Friday, March 30, 2012

Help Transform this East End Park!

With only a few minutes of your time you can help the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities revitalize an East End park and give kids a new place to play. All you need to do is visit and vote for Richmond’s Ethel Bailey Furman Park to help the city win a $15,000 grant to refurbish the park’s basketball courts.
      The city of Richmond is one of 25 communities selected by Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association for the Sprite Spark Parks Project, which will provide grants to revamp basketball courts located in public parks throughout the nation. The amount of each community’s grant funding will be determined by the number of votes it receives by May 31.
      "The 10 parks with the most votes will receive $15,000,” said Dr. Norman Merrifield, director of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. “We could use this funding to re-surface and re-line the park’s two courts and put up new goal posts.”
     Ethel Bailey Furman Park is located on North 28th Street in the East End and is named for the first African-American woman to practice architecture in Virginia. The courts are adjacent to George Mason Elementary School.
      “We estimate that every year thousands of kids from the school and the community would use these courts once they are refurbished, so please go online and vote,” said Merrifield. “Anyone can vote, and you can vote once every day through May 31. If you access a computer every day, we encourage you to set a reminder to vote every day after you log in,” he said.
      Visitors to can vote for Ethel Bailey Furman Park in three different ways:  by submitting the Sprite codes found on Sprite and Sprite Zero Fridge Pack™, 20-pack, 24-pack, 20 oz. and 2-liter products; by using My Coke Rewards points; or by entering Richmond’s special promotional code (SPRITEPARKRICH) when you don’t have a Sprite code or My Coke Rewards points.
      “Parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities across the country are the best places for kids and teens to go to be physically active, improve their health, and have fun,” said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA. “We are proud to work with Sprite on this restorative effort because we must preserve and maintain these public spaces to ensure that all can take advantage of the healthy benefits they have to offer for years to come.”
      The mission of the Sprite Spark Parks Project is to refresh neighborhood basketball courts so teens can be uncontainable, and this year, we’re getting 25 courts back in the game by funding grants,” said Michael Matthews, vice president, non-colas sparkling, Coca-Cola North America.
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About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  The Company’s portfolio includes 15 billion dollar brands, including Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, as well as Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitamin water, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people.  Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.  For more information, visit

About Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities provides quality of life leisure services for residents and visitors through its programs, parks and facilities. One of the oldest municipal park systems in the country, it is home to more than 57 parks and open spaces, including the renown James River Park, 136 tennis courts, 82 athletic fields, 73 basketball courts, 24 trails, 18 community centers, nine swimming pools, and numerous tot lots, picnic areas and playgrounds. The department also cares for seven cemeteries and more than 22 statues and monuments and is responsible for the annual Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell, First Tee of Richmond, the Landmark Theater and the Richmond Coliseum.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

City to Hold Egg Hunts at Community Centers

Richmond, VA – On Monday, April 9, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., children age 12 and younger are invited to hunt for 25,000 candy- and prize-filled eggs that will be hidden at the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ community centers and participate in other fun activities for free. The centers are located as follows:
  • Ann Hardy Plaza                            3000 First Ave.                          646-4824
  • Battery Park                                   2803 Dupont Circle                    646-0944
  • Blackwell                                         300 E. 15th St.                        646-8630
  • Creighton Court                               2101 Creighton Road                 646-4511
  • Fairfield Court                                  2506 Phaup St.                        646-0029
  • Hickory Hill                                       300 E. Belt Blvd.                     646-8663
  • Hotchkiss                                         701 E. Brookland Park Blvd.     646-4466
  • Humphrey Calder                               414 N. Thompson St.              646-1780
  • Pine Camp                                       4901 Old Brook Road               646-3672
  • Powhatan                                         5051 Northhampton St.            646-0973
  • Randolph                                          1415 Grayland Ave.                 646-1080                 
  • T. B. Smith                                        2015 Ruffin Rd.                      646-8490
  • Westover                                           1301 Jahnke Road                  646-8995
  • Whitcomb Court                                 2302 Carmine St.                    646-2988
Children who want to participate in the egg hunts will need to bring their own baskets. For more information, contact the community center of interest.
      These events are co-sponsored by the city of Richmond and Radio One.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free 'Eggstravaganza' Set for March 24

The Department has partnered with Radio One to hold a free spring “Eggstravaganza” for children age 12 and younger on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Forest Hill Park, 4021 Forest Hill Ave. The event will feature two egg hunts at 12:30 p.m., one for ages 5 through 8 and another for ages 9 through 12. A total of 25,000 candy-prize filled eggs will be up for grabs in the two egg hunts.
     The event will also include music by DJ Milli, hula hoop demonstrations by RVA Hoop House, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a balloon artist, free give-away’s, opportunity to purchase photos with Mr. Bunny, children’s fingerprinting provided by the Richmond Sherriff’s Office, and vendors selling a variety of foods.  In addition, children age 4 and younger can enjoy story telling every 30-minutes and other activities in “Bunny Town.”
     Children who want to participate in the egg hunts should bring their own basket. In the event of rain, the Eggstravaganza will be held on Sunday, March 25, from 1 to 4 p.m.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Swansboro Pool Closed for Repairs

The department has temporarily closed its Swansboro indoor swimming pool to allow for the replacement of a malfunctioning water heater. Beginning Tuesday, March 13, 2012, all programs that were offered at the Swansboro Pool will be held at the Calhoun indoor swimming pool, located at 436 Calhoun St., until further notice.  
     In addition, some scheduling changes have been made to accommodate the new location. The new schedule is as follows:
            Senior Water Aerobics: 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Richmond Racers Swim Team Practice: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
Swim Lessons: 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays                               
Adult Water Aerobics: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
Open/Lap Swim: 6:30 to 8:30p.m. Fridays Only
            Extended Hours for Open /Lap Swim:  7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays
                                                                        8 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
     Anyone with questions regarding the programs or schedule should call Alethea Tyler at (804)  646-1174.