Syracuse Parks and Recreation Board members convened Monday evening and items on the agenda included senior activities, Syracuse Winterfest and board elections.
Jerry Riffle reported the tree board continues to plan for removal of several trees in spring, and replacing the large tree in Ward Park. Riffle also announced the Department of Natural Resources is offering a grant for the purchase and planting of ash trees that were removed due to damage by the emerald ash borer. Superintendent Chad Jonsson added he would know later in the week if Syracuse would qualify for the grand funding after he had received more details.
Upon reviewing the community center usage chart, the board discussed possible activities and classes that would be of interest to senior citizens not currently utilizing the community center. With the attendance for senior activities declining, programs were suggestions by the board to help improve the usage numbers. Exercise classes and genealogy research were among the activities considered. The parks department welcomes public input about programming they would like to see at the community center.
Jonsson reported to the board the trails project will continue to work with the K-21 Foundation on its 2015 agenda. Jonsson also announced he has been getting phone calls from people in the county inquiring about the ice rink at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. Open skate hours at the rink have been scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 24 and 31 and again Feb. 7. Lights and music will be on during those times for patrons to enjoy.
Jonsson concluded his report with plans to arrange an appointment with two area businesses to discuss plans for the Lakeside Park pavilion.
Tyler McLead, program coordinator, announced Winterfest activities and the cabin fever garage sale during the programs report. Syracuse Winterfest is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Jan. 31. Wawasee Kiwanis Club will host a soup supper 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Syracuse Community Center. Then at 10 a.m. Jan. 31, snowmobile races begin at the community center. Registration for the 5K fun run will begin at 8 a.m. at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex with the starting time at 9 a.m. and open skating from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Winterfest activities at Oakwood Resort include ice sculpting demonstration. Iditarod presentation, and children’s craft activities from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Freezin’ for a Reason polar plunge registration begins at 3 p.m. and the plunge is set for 3:30 p.m. Proceeds from the plunge will go to the Wawasee boomerang backpack program.
From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Swick and Jone will provide live entertainment, and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a middle school party with games, music and dancing.
Syracuse Community Center will host the Cabin Fever Garage Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Vendor registration began Jan. 13. The cost is $10, with tables and electricity available for an additional fee.
At the conclusion of the meeting the board held elections with Dave Vanlue elected president and Kip Schumm, vice president.
For questions about community center events and programming, call McLead at (574) 457-3440.