Parks, library summer programs keeping kids busy

The city of Sweet Home’s Summer Fun in the Parks program has begun with some out-of-the-ordinary twists this year.

“We threw in a couple of new things this year, and we’re going to end it with the rafting trip,” Flierl said.

Among the new activities, the children will tie-dye socks as well as playing ball games and capture the flag.

The treasure hunt will return this year, and the program will have a total of three barbecues.

The following is the schedule of events for the remainder of the summer:

– 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 8, Sankey Park €“ “Tye Dye Socks,” with lunch.

– 1-3 p.m. July 15, Northside Park €“ “Water Day,” with snacks. Children will enjoy an afternoon running through sprinklers and soaking each other.

– 1-3 p.m., July 22, Sankey Park €“ “Getting Crafty,” with snacks. Craft and play time in the park.

– 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 29, Hobart Nature Area. “Hobart Hike.” Hike through Hobart nature area and learn about common trees, plants and flowers, exploring wetlands and woodlands. Bring a sack lunch.

– 1-3 p.m., Aug. 5, Sankey Park €“ “Treasure Hunt and Capture the Flag,” with snacks.

– 1-3 p.m., Aug. 12, Northside Park €“ “Play Ball,” with snacks. Play ball and enjoy a sunny afternoon with root beer floats.

– 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 19, Wiley Creek boat ramp €“ “Down the River We Go,” with lunch. This is the annual raft trip from Wiley Creek Park to Northside Park along the South Santiam River.

The cost of the program is $25. Specific days are $4 each. The rafting trip, “Down the River We Go,” has a special $20 fee if selected as the only fun day.

So far, 63 children have signed up for the program, with 52 registered for this week’s activities. At one point last year, the program had 107 children attend.

Participating children receive a T-shirt, and the first 40 to sign up received a back sack. The back sacks are available for other children for $3 each.

The program needs volunteers, Flierl said. Volunteers must be at least 18 and successfully pass a background check. Anyone interested in volunteering or registering a child may contact her at (541) 367-8113, email her at [email protected] or visit the planning office in City Hall at 1140 12th Ave.

At the library, the summer reading challenge has gotten under way with a little less fanfare than usual due to changeover to a computerized catalogue system immediately before summer vacation.

Librarian Sandi Leonard said weekly programs will be held on Wednesdays in August instead of July this year as the library adjusts to the new computer system and routines.

The theme, taken from the national theme, is “Make a Splash at Your Library,” Leonard said. The programming will include a visit from Hart’s Reptiles. Children will also enjoy a water carnival and a water safety presentation.

The program includes five age groups, with all programming on a single day of the week this year, she said. The age groups include Tots, Preschoolers, Juniors, Tweens and Teens.

“It won’t be the same (as usual), but it will be,” Leonard said. With all of the recent changes at the library, the staff members haven’t been able to plan the programming early enough or get information to schools, but parents and school staff members have been calling for information.

Further information about the August programs will be available later. For further information, call the library at 367-5007 or stop by the Sweet Home Public Library.