming in 2020. We are really excited to bring you The Father Daughter Dance. The biggest ticket in town will go on sale Monday, January 6. This year’s theme will be “Under the Sea”, and we cannot wait for you to be part of our world! The dance will be held at First Christian Church on Saturday, February 8. Tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to create your online profile to get a jump start in the process.
Keep an eye out for our new Leisure Guide in your mailbox with a list of all of our winter programs. We are offering two new programs this season. The first is two classes being offered by the Tasty Palette. The Science and Art of Food is a class that will teach ages 7 & up how food is more than just what we eat. Students will embark on an exploratory adventure through science, art and even some history through hands-on lessons, nutrition, and unique experiments. There may be fire, there may be ice…. There may even be some mummified fish; but there will definitely be fun and life skills will be gained.
The second class will be learning Basic Cooking Skills, and how to make delicious, healthy, and fun meals from a professional chef. The best part…. They get to eat their yummy creation for lunch! Alex Perez, a Professional Chef for 15 years, will guide these two classes. Both classes begin in mid-January and registration is now open!
Kicking off the New Year typically begins with resolutions and what better way to get a jump start with Refit. Refit is a fun, cardio-dance program designed to work your body, heart and soul. With the use of positive music to get you moving, while also delivering an uplifting message. Refit can be modified to cater to all fitness levels, ages, and body types. Classes kick-off this month and all are welcome! Ashley Duggins is REFIT certified and ensures classes are full of energy and fun!
To register for these classes or to see a full list of our Dance Combo, Karate, Painting, Tai Chi, Zumba, Adult Athletics and more visit our website at www.KVParks.com.