Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Park and rec highlights offerings

Park and rec highlights offerings
Michele Jokinen / mjokinen@postbulletin.com Timothy Perez, 5, of Austin, pets a mini-lop rabbit held by his sister Hannah, 15, during the second annual "U Wanna What?!" event Saturday, March 17, 2012 at the Oak Park Mall in Austin. Also pictured is their brother Gideon, 10. The indoor family fun event was sponsored by the Austin Park and Recreation Department. Recreation Supervisor Valerie Pitzen said they moved the event up this year to coincide with colder weather. "Who would have thought," she said of the weekend's summer-like temperatures.

Nice weather is putting a lot of folks in the mindset of outside fun and activities, and Austin's Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry helped those feelings along with their "U Wanna What?!" event Saturday and Sunday at Oak Park Mall in Austin.

The free event, open to everyone, featured representation from some of the offerings available to kids and families in the area.

"It’s to make people aware of what programs we have (through park and rec)," said Valerie Pitzen, recreation supervisor. "And what’s in the community."

Samples included tennis, golf, softball and archery. Alongside those were some fun things to flesh out the weekend, such as go fish, competitive cup stacking accompanied by an instructional DVD, a treasure hunt in shredded paper for trinkets such as pencils, bracelets, plastic animals and tokens from Culver’s, and even a few animals for kids to pet. The Girl Scouts were also there.

Walt Wollenburg represented the Cedar River Archery Club and watched as his grandson Hunter, 2, shot a bow for the first time. Wollenburg said the club had quite a crowd over the weekend, with Hunter not being the only first-timer.


"I guess there’s a lot of interest," Wollenburg said. "We’ve had everything from that old (Hunter) to adults and everything in between. You don’t have to be no big sports star to shoot archery."

Over at the golf station, Jazmin and Nancy Mendoza tried their hands at putting and other techniques. The girls said the station was their favorite for the day, despite not having tried it before.

"At first it was hard because I needed to use the golf stick," said Nancy, 8, who attends Southgate school. "I never played golf."

"I like golf, too," said Jazmin, a sixth-grader at Ellis Middle School. "It was just fun to play."

The nice weather outside had Pitzen a little worried about how many people would show up. The event was moved to March because of how nice the weather was last year when the event was held in April.

However, Pitzen was delighted to see a good number of people for both days.

"We’ve been pretty steady," Pitzen said. "They were coming from all directions yesterday (Saturday)."

The event was held around center court, and Pitzen said most people made the rounds and then went back around again to try their favorite activities.

What To Read Next
Get Local