Community enjoys Sidney’s parks, recreation programs


For the Sidney Daily News



A basketball court was installed in 2017 at the Robert O. New Park in Sidney.

A basketball court was installed in 2017 at the Robert O. New Park in Sidney.


Gaier


SIDNEY — The city of Sidney’s recreation programs continue to grow each year and 2017 is considered to be a huge success.

“In 2016, there were almost 700 participants in the various summer clinics around the city,” said Duane Gaier, parks and recreation director. “Just one year later, the attendance more than doubled to over 1,400 kids. The most significant clinics were Arts and Crafts where there were 215 children in the parks, Stories in the Park, a collaboration with Amos Memorial Library, drawing over 300. Two new programs, Jumbo Jenga and a Nature Scavenger Hunt, attracted 85 and 55 boys and girls respectively. With 27 clinics offered in the parks, there are many things for the children of Sidney to do.”

His report continues:

Other recreational opportunities for kids of all ages were offered in the past year. There were almost 600 shelter reservations made in Tawawa Park last season. Many weekends had every pavilion in the park reserved. There were weddings, family and class reunions, club meetings, company picnics, church services and birthday parties throughout the 226-acre nature preserve. If you are interested in reserving a shelter for your event, please call the parks office at 937-498-8155. There is no charge for the use of a shelter, all we ask that you call and make a reservation.

Baseball and softball is still a strong sport in the area with 660 games played at Custenborder Fields, Flanagan Sports Complex and Harmon Field. Sidney Electric girls softball, girls fast pitch, church league, IUTIS boys softball, coed softball leagues, women and men’s softball leagues, Sidney Amateur Baseball, Emerson Climate coed league and American Legion Post 217 occupied these fields almost every night this past summer. In addition to these recreation opportunities, a disc golf tournament was held, two orienteering competitions and 10 5K run/walks, all in your Tawawa Park.

At the water park, there was an increase in registration for the free summer swimming lessons. 2016 had 227 participants learn water safety; this number grew to 267 in 2017. The lifeguards worked with participants of varying levels of skill to improve their abilities and increase their confidence in and around water. Because of this preparation, the number of rescues required at the Sidney Water Park continues to go down each year.

Thanks to an Ohio Department of Education grant, local children were provided a lunch at eight locations around Sidney. In 2017 had parks staff delivering over 7,000 meals to area locations around the city. This is down from a little over 8,000 in 2016. The reduction is widely considered to be because the need in the community has been reduced. The backpack program followed the same trend as the over 2000 weekend meals delivered on Fridays were down significantly from last year’s numbers. These non-perishable meals are 100 percent funded by grants and donations from local businesses, individuals and generous organizations.

Capital projects in 2017 included the replacement of the fence on field 5 at Custenborder Fields. With the completion of this project, all of the field fences at Custenborder have been rehabilitated. A new play structure, benches and trees were installed at Riverbend Park along with a new roof on the shelter as part of the annual park improvement schedule. Finally, two asphalt projects were completed, with a new basketball court constructed at Robert O. New Park and the upper parking lot at Berger Park repaved.

The year 2018 will bring more things to do in your parks, get out and enjoy them.

A basketball court was installed in 2017 at the Robert O. New Park in Sidney.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_New-Park-BBall-court-8-17.jpgA basketball court was installed in 2017 at the Robert O. New Park in Sidney.

Gaier
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_GaierDuane_12.jpgGaier

For the Sidney Daily News