June Park Bench Newsletter

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Upcoming Classes & Programs

Party in the Park: Mercer Park
Thursday, June 6
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Mercer Park

Amateur Nature Photography Friday, June 7
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Eastside Recycling Environmental Education Center

Low Maintenance Vegetable Gardening: Container Gardening
Saturday, June 8
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Endangered Habitats: The Arctic
Monday, June 10
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Party in the Park: Ryerson's Woods Park
Thursday, June 13
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Ryerson's Woods Park

Eco Film Festival: Plastic Planet
Thursday, June 13
7 to 9 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A

Walk the Creek
Saturday, June 15
2 to 4 p.m.
Creekside Park

Adventure Clinic: Kayaking Sunday, June 16
1 to 4 p.m.
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

Endangered Species: Blue Whales
Wednesday, June 19
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Party in the Park: Thornberry Dog Park
Thursday, June 20
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Thorberry Dog Park

Chicago Cubs Bus Trip Friday, June 21
Bus departs from Mercer Park 

Nature Scavenger Hunt
Friday, June 21
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area

9th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 22
noon to 4 p.m.
Mercer Park Aquatic Center

Endangered Species: Big Cats
Wednesday, June 26
1 to 2:30 p.m.
Robert A. Lee Recreation Center

Party in the Park: Wetherby Park
Thursday, June 27
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Wetherby Park

Forest Bathing: Foraging Wild Edibles
Saturday, June 29
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Hickory Hill 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 Caleb Burkholder from our government buildings team.


In a couple sentences, tell us about yourself: I have my bachelors in Kinesiology from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. I have been a personal trainer at a couple of different gyms before I started working for the City.

How long have you been with the City? I have been working for the city for 3 years full time and on and off since 2008 as a seasonal temporary employee.

What's your favorite part of your job? I have two favorite parts to my job. The first is being outside to enjoy the great weather during the summer. The second is working with an awesome group of people.

Favorite spot in Iowa City: My favorite spot in Iowa City would have to be City Park where you can see all different wild animals roaming around.

One thing about you no one would guess: I’m getting married this June in Las Vegas. I can’t wait! It is going to be a blast!

Private rentals now available at City Park Pool

City Park Pool

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department is excited to offer private rentals at City Park Pool! Have your next birthday party, reunion, or social gathering at our outdoor pool!

Outdoor private pool parties are available from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day. All outdoor pool parties include private access to entire pool deck and pool (including baby pool).

Private rentals are available year-round at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center from 1 to 3 p.m., and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Watch the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field!


Don't miss this opportunity to watch the Chicago Cubs play baseball v. the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on Friday, June 21, 2019. Leave the transportation to us! Registration includes one reserved ticket and round-trip transportation. The bus will leave from Mercer Park promptly at 7 a.m. and return after the game is finished. Game time is 1:20 p.m. Registration is available online at https://bit.ly/2XtN8Vl.

June Parties in the Park


Stop by Mercer Park, located at 2701 Bradford Drive, from 6:30-8 p.m. tonight, for an evening of fun for the whole family. Enjoy live music from the Iowa City Community Band beginning at 7 p.m. and a performance by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Additional activities include exploring the Mercer Park playground, building your very own mobile, creating boggles to take home, as well as outdoor games and treats. This event is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.


Party in the Park is coming to Ryerson’s Woods on Thursday, June 13, from 6:30-8 pm.

Stop by Ryerson’s Woods, located at 2961 Old Highway 218 South, to enjoy local entertainment by the Yahoo Drummers of Iowa City, along with a variety of outdoor activities, craft making, and treats.

Partner up with a parent or guardian and hike along the park’s trail in an “Amazing Race” style scavenger hunt where you can find clues, solve puzzles, do mini challenges, and conquer obstacles.  Be sure to bring bug spray and wear appropriate shoes as the trail runs through a densely-wooded area. Other activities include making your very own popsicle stick catapult to take home!


Dogs are a part of the family, too!

Bring the whole family out for a one-of-a-kind Party in the Park at Thornberry Dog Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 20

Visit the dog park located at 1867 Foster Road to enjoy doggie play time in the park’s off-leash areas, live entertainment by David Zollo, dog-toy craft making, and squirt-gun watercolor painting. All dogs must have a park permit tag or a day pass to use the dog park areas.For more information on Iowa City’s Dog Park passes and rules, visit www.icgov.org/dogpark.


Come out for an evening of fun outdoor sports, garden activities, and live entertainment at Party in the Park at Wetherby Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy live music by the Iowa City Community Band. Come learn how to play frisbee golf on the park’s very own frisbee golf course or play soccer and basketball in the provided spaces. Explore the fresh food from the park’s edible garden. Additional activities include a performance by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, fun arts and crafts, and treats.

Park Highlight: Thornberry Off-Leash Dog 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 Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park. 

dog park

Located at 1867 Foster Rd., Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park is one of two off-leash dog parks in Iowa City. This 11-acre park opened in 2006 and is divided into four sections to accommodate our furry family members:

  • The Linder Tire Service Small Dog Yard is designated for dogs less than 18 inches tall at the shoulder. There is an asphalt path to the shelter and room to run.
  • Emma's Run is available for dogs that may not do well with other dogs, but need a large area to run. This area can also be used for training by individuals or groups.
  • Lucky Pawz Playground is the largest area. There are paved paths and two shelters with benches.
  • Lily's Pond is a separate, fenced area with a 15-foot deep pond available for dog swimming when weather permits.

In order to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all who visit Thornberry, dogs must display either a park permit tag or a day pass to use the off-leash dog parks. Owners without such permits or passes may be fined for each offense. Iowa City residents must have a current City of Iowa City dog license to get a park tag. Proof of rabies vaccination is also required to use the parks.

For more information, visit www.icgov.org/dogpark.