A Weekly Note from Mayor Gary L. Graham
“Traditional Values, Progressive Thinking”
The beginning of the new year is a perfect time for us to reflect back on 2005 and to determine our new year’s resolutions for 2006. The City of O’Fallon Parks and Recreation Department is offering numerous programs and activities throughout 2006 that will assist you and your family in keeping those resolutions.
If your resolution is to spend more time outdoors, the new Rotary Nature Center is the place to be. Beginning in February, a variety of classes and programs will be offered that will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about, and interact with nature.
· Animal Survival: Join us as we take a look at the various methods animals use to survive in the wild. From natural camouflage to the tools they use to find food, this class will teach you all about the secret world of animal survival.
· Backyard Birding: Learn how to turn your backyard into a bird sanctuary. The different types of bird feeders, seed and plants will be discussed and participants will learn how to identify the different types of birds.
· Mushroom ID and Hunting 101: Learn how to identify edible and poisoness mushrooms in the Southern Illinois area. Find out when and where they grow and learn ways to cook the edible variety. The class involves a field trip to Carlyle Lake to practice your new mushroom hunting skills.
· Let’s Get Primitive: This hands-on class includes flintknapping (making tools out of stone), cordage (making twine from natural materials), spear throwing with the atlatl (spear thrower, weather permitting), and a demonstration of friction fire-making. There will also be lots of interaction and discussion about primitive technologies and experimental archaeology.
· Art in Nature: Participants will create arts and crafts both made from and inspired by our surroundings in beautiful Rock Springs Park. Activities include plien-air painting, paper making, and much more!
· Rock Springs Nature Walk: If you are interested in learning about your local environment or just want to go for a nice winter walk through grasslands and woodlands, this will be great for you, family, and friends.
If your resolution is to learn a new skill such as ice skating, bowling, or ballroom and swing dance, the Parks and Recreation Department is your ticket to obtaining those skills. If it is relaxation that you are in search of, Tai Chi is offered.
If you have always wanted to take a CPR training course, but just never got around to signing up, the O’Fallon Emergency Medical Services Department will be offering HeartSaver CPR, First Aid and CPR, and Family and Friends CPR classes.
Our Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering programs and activities for the entire family and I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities. Programs and activities for winter and spring include:
· Parent ’N’ Tot Tumbling and Kinder Gym/Tumbling
· Gooey Goo Gala
· Sidewalk Art
· Art Basics
· Cookie Bookie
· Mighty Ball Basketball, Baseball and Soccer
· Karate and Tae Kwon Do
· Babysitting Clinic
· Just Bead It!
· Paintball for Teens
· College Search and Prep Seminar
· Preventing Identity Theft
· Retirement Income
· Hunter Safety Course
· Illinois Caverns Tour
· March Madness with Longaberger Baskets!
· Wagons East!-Cardinals Bus Tour
I am certain that you and your family will find our Parks programs both educational and very enjoyable. The opportunity to participate in high quality and fun leisure activities such as these is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.