February Park Bench Newsletter

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Feb. Park Bench Newsletter header

Holiday Hours

President's Day
Mon., Feb. 15
Buildings and pools will be open regular hours. Admin offices will be closed.

Upcoming Events

Kid's Eco Movie Series
Mondays 
4 to 6 p.m. 
Iowa City Public Library
Feb. 4: The Rescuers Down Under
Feb. 11: Bill Nye-Ocean Life 
Feb. 18: FernGully
Feb. 25: Open Season

Upcycling Series
Wednesdays
6:30 to 7: 30 p.m.
East Side Recycling Center
Feb. 6: Bird Feeder Upcycled Bottles
Feb 13: Upcycled Drink Coasters
Feb. 20: Cork Upcycling
Feb. 27: Upcycled T-shirts

Eco Book Discussion - Rescheduled
Saturday, Feb. 9
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Iowa City Public Library

Freeze Fest
Sunday, Feb. 10
1 to 3 p.m. 
Terry Trueblood Lodge

Free Water Aerobics
Sunday, Feb. 17
11:15 a.m. to noon
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

Getting to Know Endangered Species - Sea turtles 
Sunday, Feb. 17
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. 
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center- Craft Room

90s Skate Party: Black History Month Celebration
Friday, Feb. 22
7:30 p.m. to 11 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 Tyler Baird, our new Assistant Parks Superintendent. 

Tyler Baird

Tell us about yourself: I grew up in Eastern Iowa and attended Iowa State University for my Landscape Architecture bachelor’s degree before moving west. While out west, I worked for the National Park Service at Zion and Yosemite and received my master’s degree at Utah State University. Before moving back to Iowa, I made a short pit-stop working for the Missouri State Park system. I’m passionate about community service and devote time to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa 4-H, and I serve as a City Council member in my hometown.

How long have you been with the City of Iowa City?

I started with the City in April of 2015 as the Horticulture Specialist, and I recently moved into the Assistant Superintendent of Parks role.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy working for a City and citizenry that cares about the natural environment and supports the value of our Parks and Recreation opportunities.

Favorite spot in Iowa City (park, restaurant, shop - anywhere!):

Ryerson’s Woods is my favorite Iowa City Park (did you know it’s actually outside the City Limits?) I also enjoy all the culture and artistic atmosphere of the Downtown District.

One thing about you no one would guess:

I met my wife while we attended Utah State because of our Iowa connection. We had to travel 1200 miles to meet even though we both grew up in Eastern Iowa.

Bundle up for Freeze Fest

Freeze Fest

Don't miss our annual Freeze Fest event! Freeze Fest is an outdoor learning event for families. Activities take place from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at The Lodge at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Blvd. The day includes indoor and outdoor education programs, crafts, recreation, and plenty of hot chocolate! There is no fee to participate, and all ages are welcome. There will be ice fishing, weather permitting. Dress for the outdoors.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information, contact Joyce Carroll at 319-356-5100 or joyce-carroll@iowa-city.org.

Iowa City online tree inventory now available

Have you heard? Our online tree inventory is live! The tree inventory is provided in an interactive map showing detailed information about trees managed and maintained by the City. Specific details, including location, species, size, and environmental benefits are shown on the inventory. 

The tree inventory project began in 2016, and over the past three years, a team of arborists from Plan-It Geo, a geo-technical firm from Colorado, have gathered data about the City's urban forestry. This inventory will help the Parks and Forestry staff better manage and maintain Iowa City’s urban forest.

Iowa City’s tree inventory can be viewed online at www.icgov.org/parksrecmasterplan under “tree inventory.”

Tree Inventory

No School Day Activities

Feb. No School Day

New Bounce House for Tot Time

The exciting changes continue for Tot Time in 2019. On Feb. 1, Tot Time introduced a new inflatable featuring a bounce house and slide. 

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

New inflatable

Park Highlight

Did you know Iowa City Parks and Recreation oversees 50 parks? Each month we’ll spotlight a different park in our newsletter. This month's feature is Benton Hill Park. 

Benton Hill Park is the perfect combination of nature and play. The park's trails weave through trees, ideal for a peaceful walk. The park also features a look-out area, a preschool playground, and shelter. 

Click the picture to take a virtual tour of Benton Hill Park. 

Benton Hill Park