April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Summer’s ending at Elyria’s parks … the fun is not

It might not feel like it outside, but the summer season is slowly coming to an end.

And folks at the Elyria Parks and Recreation Department are celebrating a successful season and hoping for similar success with programs this winter.

CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
East Rec lifeguard and instructor Abbey Tyrell, 15, of Elyria, shows Elizabeth Snyder, 7, how to swim on her back.

“All in all, it was a pretty good summer. We had a lot of new programs that worked out well, particularly new programming at the Nature Center in Cascade Park,” Recreation Supervisor Annette Solet said.

The department started off the summer by hiring the park’s first naturalist, Laura Patalon, who spent the summer hosting day camps for children and morning and afternoon hikes throughout the park, adding a much-needed dimension to the department’s collection of programming.

The parks department also had another successful summer at the four city pools, where Recreation Supervisor Lisa Bowman said residents came out in droves.

“For the first time in a long time, we had a swim team at each pool, and every Saturday we had competitions at East Park with the teams. Overall the attendance numbers were up. We had a lot more groups than last year, and overall, we had the best staff at the pools that we have had in all my years with the pools,” Bowman said.

All good things must come to an end, however, and as park officials get ready to close down the pools on Aug. 22 and finish up the rest of the summer programming, they also are getting everything ready for the fall and winter.

“The fall and winter brochure will be available on Monday with all of the new programs for the upcoming season,” Solet said.

The open recreation after-school program will start up in September, providing activities for students of all ages at the four main city parks, as well as a bevy of winter sports leagues and activities.

The city will also open up the Ice Rink at North Park on Duffey Street, which boasts a new heating system over the bleachers and new lights over the rink.

“To be honest, I miss when the pools shut down. What can I say, it’s summer time and we are having fun, and I miss being with the kids and the lifeguard staff, but once the ice rink season gets going, I enjoy that, too,” Bowman said 

To have a new brochure mailed to you, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (440) 326-1500 or download one from www.cityofelyria.org.