Small Town News


Parks and Recreation has activities for all Cheney residents

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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Cheney's Parks and Recreation Department has new activities mixed with old favorites for area residents this spring and summer — all of which are detailed in its 32-page "Experience Cheney" 2016 recreation guide.

One of the new features are kits people can rent for occasions such as birthday parties, picnics or other events. Sports kits include baseballs, softballs, bases, footballs, soccer balls and cones while field day kits come with a parachute, Frisbees, cones, a kickball, hula-hoops, beanbags and a jump rope.

The pool kits are an entirely different matter.

"Pool kits come with things we don't normally allow in the pool," Cheney Recreation Manager Kim Best said. "But if you rent the pool, you can use them."

Kit rentals run $25, plus a $25 refundable damage deposit. Residents can also rent any of the six park picnic shelters, with prices ranging from $15 to $25 for Sutton Park's shelter. Sutton's Gazebo is also available for $25, or $75 for weddings.

Another new offering is a junior lifeguard summer program for ages 10 — 15. The program costs $20, and comes with a couple caveats, pool manager Heather Ambute said.

Kids registering in the program must have completed level six lifeguard training, or be enrolled in the level six training for two weeks prior to enrolling in the summer program. Ambute said participants must also take part in a weekly training program, and volunteer to work at the pool for an amount of hours determined by the age of the student.

The payoff is participants learn about first aid and lifeguard techniques along with what it's like to work at a pool. And the biggest benefit is free swimming privileges.

"It will give the kids something fun to do and a sense of responsibility," Ambute said.

Best said they are hoping to get families out to Moos Field Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. for free games of ultimate Frisbee. The department is also offering a free introduction to the games of water polo and "splash ball," a sport Best said is growing quickly in popularity. The class is Monday and Wednesday evenings at the pool from 7-8 p.m.

Best said they are giving the "Splash and Dash Youth Triathlon" another go this summer. Last summer's event was canceled due to low numbers, but Best said they are offering it again this year with two dates, June 18 and Aug. 27.

Kids ages 9 and under will compete in a 100-meter swim, a three-mile bike ride and a half-mile run while those 10 and up compete in a 200-meter swim, a six-mile bike ride and a mile swim. The $29 entry fee, $25 for residents, includes a T-shirt, with the registration deadline one week prior to the event.

Parks and Recreation will continue holding its middle school late night program through the summer months. The event, which takes place at the Wren Pierson Community Center, is free and comes with a nutritious dinner served from 6 — 7:30 p.m.

Best said the meal is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which can be offered as Wren Pierson is considered an "at-risk site" because the department offers programs to children from Cheney School District's Betz and Salnave elementary schools, both of which qualify for 50 percent free and reduced meals. Meals will include a meat/protein, fruit and vegetables and bread.

Best said activities vary, and typically take place in different rooms. With programs scheduled for June 23, July 21 and Aug 18, that will change.

"When the summer comes, we'll probably do something outside," she said.

The summer season officially begins with the second annual "Pool Bash," June 10 — the last day of school — when the pool officially opens. There will be a wide variety of activities, along with food and opportunities to purchase swim passes, pick up a bathing suit and much more.

John McCallum can be reached at

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Original Publication Date: April 28, 2016

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