P B ark ench

Park Bench
from the
October 2014
City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation e-newsletter
Put on your Halloween costumes and meet us at the Weatherdance Fountain on the Ped Mall in Downtown Iowa City at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 for
the annual Halloween Parade to the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center from
6:15 - 6:30 p.m. All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an
adult. In case of inclement weather, the parade will be cancelled.
CARNIVAL: 10.24.14
Join us at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center after the parade from 6:30
to 8 p.m. for an ooky night of Halloween fun, including games, activities,
treats, prizes, bouncy houses, and fortune-telling! People of all abilities and
ages are invited to participate. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Held rain or shine! Bring your camera and a bag for treats!
This annual Halloween adventure is scheduled for kids aged 6 and under on
Friday, Oct. 31 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Mercer / Scanlon, 2701 Bradford
Drive in Iowa City. Inflatables, games, stories, crafts, and more. Put on your
Halloween costume and come have some fun!
Iowa City’s official Trick or Treat Night will be on Friday, Oct. 31 from dusk
to 8 p.m. Have fun out there, but stay safe!
Website: www.icgov.org/pr
E-mail: [email protected]
Parks & Forestry..................319.356.5107
Mercer / Scanlon..................319.356.5109
Central Business District...319.356.5107
Inside this issue
Recreation Center’s 50th birthday...... 2-3
Halloween costume fundraiser................3
Farmers Market / Holiday Markets..... 4-5
Sports Turf Workshop................................6
Fun things to do..........................................7
Golf fundraiser for swim lessons.............8
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 2
50 !
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, 1964
The Robert A. Lee Community
Recreation Center celebrated
its 50th year in the Iowa City
community on October 4, commemorated by a birthday celebration that featured events
that took attendees back to
the year in which construction
on the facility was completed
— 1964.
Music from the era was performed by the cover band,
“Twist and Shout” in the social
hall, while in other areas of the
building, Limbo, Four Corners,
Wipe Out, and Twist contests
were held in conjunction with
a free night of rollerskating.
While it cost a dime to swim
back in the 1960s, time in the
pool was free the night of the
party, and many people took
advantage of the offer!
Attendees were also able to
view the newly released master plan for the facility’s Edible
Landscape project, a joint effort between Parks and Recreation and the local nonprofit,
Backyard Abundance.This project will extend the Discovery
Garden, located on the north
side of the building, down the
west side on Gilbert Street,
creating an environmentally
beneficial landscape that will
provide healthy food and wildlife habitat.
The 44,000 sq. ft. Robert A. Lee
Recreation Center was built
after the original American Legion Recreation Center burned
to the ground in 1955. Bob Lee,
who served as Superintendent
of Recreation for the City of
Iowa City from 1951 to 1983,
immediately got to work on
building a new center on the
same site at the intersection of
Burlington and Gilbert Streets.
In 1962, a bond issue for
$490,000 passed with 87% approval. An additional $225,000
was raised from fees and donations to complete funding for
the $715,000 structure.
When Bob retired in 1983, the
City Council voted to name
the facility the “Robert A. Lee
Community Recreation Center” in his honor. Lee died on
October 17 last year at the age
of 95.
Numerous changes and upgrades have been made to the
building since it first opened in
1964. Over the past 50 years,
air conditioning was added, an
continued on next page
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 3
50 !
continued from previous page
access ramp and elevator were installed to meet ADA requirements,
and two dressing rooms were converted to office space. A gun and
archery range that existed on the
lower level was removed years ago,
and today that space serves as a
Twist and Shout provided live music 1960s-style for the 50-year celebration
training room for gymnasts. After
sustaining tornado damage in 2006, all the building’s windows and exterior doors were replaced, and the damaged
roof repaired. The pool has undergone numerous upgrades, and a rock climbing wall has been installed in the pool
Other recent projects include a redesign of the east-side
entrance, relocation of the information desk and exercise
equipment to the lobby area near the pool, and relocation of
the game room to an area off the gym.
