SIDNEY — Another great year has come and gone again for the Parks and Recreation Department.
“Many programs, events, and fun were provided in your parks for the community,” said Duane Gaier, city of Sidney Parks and Recreation Department director. “One of the most memorable occasions was the Civil War re-enactment held in September. Federal and Confederate soldier re-enactors and their family members traveled from near and far to share with those in attendance what it was like to live in the 1860’s. Gunfire, smoke, and the roar of cannon gave the observers in the park a sense of what a battle deep in the woods would have been like during the war that pitted brother against brother.”
His report continues:
Parks staff installed two new play structures this past fall. The first, thanks to a donation from Emerson Climate Technologies, was constructed at Baker Range in Tawawa Park. The old play equipment that was removed to make room for the new is believed to have been installed in the 1970’s and was in dire need of updating. The new playground offers physical challenges for all ages and is handicap accessible. The second unit was assembled at Berger Park on South Miami Avenue. This addition along with the work that Girl Scout Troop 20690 has completed through the Adopt A Park program has improved the appearance, safety and accessibility of the Berger Park.
Parks staff and the city tree contractor removed almost 300 dead ash trees from Tawawa Park last winter. The Emerald Ash Borer is causing the mortality of this stately tree and is devastating the forests across the region. Fortunately for your parks, Dayton Power and Light provided a grant to purchase and plant 90 trees of various varieties. Roadside and Deam Parks received 10 trees each, with the remaining 70 trees placed throughout Tawawa Park to assist with the reforestation of this nature preserve.
The recreation department was busy in 2016 with providing over 8,000 lunches at eight different locations in Sidney for the youth. Thanks to a grant through the Ohio Department of Education, children can receive a hot meal each weekday during the summer. To go along with this program, the recreation staff also gave out over 3,700 weekend meals to these kids. This program is 100% funded by grants and donations from businesses, individuals and philanthropic organizations.
Swimming lessons were again a success in 2016. Sidney Water Park lifeguards worked with 227 participants of varying skill levels to improve their abilities and increase their confidence in and around water. This training helps during the rest of the pool season by reducing the number of rescues required by the lifeguards.
There were ten new recreation clinics last year. Two of the of the more popular were, Book and Game Swap and Touch A Truck. Book and Game Swap allowed the participant to exchange their book or game with someone else and Touch a Truck allowed the kids to look at and get into trucks provided by Ratermann Construction and the city’s underground utilities and street departments. There were 896 participants in all of the recreation programs last year.
Sidney Rotary provided a unique asset to your parks by funding the construction of a beautiful shelter on Bertsch Hill, in Tawawa Park. The shelter was designed to be different from any other structure in the city’s park system. Large cedar timber construction with vaulted ceiling and masonry detail around the base of the supporting columns make this shelter a desired location for reunions, weddings and birthday parties. The dedication of the shelter was held on May 23, 2016, with many Rotarians and Sidney dignitaries in attendance.