By Joel Hall
Throughout the month of July, the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department is opening up its facilities to the public as part of National Park and Recreation Month.
Also as part of that celebration, the department will host it's first-ever Community Appreciation Day on July 17, in Rex, at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center.
Community Appreciation Day will take place from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., and will include a family kickball tournament, as well as a basketball clinic. Registration for the kickball tournament will take place from 9 to 10:45 a.m., with play scheduled from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m. Registration for the basketball clinic will take place from 9 to 9:45 a.m., with activities scheduled from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m.
Family swimming time in the recreation center's outdoor pool is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m., on Saturday.
Amy Keeney, marketing and sales manager for the Parks and Recreation Department, said the purpose of Parks and Recreation Month and Community Appreciation Day is to make people aware of the amenities in their backyard. "We have quite a few complimentary events for the public to use our recreation facilities," Keeney said. "It allows people to see what we have. Most of the activities we have are at no charge, or for a minimal charge.
"This is the first time we have done it [Community Appreciation Day]," she added. "There are going to be games, swimming, and a day full of fun activities. It's basically to let them know that we care about them, and that this is their recreation center for them to come out and enjoy."
The Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center is located at 3499 Rex Road in Rex.
According to Keeney, several other free, or reduced-price events, will take place at local recreation facilities during the month of July, including:
* Every Saturday this month, the Muscle Beach Fitness Center at "The Beach" at Clayton County International Park will be open and free to the public from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. International Park is located at 2300 Ga. Highway 138, S.E., in Jonesboro.
* "Conservation Saturday" will take place at the "The Beach" at Clayton County International Park on Saturday, July 17, between noon and 6 p.m. During that time, the first 500 visitors to the beach to bring in an old phone book to recycle will receive $1 off admission to "The Beach."
* A "Movie Under the Stars" event will take place on Saturday, July 24, at 9 p.m., at the Jim Huie Recreation Center, located at 9045 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro. During that time, the center will have an outdoor screening of the Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog." Participants are encouraged to bring food, blankets, and lawn chairs.
* A Community Talent Show will take place at the Virginia Gray Recreation Center, located at 1475 East Fayetteville Road, in Riverdale, on Saturday, July 31, from noon to 5 p.m. People of all ages will be invited to share their gifts and talents. For more information, call (770) 477-3766, or visit www.claytonparks.com.