While changes have been made to meet Iowa City’s everevolving needs and interests, for 50 years the building has
stood the test of time, providing a welcoming place for the
pursuit of recreational activities for all ages and all levels of
Here’s to another 50!
Costume sale to help raise funds for park
To raise funds to renovate their
neighborhood park, the Lucas
Farms Neighborhood Association
will sponsor a Halloween costume sale, utilizing the talents of
neighbor Judy Nyren, who is wellknown for the costume sales she
held for 13 years. Although she
no longer operates her business,
Nyren has offered to donate her
remaining inventory and organize
the costume sale to help raise
money for the park project.
The sale will be held from October 13-30 from noon to 6 p.m. in
the storefront next to Radio Shack
in the Iowa City Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall). Volunteers
are needed to assist with set-up
on Sunday, October 12 and also
help during daily store hours.
Donations of costumes and/or
clothes, hats, jewelry, and other accessories that can be used to create costumes are also needed so
that a wide selection will be available. Donations may be dropped
off at the store during open hours.
Proceeds will help fund a shelter,
playground equipment, and landscaping at Highland Park, a 0.4acre park at the corner of Keokuk
Street and Highland Avenue.
For more info, contact Judy Nyren
at [email protected] or Erica
Larson at 319/325-4951 or [email protected]
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 4
Farmers Markets close for
season at end of October
The 2014 Farmers Markets season will wrap up the end of this month, so
be sure to make it to the market in the next couple of weeks to pick up
fresh produce and stock up on your Farmers Market favorites!
Tulips to
Tidbits about the
Iowa City Farmers Market
While many people think that October is a time for winding-down at
the market, the reverse is actually true. Farmers Markets are full of fresh
seasonal produce being harvested this time of year: pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash, potatoes, and apples, not to mention an ample supply of other in-season fruits and vegetables. Plus, all the other things you
love about the market – meats, cheese, homemade baked goods, prepared
foods, and jewelry and gift items – continue to be available each week.
Downtown Farmers Markets are held Wednesdays (5 to 7 p.m.) and Saturdays (7:30 a.m. to noon) in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp on Washington Street, across from City Hall.The final Saturday market of the year will
be October 25, followed by the last Wednesday market on October 29.
This market, which is held on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m., will be closing for
the season on October 28.
The City will not sponsor Winter Farmers Markets this year.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 15 and Saturday, December
13 for this year’s Holiday Markets — and then come with your full gift list!
This year, we’ll be holding these events in a new location to provide more
space for vendors and customers, as well as more parking. Both Holiday
Markets will be held in the old Ben Franklin storefront at the Iowa City
Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall). As usual, there will be prepared
foods and homemade baked goods, original art, handcrafted gift items, and
holiday decorations available for sale.
For more information, see the next page in this issue of the Park Bench or
contact Tammy Neumann, Parks and Recreation Administrative Secretary,
at 319/356-5210 or [email protected]
Thank you for your patronage of the Farmers Markets this year and the
support you have provided our farmers, artists, and vendors!
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 5
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Fresh produce  Meats  Cheese  Baked goods  Spices
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 Soaps  Lotions  Greeting cards and paper products
 Embroidered and tie-dyed clothing  Jewelry
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�uppor� lo�al far�ers� ar�ists� and �raſtspersons �y shopping at the Holiday Markets!
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 6
City hosts workshop
for sports turf managers
Muscatine, as well as seven universities and colleges, and numerous high schools across the
state. Workshop topics included
logo and field painting, irrigation,
soil management and cost savings practices.
More than 100 professional turf
managers from across the state
as well as vendors from across
the country recently traveled
to Iowa City to attend the Iowa
Sports Turf Managers annual
workshop, hosted by the City of
Iowa City Parks and Recreation
Department. This year’s event
boasted the largest-ever attendance and the first time in the
event’s history in which students
from all of Iowa’s turf colleges
were in attendance.
