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Parks and Recreation

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 The City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department is committed
to fulfilling its mission of providing quality recreational experiences
while administering the values of community image, human development,
preservation of environmental resources, health and wellness
,
economic development and cultural unity.

     FreedomBlast
   Greer Memorial Hospital Freedom Blast
is one of the department's major events.

City of Greer residents who want to participate in athletic activities, enjoy quality summer day camp experiences, take in a play, or kick back and watch a movie under the stars have ample opportunities thanks to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Consisting of five divisions: athletics, recreation, events, cultural arts, and grounds and maintenance, the department stays busy offering events and activities for all ages.

Due to the city’s temperate climate and popular programs, the Athletics Division offers team and league play 270 days a year in various sports. More than 2,000 participants – 60% youth – enjoy the programs annually.

Excellent facilities and a strong staff supported by quality volunteers has made the City of Greer a destination for tournaments. In 2011, football and baseball tournaments drew nearly 1,000 visitors to the city which resulted in an estimated impact of $114,880 to the local economy.

The City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department is fortunate to have sponsors whose generosity enhances and assists its programming. These contributions help keep registration fees and production ticket prices affordable for patrons. Nearly 200 businesses and individuals contribute by sponsoring youth sports teams, food donations, donating goods and/or services, and financial donations.

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The Recreation Division currently offers 28 programs, events and instructional classes such as the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon, the Egg-Tastic Easter Event, summer camps, senior activities, and Santa’s Mailbag. Staff also assisted the Events Staff with planning for their major events as Greer Memorial Hospital Freedom Blast,  the annual Halloween showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Village Hospital Christmas at Greer City Park.

Residents have responded well to the annual events and such new offerings as dog obedience classes, etiquette and manners classes, and children’s yoga classes. Participation numbers have risen from fewer than 800 to more than 3,300 over the past five years.

The Parks and Recreation Department operates three recreation facilities in the city. More than 45,000 patrons visited the Needmore Recreation Center, Tryon Recreation Center, and Victor Gym during 2011.

The Events Division, which is based at Greer City Hall, booked and facilitated 475 events in 2011 at the Events Center at Greer City Hall, bringing in more than $150,000 in revenue and sponsorships.

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The events halls at Greer City Hall and the amphitheater, picnic shelter, and gazebo at Greer City Park have become popular for events ranging from weddings to company picnics.

The park also hosts the division’s programmed events such as Greer Memorial Hospital Freedom Blast, Village Hospital Christmas at Greer City Park, the Giving Thanks Student Art Show, a juried art competition, Moonlight Movies, and the Fall Harvest Market.

The events staff partnered with various organizations to help make possible Greer Family Fest, Halloween Hoopla, Blues in the Park, the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Greer Station Bridal Expo, Roses for Relief, Greer First Baptist Kids Festival, and the Earth Day Marathon.

The Cultural Arts Division oversees the Greer Children’s Theatre, which staged “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Neverending Story,” “Seussical Jr.,” and “Annie.”

In addition to staging several visual arts events, including a monthly exhibition at the Wall Gallery in Greer City Hall, staff again hosted the wildly successful Tunes on Trade summer music series and Greer Idol Season Five.

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Cultural Arts also made available concerts by The Foothills Philharmonic. “Hairspray” Dance Clinics, a poetry reading, Portside Comedy Night, the National Dance Day crowd dance and video, and the summer Camp ARK (Arts Reaching Kids) program.

The Grounds and Maintenance Division is the ultimate support staff for each of the department’s divisions. Among the division’s 2011 highlights:

•  Maintaining more than 145 acres of public parks.

•  Landscaping and maintaining downtown flower beds and public parking lots.

•  Preparing 308 individual athletic fields for approximately 1,000 games on 138 game dates.

•  Installing and removing all pole light Christmas decorations throughout the city with assistance from the Public Services staff.

•  Hauling and spreading approximately 34 tons of mulch in beds and playgrounds throughout the park system.

Tennis lessons and competitive play are offered in conjunction with the Tennis Association of Greer. TAG leagues currently consist of 300 adult participants and 100 seniors, and the association  hosts the George Crossland Memorial Tennis Tournament each October and the College Shootout Tournament each December.  North Greenville University and Greer Middle College Charter High School play their home tennis matches at the Tryon Center.

The City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department renewed several agreements this year. Field usage agreements with Riverside Middle and the American Legion were renewed. Facility usage agreements with the Creative Advancement Center and the Greenville County School District were also renewed. A new field usage agreement with Greer Middle College Charter High School was created. Additional agreements with organizations in the community such as the Disabled American Veterans, Senior Action, Greer Cultural Arts Council, Tennis Association of Greer and Never Alone are still active.

All four of the department programming divisions now use Facebook and Twitter to relay information  to participants. Schedules, photos, and additional pertinent information are posted on the social networking sites. They also allow staff to not only communicate with young people as well as parents and volunteers.

The Department of South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism awarded $9,777 to the city for parks projects, while a $9,000 grant from the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority was used to assist with the funding of the Needmore Summer Camp. A $500 grant from the South Carolina Municipal Insurance Trust was used to purchase fire extinguishers.