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R Recreation reports busy year in 2012

Dec 6, 2012 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The coordinators for the R Recreation program presented a success report to Riverton's City Council that showed how well the program has served the community in the past few years.

Program coordinator Mary Axthelm said there has been an increase in the number of participants and programs over the years.

Axthelm described 2012 as a "busy year" and said the program continues to grow each year.

"We're really grateful for our partnership with you guys, with the City of Riverton, with the school district and with the Central Wyoming College," Axthelm said at the council's meeting Tuesday. "It's a really unique partnership -- you won't find another one like it in the state of Wyoming, and it works well."

She said a total of 98 programs were available this year, and R Recreation's goal is to have more than 100 programs in 2013.

Axthelm said 25 of their instructors come from Riverton school districts and CWC.

She added that about 5,533 community members -- from preschoolers to seniors citizens -- participated in the programs.

R Recreation coordinated a three-week enrichment program that offered 159 classes, and roughly 1,165 students from grades 2-8 participated.

The organization also sponsored a countywide basketball tournament that featured 31 teams and the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick programs that brought 79 participants, 74 of whom were from other Wyoming communities outside of Riverton.

"It's just neat to see these families come to Riverton for one day," Axthelm said.

Community garden

The community garden's new location and added plots were also a subject of discussion.

"It's seen some significant changes in 2012," Axthelm said. "(Community education coordinator Sherry Shelley) has worked tirelessly at the garden, and it's a really neat collaboration between the community, CWC and the City of Riverton."

Shelley said she was glad to tell the council how well the garden has turned out since it was created four years ago.

The Riverton community garden provides community members an area to grow produce. She said the abundant sunshine, available water system and great land makes the location ideal.

CWC provides the land and the city provides water, mulch and soil.

She said the program started with 22 plots and has increased to 90 plots.

"We are serving about 76 different families," Shelley said.

She said the ages of gardeners vary, and a new tool shed was recently purchased with recreation district funds.

A new fence was also placed at the location by CWC to keep deer from eating the food.

"We took the opportunity to redesign some things, make it more efficient than the original garden was," Shelley said. "People are growing their own food. They're growing things to give away, to friends and neighbors."

She said some people sell at the local farmer's markets.

She also said this was the largest community garden in the state.

"It's a wonderful project for the community," Shelley said. "I'm just so glad that you all see fit to be a part of that."

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