The Department of Fun
Did you know that there is an office in Edmond that’s actually responsible for fun? It’s true—the Edmond Parks and Recreation Department should be known as the Department of Fun, because as Diane Self, Parks and Recreation Department Manager says, “we get to provide the fun side” of the city. And there’s something for everyone.
The Edmond Parks and Recreation system includes more than 26 parks covering 714 acres where visitors can find almost 14 miles of trails, a pool, a splash pad, at least 10 playgrounds and even a park just for dogs.
Bickham-Rudkin Dog Park
Bickham-Rudkin Park at 33rd and Rankin Terrace features trails, play areas and an arboretum for human visitors, but even four-legged friends get a space just for them. The four-acre dog park was recently treated to an upgrade of new agility equipment thanks to a partnership between the Paws for Life pet shelter and the Nestlé Purina factory. “The Edmond Dog Park has received a great gift from Nestlé Purina,” said Lyn Cherry, Paws for Life Board Member, via press release. “Dogs and dog owners are excited to play with and train on the new agility equipment.” With tons of room to run, jump and play, dogs and their humans get their fill of fun in their own special park. There is even a swimming area so your pup can get a break from the summer heat.
Activities for All at the MAC
The Multi Activity Center (or MAC), located at Mitch Park, is the heart of the Edmond Parks and Recreation system. Adjacent to the Senior Center, the MAC is home to the Parks and Recreation offices and features classrooms and meeting space, along with information on all the other parks in the system.
Looking for a dance class for your toddler, sewing lessons for your grade schooler and music lessons for your teen? All of these (and so much more) are available at the MAC. Adults aren’t left out either—enroll in a class on essential oils or financial management. Many of the classes are provided at no or low cost for participants.
During school holidays, the Edmond Parks and Recreation also features a roster of camps for kids of all ages. Half-day, full-day and full-week camps feature animal encounters, STEM activities, art, music, theatre and dance. This year, more than 36 camps were planned for ages three and up.
“The MAC is a great facility. My girls are signed up for pottery classes starting next month, and I like the yoga class,” says Edmond mother of two Shannon Fields. “There’s so much available to keep the kids busy in the summer, and a lot of it is free. When there is a cost, the fees are reasonable. As a single mom, I appreciate that!”
Beyond the regularly scheduled camps and activities, Edmond Parks & Recreation hosts a variety of weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly events to entertain and engage the community.
Enjoy friends, music and amazing weather at one of the free summer concerts in Hafer Park. Concerts are held Thursday evenings from 6:15-8:30pm and feature a variety of family-friendly music. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets for seating and enjoy snow cones that are sold on-site.
Residents are invited to volunteer and help clean up Lake Arcadia at Spring Creek Park on August 8th. From 7-10am, participants may help their community and get free brunch and t-shirts, while supplies last. Bring your own gloves and sunscreen.
The Edmond Farmers Market at the Festival Market Place is open Wednesdays through August 12th and Saturdays through October, from 8am to 1pm. The Farmers Market features a great variety of locally grown produce and Made in Oklahoma items. “We love the Farmers Market and go once or twice a month,” adds Fields. “The site attracts a lot of vendors, so there’s great variety.”
What’s Next for Parks and Rec?
“Next year, the second phase of the splash pad at Barnett Field is planned to be completed,” says Self. This will include additional parking and a restroom facility at this highly popular destination.
Also in the works is Carl Reherman Park, more than 50 acres at Arcadia Lake named for the former Edmond Mayor who partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers to create the lake in the 1980s. The park will include picnic areas, a boat ramp and a fishing dock. The entrance to this fifth park at Arcadia Lake will be at Air Depot Boulevard and 33rd Street.
The Route 66 Softball Complex at Post Road and State Highway 66 will also be completed soon. The Route 66 themed complex will be the home of the Edmond Adult Softball Association and will include four fields, concessions and a restroom, all situated on 120 acres.
The MAC is located at 2733 Marilyn Williams Drive in Mitch Park. Call 359-4630 or visit edmondparks.com for more info.