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Library, Parks draw support with Chalk Challenge at Moccasin Slough Park

By Kyla Woodard For Clay Today
Posted 7/13/23

FLEMING ISLAND – Creating chalk masterpieces and celebrating togetherness was the goal for the Clay County Public Library System and Clay County Parks and Recreation on Saturday.

The two …

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Library, Parks draw support with Chalk Challenge at Moccasin Slough Park


Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Creating chalk masterpieces and celebrating togetherness was the goal for the Clay County Public Library System and Clay County Parks and Recreation on Saturday.

The two departments teamed to celebrate Parks and Recreation Month at Moccasin Slough Park by hosting a Chalk Challenge event to highlight the park and recreational activities in the community.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Paul Grybb said the event was an opportunity to help community members get out and be active.

“It was designed as an event to reach out to the community, get people out into the parks and see the kind of programming that we’re putting together,” Grybb said.

Guests enjoyed exciting games and got their creative juices flowing by drawing their best patriotic-themed work. Guests could pick through a range of chalk colors to help decorate the sidewalk.

Jennifer Goss, with Clay County Public Libraries Community Engagement, said that, in doing these events, the library system is working to help bring about positive change. With this summer’s theme of ‘All Together Now,’ Goss said the libraries hope to create an interactive and inclusive community for residents in the area.

“This is a great way of partnering with one of our county departments to bring an activity to the community so that people of all ages can participate and have a great time,” Goss said.

During the event, guests circled a picnic table as Goss held a short story for the kids in attendance. Goss read with enthusiasm as the kids listened along.

In addition to storytime and games, the event included a pop-up nature center where guests could learn about the native plants and gopher tortoises of the area.

Clay County Parks and Recreation Parks Naturalist Liza McCain hosted the center to give guests a better outlook and more familiarity with the native species they could run into.

“I try to get out to the community as much as possible, and bring some examples of some things that they could see in nature, and get better acquainted with and be able to identify in their own yards, so they can be better stewards for the environment for Clay County,” McCain said.

In addition to bringing community members together, the event is part of a nationwide recognition for July.

Parks and Recreation Month is celebrated to emphasize the great necessity and benefit of using the various parks in local communities. Grybb noted that many residents might not even know these parks in the local community exist.

Grybb said that in acknowledging this special month, he wants community members to know that there is more to the parks than just the common swings and monkey bars at a playground.

“For Clay County, we wanted to put on as many events as possible to expose our parks to the community, get people out [and] let them know that we’re here to provide services for them. And, to really just spread awareness that there is more to do at the parks than the playgrounds,” Grybb said.

Goss said the library system will have many more events in the future. Goss said some upcoming events include learning how to play disc golf and exploring animals at the park. She encouraged residents to check out the library calendars and join the fun.

Grybb said by continuing to make use of the parks and hold events such as the Chalk Challenge, he hopes to reach as many community members as possible.

“Feeling that you are part of a community brings the entire population of Clay County together. It’s the Clay County library system. It’s the Clay County Parks. It’s the Clay County Little League. It’s the Clay County Outreach Programs,” Grybb said. “And, the more that we can do for the community, the more pride they’ll feel in where they live.”