The workshop connected managers from Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Iowa City, and
The City had an opportunity to
showcase its fertilizer cost-saving method, which utilizes overseeding rather than the use of
fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. In addition, effluent water
is used for irrigation. During the
past 10 years, this turf maintenance program, combined with
calcium applications, has reduced
fertilizer use on City-owned
sports fields by 75%. This directly
diminishes ground water contamination from nitrogen and phosphorous while producing a safe
playing surface for our athletes.
Thanks to Sports Turf Manager
Joe Wagner and his team of professionals for making this year’s
workshop such a success. The
Parks and Recreation Department is proud to have such innovative and progressive staff members on our team!
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 7
December 19, with the exception of Fridays that fall
close to holidays: Oct. 31 and Nov. 28.
There is no fee to participate, but attendees must
have an Iowa City Recreation Division Facility Pass to
check out skates and to gain access to the gym. Facility
passes may be obtained on site.The first pass is free of
charge, but replacement passes are $2.
Children aged 11 and under must be accompanied at
all times by a responsible supervisor who is at least
16 years of age. Supervisors may be in charge of up
to three skaters, and must show a driver’s license or
other form of ID as proof of age. A full list of rules and
expectations will be posted at each event.
Friday Fun Night
Join us at Mercer Aquatic Center / Scanlon Gym at
2701 Bradford Drive on Friday, October 10 from 6:158:15 p.m. for Friday Fun Night.
This program is designed for ages 12 and under, and all
participants must be supervised by an adult at all times.
Adults may supervise no more than five children.
For more information, contact Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator Marcia Bollinger at 319/356-5237
or [email protected]
Saturday Skate & Swim
On Saturdays, take your pick of fun and exercise at
the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center at 220 S. Gilbert
Street: SKATE or SWIM!
The participation fee for kids is $5 and should be paid
at the desk. Pre-registration is not required. Parents
and supervisors are not charged a fee.
Every Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. is Family Swim. Fees
are $1 per person and kids under the age of 2 get in
at no charge.
Activities include inflatables (including our brand new
inflatable slide!), open game room, roller skating, craft
projects, and swimming. Kids must wear socks while
playing on inflatables. If they forget, socks will be sold
at the event.
On Saturday nights through December 20, Saturday
Night Skate will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. There
is no fee for skating, although adults must have a facilities pass to borrow skates for their families. All youth
must be accompanied by an adult.
Future Friday Fun Nights are scheduled November 7
and December 12 — so mark your calendars!
Skating will be reserved for families, beginners, and
slower skaters from 6 to 8 p.m. Fast skate for more
advanced skaters is available from 8 to 9 p.m.
Friday Night Skate
Saturday Skate will not be scheduled on October 18
or December 13.
Friday Night Skate is now rolling for the season on Friday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Grant Wood School
gymnasium, 1930 Lakeside Drive. Sponsored by the
Grant Wood Neighborhood Association and the City
of Iowa City, these skate nights will be held through
For more info, call the Recreation Info Desk at
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 8
Golf outing raises nearly $3,000 for swim lessons
In retrospect, the weather that
golfers experienced during the
inaugural Recreation Division
Golf Fundraiser on Sept. 12
was fitting for a tournament
designed to raise money for
swim lessons: It was wet nearly
all day long.
But the rain didn’t stop the
golfers from doing what they
came to do. By the end of the
day, nearly $3,000 had been
raised for a voucher program
to help pay for swim lessons
for children whose families
can’t afford them. The money
will be used for lessons for 85
kids next summer, according to
Aquatics Supervisor Matthew
The Parks and Recreation Department would like to thank
the following sponsors, whose
contributions and support
made the event possible:
While it rained most
of the day (hence the
coats and hats), it did
not hamper the enthusiasm of the golfers
who participated in the
inaugural Golf Fundraiser! Pictured above are
Recreation Superintendent Chad Dyson and
Sports Supervisor Jeff
Sears. At right is SPI Supervisor Cindy Coffin
and her husband, Dave.
uHummer Trucking
uThe Watts
uPool Tech
of Midwest
Claussen, Realtor
Thanks to all participants in this
year’s event. We look forward
to next year’s event and hope
we can continue to provide this
opportunity for area youth.
on Facebook and Twitter at:
Sheri Thomas to retire this month
After more than 37 years of sprucing up the Central Business District
and maintaining the area’s flower
beds, plantings, and landscaping, Sheri
Thomas is retiring. The Parks and
Recreation Department will host a
retirement reception on Thursday,
October 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation
Center Social Hall at 220 S. Gilbert
Street to thank Sheri for her many
years of service. Cards and well wishes may be sent to Sheri at the Parks
Office at 2275 S. Gilbert Street, Iowa
City, IA 52240.
