Attendance High for Recreation Activities

Donna Lane
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

There’s a high level of energy in the Recreation Department. Even the multiple Nor’easters have not dampened their spirits. If anything, it’s made staff more excited about the chock-full calendar of activities scheduled for this Spring and Summer.
“We’ve added a number of special events to our calendar to supplement the many popular programs that will be returning," Recreation Superintendent Travis Farley said. "For example, Norwood Recreation is teamed with the Council on Aging, Board of Health and Morrill Memorial Library to celebrate Earth Day this year. On April 19, children aged 2-10 are invited to paint pottery and plant seeds to help celebrate the arrival of spring. The event is free, but pre-registration is required.”
Another new initiative is Kindness Rocks, an effort to “spread positivity around Norwood.” On May 23, all ages are invited to paint rocks and write positive words on them to keep as reminders around their homes or other places where positive thoughts are needed. The event is free; pre-registration is required.
A new iPad Photography class has also been added for all ages. On May 24 and June 13, participants will take photos with their personal or loaner iPads. They will be shown how to edit the photos and can select three for development. The fee is $10 for residents ($12 non-residents) per class.
The department’s new “Mustang Sports” summer athletics program for ages 7-12 will kick off on July 9. Each week, participants will play a variety of different sports throughout each day. The intent is for kids to also learn the rules of each sport while improving their skills and sportsmanship. Some of the sports include, basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, floor hockey, kickball and dodgeball. Thundercat Sports will run the program with the help of Norwood High School athletes. There will be four one-week sessions. Fee is $75 for residents; $85 for non-residents.
“Program registrations are up from last year – almost double, and many of the regular programs are already sold out," Farley said.
Farley credits Recreation Program Director Katie Seastedt and the department’s social media guru for getting the word out about upcoming programs. From a resident’s standpoint, they make an excellent team, working to offer popular established programs while introducing new ones into the mix.
The 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Sweethearts Dance (ages 3+) is similar to the fall Father/Daughter Dance except it’s geared to mothers and sons. This year, each couple will get a ticket for a special mother-son caricature! The semi-formal event is Friday, April 27. The fee is $15 per couple.
The following day, April 28, is the popular Annual Fishing Derby & Rubber Duck Race held in South Norwood for kids ages 15 and under. Working with the South Norwood Committee, the Recreation Department stocks over 300 fish in Hawes Pond. Participants receive hot dogs and free drinks. Rubber Duck races are held after the derby. You can register on-line or the day of the event. Cost is $5 for the fishing derby and $5 for each rubber duck.
A free event that has been a big hit is “Touch-A-Truck,” for ages 2-8. Norwood Police, Fire, DPW, Light Department and the Airport will each supply vehicles for participants to climb on and check out on May 5. Vroom! Vroom! This is the second year the event will be held in the DPW lot. It actually kicks off the celebration for National Public Works Week.
And while the boys are checking out the trucks, moms and daughters (age 3-8) can participate in the Mother/Daughter Princess Tea, where they will enjoy lunch, games and projects “fit for a princess.” Fee is $20 for child and adult. Registration must be made on or before May 3rd. [Note: Girls are also free to check out the trucks if that’s where their interests lie.]
Farley said the department is expanding its T-Ball program for the 3-4 year old set. This program helps kids learn the basics of baseball. Players will go through drills that focus on hitting, base running, throwing and fielding. Class is five weeks from May 11 to June 9; there is a maximum of 12 players on each team. Cost is $55 per person.
Further into the summer, the free Norwood Family Flick event will be held July 18 and August 17. All ages are welcome. Families are asked to bring their own chairs, blankets, a picnic dinner or snacks and settle in to enjoy a great family movie under the stars. Movies will start at dusk.
The Recreation Department has many more activities planned for spring and summer, including the School of Dance’s recital on May 12 at Norwood High School under the new director, Erica Malinowski; Norwood Day on September 8; and many adult programs for fitness, education, sports and the arts. If you have not received or have misplaced your Spring/Summer 2018 Program Guide, you can learn about all of Norwood’s offerings at
In other happenings, Farley said the tot lot at the Bond Street playground will receive a new seesaw and two climbing elements; the department is adding two cross-trainers and two stationary bikes to the gym; and they are starting a men’s shower renovation at the Civic Center.
“We’ve also received a grant from Norwood Hospital and will work with the Board of Health to install sunscreen dispensers and sunscreen at appropriate locations in Town, and we are still looking for lifeguards and pool maintenance personnel as well as additional sponsors for Norwood Day,” Farley concluded.
Whew. There is a lot going on in the Recreation Department! Both Farley and Seastedt are looking forward to summer. But for now, they move briskly and fluidly through each day organizing, publicizing, and managing a department that makes many Norwoodians smile.
Donna Lane is a Norwood-based writer, lecturer and designer. You can reach her at [email protected].