By BRIAN SMITH
A number of upcoming special events and new ideas are keeping Parks and Recreation Department officials busy.
Parks and Recreation Director Danielle Felts told board members last week the department recently received a perfect score on its first-ever inspection by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Felts said the inspection looked at such things as training provided to employees, how well records were kept and updated and other things, which admittedly made some department members nervous.
“Our guys were nervous, but that’s because we were taking this seriously as a department,” Felts said. “We are very proud.”
The department will also be working with Keep Weatherford Beautiful on bringing back the recognized yard program to the city. Felts said waning interest and the department not being up to full capacity caused the program to go by the wayside for a time.
Felts said with the advent of social media and press releases Parks and Rec hopes to revitalize the program. Residents are encouraged to submit addresses of yards they believe are nice enough to qualify for the quarterly award. Signs designating the winner’s yard have been purchased and will be placed in the yard with other prizes being offered as well.
Felts said police and fire department officers have expressed their willingness to help with the program. Ideas can also be submitted to the department’s new Facebook page, which began Jan. 9 and has already had more than 200 “likes.”
“It’s a good program,” Felts said. “We want to keep our parks beautiful as well as people keeping their home park beautiful, too.”
Board member Cathrine Redenbaugh said she was disappointed the program went away and is glad it’s back.
Athletics and Aquatics Manager Tyler Sievert said he is already getting ready for the summer pool season, contacting staff members from a year ago to gauge interest. He is planning on offering American Red Cross certified lifeguard classes April 30-May 9 for those ages 15 and up.
Swim lesson registration begins Friday, May 10, 6-8 p.m., at City Hall for residents and Saturday, May 11, 9-11 a.m., for non-residents, Sievert said. Fees are the same as last year with residents that provide a utility bill and driver’s license with matching address paying $40 and non-residents charged $52.
Chandor Gardens Manager Karen Nantz spoke of a historical marker unveiling /open house from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the gardens. The actual unveiling is set for 4:30 p.m.
The Third Annual Chandor Gardens Bridal Fair is 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 17, with vendors, a cake-off competition and a small fashion show among the highlights.
First Monday Coordinator Karen King said the monthly event continues to grow with a 96 percent occupancy rate for vendors during the fourth quarter of 2012. She said a large number of walk-up and good weather in November and December have helped that.
She also announced the opening of the Heritage Park Even Center on the First Monday grounds set for noon Friday, March 1.