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City Council News

The following information is provided to the Lufkin City Council in a monthly newsletter format. The Parks and Recreation Department submits a report of our progress each month. The report discusses topics such as administration, sports, recreation, parks, and aquatics. We hope this will enlighten everyone of our work in the Department.

 October 2009

 

Administration

 

It has been my pleasure to gather this information every month.  Our staff has been good to send their information, which sometimes overlaps, since they work together on many items.  We have distributed this to City Council, through the City Manager’s office, posted to the Website, through Bill Cameron, and distributed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and our Park Staff.  It has been an effort to keep people informed about what is going on in the department, the parks, and the community. 

 

It has also been my pleasure to serve as the Director of Parks and Leisure Services and/or Director Parks and Recreation Department, and Park Superintendent during the past 36 years and 10 months.  I have decided to retire on November 30th.  The Parks and Recreation Department has been my home away from home.  I have developed many memories, friendships, resources, and projects, so I feel like have given much and will take much with me. 

 

This change will not come easily, but I look forward to new opportunities to serve, whether it is through keeping grandkids, working in the church, helping neighbors, or visiting family and friends.  I anticipate much to do and enjoyment of spending more time with Linley, who has worked along with me for the same number of years. 

 

Thank you for your support and encouragement during my career.        

 

Arborist

 

Gardening Friends of Lufkin November speaker is Joe Liggio.  Liggio will present “Native Texas Orchids”, November 5, 2009, at 7:00 PM, in Lufkin City Hall, Room 102. For more information call 633-0431 or email remrick@cityoflufkin.com

 

Joe Liggio is best known for the book, “Wild Orchids of Texas”, written with his wife Ann Orto Liggio.  He is an accredited photographer and it is filled with beautiful photos of 54 orchids.  Many of these orchids are found in the acid bogs of East Texas, in the national forests, along roadsides, and on private timber holdings.  He is a biologist by profession and is in demand for leading hikes in the forests of Texas for plant identification.

 

Lufkin Landscape Task Force’s annual fall gala, “A Taste of Down Under”, will be , November 14, 2009.  No tickets will be sold at the door.  Reservations are $55.00 each. Checks can be mailed to Lufkin Landscape Task Force, 180 Rolling Hills Drive, Lufkin, TX  75904.

 

The event begins at 6 PM, with wine and appetizers, followed by dinner and a live auction.  Music will be provided by Connie Welch.  It will be an evening of casual “outback” dress for this year’s Australian theme.  For more information call 936-875-3623.  Proceeds will fund the amphitheater at Bronaugh Park.

 

Cooler weather and abundant rainfall creates ideal conditions for planting trees, shrubs and perennials.  Parks will be planting at Kiwanis Park, Richardson Park, and Gaslight Blvd.

 

Recreation

 

Fall I recreation classes will be ending October 23rd and fall II classes will begin October 26th.  Classes making this fall are: gymnastics-80, cheerleading-21, senior line dancing-29, and karate-17.  These totals represent 147 participants taking part in our fall II program.

 

Gymnastics will have a new instructor by the name of Katie Kettering, Diboll High School cheerleader.  Enrollment in gymnastics and all the classes has increased for this time of year.

 

Katie Houston did a good job organizing the pumpkin painting event at Chambers Park on Saturday, October 17th.  Six kids were signed up to participate in the event, while others showed up that day and everybody left with plenty of give-a-ways.

 

The Parks Department will be participating in the Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat on Friday, October 30th.  Katie Houston will be giving out candy and fall recreation programs to the hundreds that come downtown for a safe Halloween environment.

 

Punt, Pass, and Kick took place at Kit McConnico Park on Thursday, October 1st, and Monday October 5th.  Thirty-five boys and girls 8-15 showed up to participate in this event.  All winners had a chance to advance to Sectionals in Longview, October 17th.

 

Sports

 

Summer II softball leagues finally finished play the week of October 5th and fall leagues started up October 8th.  Leagues being played this fall are Men’s Open, Co-Ed, and Women’s Open.  Seventy-two teams are playing Monday through Thursday nights.

 

Registration for youth basketball began October 5th and will continue through November 13th.  Leagues will be offered for boys and girls 5-14.  The league will be playing under the guidelines of The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation.  Some of the major changes from previous years are birth date and being able to press in younger age divisions.

 

Mike Akridge traveled to Austin for the Amateur Softball Association State Conference October 9-11.  Lufkin was awarded the Girl’s 12-Under ‘B” Fast-pitch State Tournament and the Men’s 35-Over Slow-pitch State Tournament for 2010. This makes the second straight year Lufkin won the bid for these two tournaments.  Lufkin/District 38 received the award of excellence for outstanding achievement in softball administration for 2009.

