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Ripon expanding rec programs at Mistlin Park

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POSTED March 23, 2009 4:36 a.m.
RIPON – The longer days and the warming weather means that it’s time to get outside and have some fun.

The Ripon Parks and Recreation Department has just the right mixture of activities for people of all ages and abilities regardless of what their favorite pastime might be.

With the Mistlin Sports Park serving as the backdrop for the majority of the department’s outdoor activities, spring staples like flag football are already underway while sign-ups for a myriad of other activities are still open for those searching for that perfect springtime outing.

“Right now we’ve got about 20 teams signed up for flag football, and we’re excited about having so many people involved in that league,” said Ripon Parks and Recreation Director Kye Stevens. “If it’s something else that someone is looking for, we have plenty of other things available.”

For the outdoor enthusiasts, programs like adult baseball, softball, and T-ball are all gearing up for the spring season – giving adults the chance to once again relive their salad days while the kids get the chance to form their skills before moving on to more advanced leagues.

Even those looking for indoor activities can find something on the list of available options – like the always-popular adult and children cooking classes that often fill up before the start date.

Soccer fans will get the chance later this year to participate in a clinic hosted by the indoor professional Stockton Cougars – another event that always draws a crowd of soccer fans and onlookers that appreciate the skills that the players teach the kids enrolled in the one-day camp.

And traditional sports aren’t the only thing on the menu.

Plans are in the works for skateboarding lessons in Ripon’s famed vert bowl, and Stevens is also working on putting together guitar lessons for those who want to become more musically inclined.

“We have a lot of offerings this year, and we’re still working on some things that are a little different than what we unusually offer,” Stevens said. “It should be a fun season for residents looking to take advantage of the offerings.”

While premium parks like those at the Misting Complex are reserved for residents first, weekend tournaments help offset the cost of maintenance – which Stevens said runs over $300,000 annually.

With the budget currently in a deficit state, the tournaments, he said, helps close the maintenance gap and take some of the pressure off of Ripon’s general fund.

Those wishing for more information about the programs being offered in the spring and summer months through the Parks and Recreation Department can click on the link at www.cityofripon.org. A link to Stevens’ e-mail is also present. For more information, call (209) 599-2108.
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