Sheri Thomas
From the Park Bench — Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department — October 2014, page 9
Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department Information
Recreational Facilities
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center
220 S. Gilbert Street ~ 319.356.5100
Office hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mercer Park Aquatic Center / Scanlon Gym
2701 Bradford Drive ~ 319.356.5109
Office hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
City Parks and Shelters
For a list of Iowa City parks, locations, and park
amenities, visit www.icgov.org/pr
City Park Pool (summer only)
Upper Park Road ~ 319.356.5108
The Park Lodge
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area
579 McCollister Blvd.
For reservation information, call 319.356.5210
Offices & Staff
ADMINISTRATION..................... 319.356.5110
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert Street
• Mike Moran, CPRP, Director
• Tammy Neumann, Administrative Secretary
CEMETERY................................... 319.356.5105
Oakland Cemetery, 1000 Brown Street
• Russell Buffington, Cemetery Supervisor
• Kurt Schultz, Maintenance Worker III
• Todd McInville, Maintenance Worker II
PARKS & FORESTRY.................. 319.356.5107
2275 S. Gilbert Street
• Zac Hall, Superintendent of Parks
• Michaeleen (Mike) Kaeser, Clerk Typist
Forestry Operations............................319.356.5106
• Rae Lynn Schepers, Senior Maintenance Worker
• Judd Yetley, Maintenance Worker III
• Brian Tack, Maintenance Worker II
Park Operations...................................319.356.5107
• Earlis Stockman, Senior Maintenance Worker
• Joe Wagner, Senior Maintenance / Turfgrass Specialist
• Duane Coblentz, Maintenance Worker III
• Mark Heick, Maintenance Worker III
• Dennis Lovetinsky, Maintenance Worker III
• Jarret Meade, Maintenance Worker III
• Ryan Kriz, Maintenance Worker II
• Robert Richardson, Maintenance Worker II
• Tony Rodgers, Maintenance Worker II
• Ed Slach, Maintenance Worker II
• Bill Walls, Jr., Maintenance Worker II
Central Business District.....................319.356.5107
• Sheri Thomas, Senior Maintenance Worker
• Tom Kacena, Maintenance Worker II
• Joel Lane, Maintenance Worker II
City Hall Maintenance.........................319.356.5000
• Jeff Cretsinger, Maintenance Worker II
• James Wombacher, Maintenance Worker I
• Mike Gonzalez, Custodian
• Tony Lee, Custodian
RECREATION.............................. 319.356.5100
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert Street
• Chad Dyson, CPRP, Superintendent
• Jessica Lang, Office Coordinator
• Paula Griffin, Senior Clerk Typist
Program Supervisors...........................319.356.5100
• Joyce Carroll, CPRP, Social / Arts / Environment
• Cindy Coffin, CPRP/CTRS, Special Populations Involvement
• Matthew Eckhardt, CPO, Aquatics
• Matt Eidahl, CPRP, Youth Sports / Teen Programs
• Jeff Sears, CPRP, Adult Sports / Wellness
• Elizabeth Reicks, Aquatics Assistant
• Katherine Connell, CPO, Aquatics Assistant
Recreation Center Maintenance........319.356.5100
• Scott Justason, Facilities Manager
• Bob Bogs, Maintenance Worker II
• Jeff Crawford, Maintenance Worker I
Mercer / Scanlon Maintenance...........319.887.6118
• Tom Snyder, CPO, Maintenance Worker III
• Eric Alvarez, Maintenance Worker I
• Otis Kuehne, Maintenance Worker I