 

Jimmy Eby, Hudson softball coach, has already contacted The Parks Department about reserving Kit McConnico Park for their annual softball tournament February 18-20.  Forty-nine teams have already committed to play on all seven fields.

 

The Lufkin High School softball boosters club held a girl’s fast-pitch tournament at Kit McConnico Park October 17th.  Sixteen teams from all areas of East Texas showed up to play and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of Kit McConnico Park.  The tournament was a huge success; therefore the booster club wants to make this an annual event.

 

Office

 

The number of reservations for park pavilions decreased slightly for the month of October.  The community centers were full of events increasing the revenue for this month.  There were many people holding family reunions this month.

 

Number of Reservations

 

Chambers Center

·         Meetings – 4

·         Dulcimer – 5

·         Halloween Party –1

·         Birthday Parties – 2

·         Family Reunions – 8

·         Rehearsal Dinner – 1

Total revenue for Chambers Center – $940.00

 

 

Brandon Center

·         Church – 6

·         Meetings – 3

·         Baby Shower – 3

·         Family Reunions – 1

·         Karate Class – 8

·         Birthday Parties – 4

Total revenue for Brandon Center – $630.00

 

Chambers Park – 45

Kiwanis Park – 33

Grace Dunne Richardson Park – 26

Jones Park – 5

Winston Park– 1

Herty Park– 0

 

Parks

 

October was a wet month and slowed down the mowing and pesticide applications.  The crew worked on 43 maintenance issues throughout the parks for month of October.  We also now have a special needs field at Winston Park and that group had games every Saturday in October. 

          

The crew worked a Girls tournament at Kit McConnico Park on the 17th.  The crew also made parks ready for the Fun Run at Ellen Trout Park and the Turkey Shoot at Kit McConnico Park on the 24th.

          

When the mowing season comes to the end, we will move this crew onto the maintenance crew throughout the winter months.

 

Arborist

 

Gardening Friends of Lufkin September speaker will be Jeff Abt, Landscape Consultant and Garden Writer/Photographer.  He will present “Gardens of the World”, September 3, 2009, at 7:00 PM, in Lufkin City Hall, room 102.  Abt will show some of his favorite scenes from gardens he has visited. October 1st Josie Crowson, owner of Josie’s Cut Flowers, will present “Growing Cut Flowers.”

 

Lufkin Landscape Task Force’s annual fall gala, “A Taste of Down Under” is November 14, 2009 starting at 6 PM with wine and appetizers followed by dinner and a live auction.  Music will be provided by Connie Welch.  It will be an evening of casual “outback” dress for this year’s Australian theme. Tickets can be purchased from members.  Proceeds will go for development of Bronaugh Park.  Flag lighting and flags have been installed at the park.  Some additional minor pruning was done on a Pecan tree.

 

The Parks crew has been busy putting out pine straw and compost.  One thousand round bales of pine straw were spread on all eleven islands on Gaslight Blvd.  All of the landscape trees and shrubs at Chambers Park and many at Kiwanis Park have been mulched with mushroom compost.  This process feeds and builds the soil structure promoting microorganisms. The tiny fibrous roots of plants take up water and nutrients.  This is especially beneficial during the recent drought. 

 

Parks

 

Pat Edwards is getting the goals set and fields marked for the youth soccer at Kit McConnico Park. They start fall games September 12th.  Ronald Taylor takes care of the adult soccer at Morris Frank Park and they play 52 week a year.  Ronald also marked the football field for their first game August 29th.

         

We put out 1000 bales of pine straw on the 11 islands on Gaslight Blvd. and 100 yards of compost at Chambers and Kiwanis Park.  This was accomplished through a Grant from DETCOG.

         

The mowing crew takes care of the mowing, trimming, and edging of the parks system. They mow some park areas once a week and they mow all parks on a 10 day turn around.  Weather and special events slows them down.  We currently have two people certified to spray pesticide and are working to get others certified.

          

The crews worked on Azalea trail light and park/playground inspections.  Epoxy floor surface and stall panels were installed at Winston Park restrooms. Jones Pool closed on the 23rd and we covered the pool on the 24th.

          

Alonso Baltazar takes care of the flower beds and grounds at City Hall, Fire Administration, medians, Frank Street overpass, Library, Civic Center, Chambers, Kiwanis, Bronaugh Park, Gaslight blvd, and helps keep trees trimmed in several areas through the city.  He has to keep moving or will get behind in his maintenance routine.