By Traci Chapman
As summer hits full stride, Mustang is celebrating one of its busiest seasons with Parks and Recreation Month.
The national July observance is a way to honor all the benefits parks and activities offer the community, as well as bringing attention to area facilities and events, said Jean Heasley, Mustang Parks and Rec co-director.
“This is a special month for us because we can really stress the importance of parks and recreation and can highlight all of the cool programs and activities we offer year-round,” she said.
City Council July 3 approved a proclamation designating the monthlong observance in Mustang; Heasley said parks and rec staff have been busy developing several activities – both new and residents’ favorites – for the month, culminating with the July 30 Pack the Park.
Recognizing the importance of parks and recreation in improving quality of life is exactly what Park and Recreation Month is all about, National Recreation and Park
Association officials said. Celebrated since 1985, in 2009 U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution establishing the month.
NRPA supports parks and recreation community and provides individual programs with a variety of resources to help expand their efforts.
Upcoming July events and activities include:
July 11 – Wildhorse Garden Special Pollinators
Younger children ages three to eight will get an introduction to Mustang’s community garden with the July 11 Wildhorse Garden Special Pollinators session – which coincides with that evening’s farmers market. The free event will teach children about the importance of honeybees and give them a chance to experience the garden firsthand, organizers said. Advance registration is available at www.cityofmustang.org/parksrec.
July 12 – Big Games on Front Lawn
Open to all ages, the free Big Games on Front Lawn event is set for 9:30 a.m. July 12
July 13 – Super Hero Day
For anyone hoping to fill Batman’s cape or wield Wonder Woman’s lasso, Superheroes Day is a free event that offers games and activities – and, staff said, superheroes are welcome to wear their gear. The come and go event is set for two times that day – 11 a.m. to noon and from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.
July 13 – Summer Art Series
Local artist Kristen Polson, founder of Mustang Arts Council, continues her summer arts series with a Friday wooden hanging sign painting session. All supplies are provided for the class, which begins at 6 p.m., and cost is $10 per person.
July 30 – Pack the Park
Pack the Park will begin at 6 p.m. July 30 at Mustang Town Center. The annual event features live music and an array of local food trucks, inflatables and other activities, a Monday night swim and a Movie in the Park feature. Pack the Park admission is free; there is a $5 for single/$10 family fee for swimming and charges for food and beverages at food trucks like Zebra Snow, Grumpy’s, Taco Addict, Flying Pig BBQ, Kettle Corn, Dough MG and Smoke N Oaks Pizza, Heasley said.
Tuesdays in July
For those who like to beat the summer heat, Mustang parks and rec each Tuesday offers Trivia Tuesday on Facebook. The weekly contest offers giveaways and prizes – all in honor of National Parks and Recreation Month, Heasley said.
Regular departmental activities – like the city’s farmers market, held each Wednesday and Saturday, fitness and craft classes and more continue throughout July and into August, Heasley said. Mustang Aquatic Center also continues to be a popular spot and also hosts swim team and guard programs, among other activities.
Partnering with National Recreation and Park Association, Mustang is also taking part in the NRPA Discovery Challenge Photo contest, which offers themed prizes throughout the month. For more information, go online to http://www.cityofmustang.org/parksrec/page/nrpa-discovery-challenge-photo-contest-how-did-you-get-active.
More information about Mustang Parks and Recreation is available on the city of Mustang website, www.cityofmustang.org, and its Facebook page, found by searching “Mustang Parks & Recreation Special Events.”