Parks department ready for summer season

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 22, 2015


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A handful of new programs will be introduced by the Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department for this upcoming spring and summer season.

For the first time, the department will be offering an equestrian class for kids in partnership with Justamere Equestrian Center on Card Road.

“We have horses at our Tons O’ Trucks event every year from the (Macomb County) Sheriff’s Department, and the kids love them,” Recreation Programmer Michelle Duda said. “I was driving by the equestrian center one day and thought that we should be offering something with them and partnering up to expose kids to something they might not have experienced before.”

The Horseback Riding 101 classes will be one-day introductory camps from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on June 18 and 29, July 16 and 20, and August 6.

A new partnership with the Clinton-Macomb Public Library will give children an opportunity to sign up for library cards at a couple events throughout the summer.

During one of the department’s “Rosco’s Picnic Palooza” events on Tuesday, June 23, a pop-up library will be on site so that kids can sign up for library cards and check out books.

Another library event with the parks department will be the first “Rock-n-Read” event that will take place at 11 a.m. on July 15 at Macomb Corners Park.

Those new events and programs will supplement the department’s 10 major annual events that are scheduled again for this summer.

The annual event to kick off the summer season, Tons O’ Trucks, is scheduled for May 30 at St. John’s Medical Center on 23 Mile Road.

“It’s basically a vehicle lover’s dream come true,” said Recreation Director Sal DiCaro. “We have about 75 vehicles, all the way from the SWAT vehicles from the Sheriff’s Department, limousines, SMART buses, funny cars and tractors. It’s a huge event, and that kicks off the summer.”

A summer concert series will take over Macomb Corners Park every Thursday night in July. The bands performing have been the most attended bands of previous concert series over the last 10 years. Those bands are the Dan Rafferty Band, the Jerry Ross Band, Air Margaritaville and Fifty Amp Fuse.

Friday, Aug. 7 will feature a movie under the stars event at Macomb Corners Park, and four Rosco’s Picnic Palooza events are scheduled for June 23 and 30, July 14 and 21.

All 10 major events are free to township residents. 

“Most of the programs are pretty well-attended and pretty popular in the community, so our plate is full, there’s no doubt about it,” DiCaro said. “We think we offer something for everyone, for all ages.”

In other education programs, local author Melissa Cavanaugh will host an event on Wednesday, Aug. 5 where she will read her book, “Imagine That.” She will also host a youth writing and illustration camp for children in grades 1-5.

Three science camps will be offered by the department in conjunction with Mad Science of Detroit.

A “Digging for Dinosaurs” program will be offered for kids ages 3-5 Aug. 16-18. For kids ages 6-12, a science extravaganza camp will take place Aug 10-14, from 9 a.m-3 p.m. each day, and the “Fizzical Phenomena Camp will occur during the same times July 13-17.

On the sports side, the department will again be offering a full slate of programs for all ages.

Eighteen fitness classes will be offered at the Recreation Center, while adult sand volleyball and softball leagues have already begun forming.

For students, the Challenger soccer camp for ages 3-18 and a golf camp at Sycamore Hills Golf Course are among several instructional offerings.

After having 55 participants in the department’s inaugural lacrosse camp, a six-week camp will be offered in conjunction with East Side Lacrosse for kids ages 8-15 on Wednesdays starting June 10.

The department’s Tumble Bunnies Gymnastics classes will be offered throughout the summer, as well.

A pair of trips to Detroit Tigers games  — against the Chicago White Sox on June 26 and against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 21 — will be offered through the department with bus transportation.

DiCaro said that residents are urged to research and sign up for events and programs through the department’s new website that launched earlier this spring.

“The website is very user-friendly for signing up for programs, so they really do have one-stop shopping,” DiCaro said. “We’re looking forward to the season. We should have a good summer.”