City Notes: Parks and recreation programming in full bloom in Whitehall

Lee Cochran
ThisWeek group
Shannon Sorrell is director of the Whitehall Parks and Recreation Department.

Spring has sprung, flowers are in bloom and Whitehall’s parks practically are calling for you to visit.  

As nature’s energy levels pick up, so does the list of activities you can enjoy alongside Parks and Recreation this spring and summer.   

First, with the turn in weather comes our collective urge to purge with spring cleaning.  

To help residents prepare for the free recycling drop-off event May 1 and the first Unlimited Collection Day on May 5, our friends at Lowe’s will pass out free “Spring Clean-Up” buckets in front of the Whitehall Community Park YMCA, 402 N. Hamilton Road, from 10 a.m.-noon April 17.  

While at the YMCA, stop in for an open house to learn about membership benefits, summer camps and other community-centric programming. 

On May 1, you’re invited to help us officially open our newest community park with a series of three events collectively called "Open the Green."  

The park is at 105 Norton Park Drive, inside the Norton Crossing development at the corner of Broad Street and Hamilton Road. “Meet at the Green” will open the day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. when the name of the park will be unveiled, followed by Cars and Coffee sponsored by Byers Auto.  

From 1-4 p.m., the Service Department offers you to “Go Green” at our recycling drop-off event. Bring your unwanted, but reusable or recyclable items instead of sending them to the landfill on Unlimited Collection Day.  

During the “Go Green” portion of the event, students can join Mayor Kim Maggard at 1:30 p.m. in planting flowers at the park. Finally, we’ll round out the day with a cornhole tournament starting at 5 p.m. to have a chance to “Win Some Green.” First place wins $500 (provided by State Farm agent Greg Wolfson) and second earns a grill (provided by Lowe’s).  

For a list of acceptable items for the recycling drop-off and cornhole team registration go to whitehall-oh.us/openthegreen. Face masks and social distancing are required at all events. 

Local businesses already are signing up to plant and seed Whitehall Community Park from May 10-14, and community members are invited to join the Friends of the Parks for a Beautification Day from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. May 15.  

With your help, more than 4,000 plants will be planted in one week. Help make a difference and reserve your planting space online at whitehall-oh.us. Later that day, we’ll also celebrate the canoe and kayak launch opening along Big Walnut Creek, and we’ll dedicate our new Memorial Bench. 

As summer approaches, we can’t wait to program the new community park at Norton Crossing, starting with “Market on the Green.” This new farmers market is 4-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday from June 1-Aug. 31.

In addition to vendors selling fresh produce and locally made artisan goods, shoppers can enjoy live music, a food truck, yard games and a little something extra each week too. Learn more at whitehall-oh.us/market.  

The 2021 Opportunity Guide, which offers a list of summer events, should arrive in mailboxes in early May. And don’t forget to follow the city on social media and to subscribe to Whitehall E-Update for the most up-to-date event and programming information. Times, dates and other event details are subject to change. Thank you for wearing a mask and social distancing as we gather again as a community. 

The Parks and Recreation Department staff can’t wait to see you out in the parks!  

Shannon Sorrell is director of parks and recreation for the city of Whitehall.