April Park Bench Newsletter

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April Park Bench Newsletter

Holiday Hours

Sunday, April 21
All facilities closed

Upcoming Events

First Friday Free Fitness & $1 Aqua Zumba
Friday, April 5
5:30 & 7 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Low-Maintenance Vegetable Gardening: Seed Starting
Saturday, April 6
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Sunday, April 7
2 to 5 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Learn to Lift
Saturday, April 13
1 p.m. 
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Earth Friendly Forum
Wednesday, April 17
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Eco Film Festival
Thursday, April 18
7 to 9 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library

Underwater Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 20
10 a.m. to noon
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Earth Day Trivia
Monday, April 22
6 to 8 p.m.
East Side Recycling Center

Edible Plant Sale Fundraiser
Saturday, April 27
9 to 11:30 a.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Earth Fest
Saturday, April 27
3 to 5:30 p.m.
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

Lacrosse Clinic
Sunday, April 28
2 to 2:50 p.m. or 3 to 4 p.m.
Mercer Park

Strider Bike Race
Sunday, May 5
1 to 3 p.m.
Kiwanis Park

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 Joyce Carroll from the Recreation Division.


Tell us about yourself: I was born and raised in Iowa City and- I cannot imagine that growing up in any other city could have been better. I also feel blessed to have been able to raise my children in the largest, “small town” in the Midwest.

I graduated from the University of Iowa in what was then called the Department of Recreation Education. I certified in Therapeutic Recreation, Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Studies, and Community Recreation. My internship was with the Friends of the Children’s Museum to program folk-life workshops in the City Park log cabins and to design a hands-on Science Activities Center at City Park in a part of the abandoned zoo buildings. After college, I worked for the Iowa City Community School District with children diagnosed with behavior disorders and for the National Park Service Youth Conservation Corps.

How long have you been with the City of Iowa City? For the last 39 years I have worked full-time as a Program Supervisor working to provide programs in Arts, Sciences, Social Programs, Special Events, STEAM programming, Camps and Nature Awareness. 

What’s your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is the people I get to work with and the opportunity to provide a pretty awesome variety of programs for the public. I also like that the job has never been boring or tedious. Never have two days been the same.

Favorite spot in Iowa City: My most favorite spot in Iowa City (besides being home with family) would be the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. What an incredible asset to Iowa City! I can never get enough of that place!

One thing about you no one would guess: One thing about me that no one would guess is that at one time I was a religion major in college planning to study the archaeology of religion and ritual.

Summer activity registration begins Thursday, April 25

Summer Rec guide

Take a look at all that Iowa City Parks and Recreation has to offer this summer. The Summer Activity Guide is now available online at www.icgov.org/pr. Online and in-person registration will open Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 a.m. The Winter/Spring Recreation Guide is available in hard copy at several Iowa City locations: 

  • Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert St.
  • Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr. 
  • Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. 
  • Iowa City City Hall, 410 E. Washington St.

Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 25. Visit our activity registration page to sign up: www.icgov.org/activityregistration

2019 Summer Camp registration now open

Summer camp 2019

Registration for Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department's Summer Camp is now open. Camp offerings this year include sports camps, as well as camps focused around the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Camp runs 9-4 p.m. daily; however, supervised open play is available at no extra cost for families to drop off children as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5:30 p.m.

New this year - we are excited to offer two different tracks for each week of summer camp. Parents will have the opportunity to choose which track their child participates in each week. Not every child is the same, so why should our camp options be? 

Registration forms available at www.icgov.org/camps

Paper copies of registration forms available at:

  • Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 S. Gilbert St. 
  • Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2701 Bradford Dr. 

Questions? Please contact Recreation Program Supervisor Joyce Carroll at joyce-carroll@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5223.

ICPR launches lacrosse program


The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department is excited to announce a new lacrosse program coming to Mercer Park this spring!

A five-week program will meet Mondays, April 15- May 13, 2019. Cost is $28 per child.

There will also be a one-time clinic on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Cost is $8 per child.

All programs/clinics will take place at Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Drive.

These programs are made possible through the US Lacrosse First Stick grant. The First Stick program awards free lacrosse equipment to communities so affordable and accessible youth lacrosse activities can be provided to area youth.

More information available at www.icgov.org/youthsportinfo. 

Arbor Day Celebrations

ICPR has a full slate of Arbor Day Celebrations set for the end of April! These events are made possible by collaborations with Green Iowa AmeriCrops, Trees Forever, Iowa DNR staff, and Iowa City Forestry staff. 

  • Tuesday, April 23: Arbor Day celebration at Shimek Elementary School 
  • Wednesday, April 24: Tree planting at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area with City High School and Hoover Elementary School students 
  • Thursday, April 25: Tree planting celebration at Willowwind School 
  • Friday, April 26: Tree planting celebration at Regency Heights

Park Highlight: Wetherby Park

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 Wetherby Park.

Located on Taylor Drive in Iowa City, Wetherby is a recreation destination during the summer months. The park is home to one of Iowa City's four splash pads as well as a 9-hole disc golf course, a multi-use sport court, playground equipment, and shelter. Wetherby is also a community garden plot location. More information about garden plots can be found at www.icgov.org/gardenplots. 

Click the picture below for a virtual tour of Wetherby Park! Be sure to stop by Wetherby Park this summer for never-ending recreation fun. 

Wetherby Park

Participate in the Downtown Community Survey

The Iowa City Downtown District is looking for the community to participate in a short survey. This Downtown Community Survey is designed to capture residents’ assessments of downtown today while capturing input and ideas about its future.

Please first familiarize yourself with the Downtown District's mission, goals, and strategic initiatives via this informative video.

The survey can then be filled out at this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ICDD_Community