January Park Bench Newsletter

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Holiday Hours

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, Jan. 21
Buildings and pools open regular hours. Administrative offices closed.

Upcoming Events

Self Defense Class
Thursday, Jan. 3
10:30 a.m. to noon
Social Hall, Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

First Friday Free Fitness: Pound Fit
Friday, Jan. 4
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Social Hall, Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Teen Night
Friday, Jan. 4
6 p.m.
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

Kid's Eco Movie Series
4 to 6 p.m. 
Iowa City Public Library
Jan 7: School House Rock
Jan. 14: The Lorax
Jan. 21: Wall-E
Jan. 28: Hoot

Eco Book Discussion: Silent Spring
Saturday, Jan. 19
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Iowa City Public Library-Meeting Room A

Free Sunday Water Aerobics
Sunday, Jan. 20
11:15 a.m. to noon
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

Getting to Know Endangered Species- Polar bears
Sunday, Jan. 20
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. 
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center - Craft Room

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Monday, Jan. 21
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

Jr. NBA Skills Challenge
Saturday, Jan. 26
9 to 11 a.m. 
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

First Friday Free Fitness: Belly Dance Fitness
Friday, Feb. 1
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Upcycling Workshop 
(Ages 8 and up)
Saturday, Feb. 2
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Staff Spotlight

Each month we will highlight a staff member from our parks, recreation, government buildings, or cemetery divisions. This month, we'll get to know Eric Alvarez from the government buildings team. 

Eric Alvarez

How long have you worked for the City of Iowa City? "I’ve been with the City in a permanent role since Jan. 2010. I worked seasonally in the parks dept. on and off from 2008 until I got my full-time position in 2010."

What is your favorite part of your job? "I really enjoy being able to work outdoors and at several different parks/locations."

Favorite Iowa City spot: "Upper City Park/City Pool and Sam’s Pizza."

Things no one would guess about you: 
1. I grew up in Miami, Fl.
2. I played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
3. My cousin I currently run our family’s cattle operation.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

MLK flyer

The City of Iowa City is partnering with several community-based organizations to host a day of celebration and service to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

The celebration begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, with a Unity March starting at Eastdale Plaza, 1700 S. 1st Ave. and ending at Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr. Celebrations continue at Mercer Park with family-friendly volunteer projects, children’s activities, performances, and more. Donations of outerwear apparel such as hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks will be accepted to benefit area shelters.

These activities are being coordinated by the MLK Alliance Group, which is made up of local non-profits, individuals, and public, as well as private, service organizations. Events are supported by the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, and the Iowa City Police Department, and many other local organizations.

For more information, contact Special and Underserved Populations Recreation Supervisor RaQuishia Harrington at raquishia-harrington@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5228.

Exciting Changes coming to Tot Time

Our Tot Time will see some exciting changes in 2019! Don't worry - nothing too drastic. 

  • Tot Time will now start at 9:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.
  • Tot  Time now has a monthly calendar! Stay up-to-date with the Tot Time schedule and daily themes. 

Tot Time is a fun, open play program for children ages 1-6. Tot Time takes place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at Mercer Park Aquatic Center.
Admission is $1.00 per child. Tot Time punch passes are available: $10/13 punches. For more information, visit www.icgov.org/youthsportinfo. 

January Tot time calendar

Park Highlight

Kicker's Soccer Complex

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to this award-winning park.

While I.C. Kickers Soccer Park sees a lot of soccer games, did you know this park can also accommodate cross country races? And that's just in the warmer months! 

During the winter months, if Iowa City ever sees snow again, park users can enjoy snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. 

This park recently received  the Environmental Facility Certification from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) for the City's commitment to sustainable practices at the park including water conservation and lighting upgrades to increase energy efficiency. 

Did you know Iowa City Parks and Recreation oversees 50 parks? We will spotlight a different park in our newsletter every month. 

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