Parks And Rec Gearing Up For Busy Season

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May days mean summer is not far away, and the Payson Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for a busy season.

A bunch of programs are already slated for this mid-spring month.

The first thing on the calendar is a fly-tying program for residents and visitors with their own supplies and previous experience. The Payson Flycasters will present the program from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 3. The registration deadline is today, Friday, May 2. The program will be at the parks office in Green Valley Park, and costs $5.

Those who would like to learn about fly-fishing will have an opportunity to do so in early June. The parks department is offering "Flyfishing 101" starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 7. Early registration is recommended because participation will be limited. The cost is $5. The class will teach the basics of fly-fishing, and includes both instruction and practical application, using private or loaner rods.

The parks department is also taking registrations for the upcoming Sprint Triathlon, which will be held June 14, starting at Taylor Pool in Rumsey Park, 504 N. McLane Road. The fee varies depending on the age of the participant and/or team. It is for those age 7 to 70. All pre-registered participants will receive a souvenir race shirt. After May 30, a late fee of $10 will be assessed and there is no guarantee of a shirt.

Youngsters 14 and under are urged to register before May 9 for the Fish for Bikes program. The community has come together to give children 50 free bikes and bike helmets to the first 100 registrants for the May 10 fishing day at Green Valley Park. Register at the parks office by May 9 or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 10 at the Payson Wildlife Fair.

The 14th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair is Saturday, May 10 at Green Valley Park, and it is free. The family event gives participants a chance to learn about wildlife and the outdoors from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Girls in the second through 10th grades are invited to register for Girls Slow-Pitch Softball by May 16. There is a $20 fee, and registration includes a slow-pitch camp. Play starts June 9 and is held in the evenings, Monday through Thursday.

End the merry month of May with a moderate, 3-mile hike on the Payson Area Trails System's Peach Loop.

Participants may register in advance at the parks office or on-site the day of the event. There is no fee. The hike route includes some steep hillsides and loose rocks, as well as the beautiful scenery of the Mazatzal Mountains. Participants should wear appropriate footwear and dress, plus bring drinking water.

For more information about the athletic programs, contact Joe Harris, (928) 474-5242, extension 359; for hiking and open space programs, contact Mary McMullen, (928) 474-5242, extension 358.

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