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Department of Parks and Recreation reorganizes districts, staff


There are some changes coming soon to the Forest Ridge Elementary School recreation center. Brian Emelson, the charter coordinator, is leaving to accept more responsibilities as the new Eastern Area Coordinator.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is reorganizing staff, shifting from five districts to three. Mr. Emelson moves out of his office in the school Monday, but will hang around for the completion of his programs on Aug. 18.

He says he's had a great deal of fun at the school. It was the first joint venture between the school system and the park department in the county. Under this arrangement, the parks department could offer more programs at a school, because the school was built with after-school use in mind.

For example, the cafeteria and gym were built larger than usual, and there are ways of shutting off the classrooms while keeping these two areas open.

Mr. Emelson said he is especially grateful for the support and efforts of Marianne Pfiffer, the school principal, Betty O'Neill, the principal's secretary, and James Johnson, the chief custodian. Without their active participation and help, the Forest Ridge recreation center would not have been successful, he said.

While he is looking forward to the challenges of running programs at nine different schools and centers, Mr. Emelson will miss the people he worked with and the community he served. He particularly will miss Wendy Morone and Melissa Dorsey, who ran the kinder nature camps at Savage Park; Sarah Calhoun, Donna Strohmer and Marilyn Peake, who ran the full day kindergarten at Forest Ridge; and Stephanie McKinney and Becky Bays, who ran the new Wee Discoveries camp.

The staff of Summer Escapades entertained and occupied more than 90 first- through fifth-graders this summer, with community outings, sports and events.

Mr. Emelson wants everyone to know of the outstanding efforts of directors Keith Hudson, Jerome Taylor, Terri Bradley, Natalie Moran, James Johnson, Jon Leuchs and Angie Ries.


The baby boom at Bollman Bridge Elementary continues. First-grade teacher Lori Hicks has a new little girl, Brianna Christine, and music teacher Lynne Hansenei has a new boy, Zachary Luke. This make four additions to the Bollman Bridge family this summer.

On a sad note, former Bollman Bridge Assistant Principal Peter Wilcox died July 5. Bollman Bridge had been his last post before his retirement.

Parent Teachers Association President Denise Wolford and her family have been transferred. She will be sorely missed by the school. First Vice President Jessica Kemper, who also substitute teaches at the school and runs the Girl Scout cluster, will become president. Val Sharpe will become the new first vice president.


The Savage North Laurel La Leche League will meet at the Savage Library on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in the meeting room.

The topic this month is "Nutrition and Weaning." The group welcomes all expectant and nursing mothers to this informative but informal meeting. Please bring a favorite quiet toy for the babies and children to play with during the presentation.

And don't forget to sign up for Tots Take Out, the library's summer reading game for babies, toddlers and their significant others.


Gardening season is not over yet. August is the perfect time to sow secondary crops of lettuce, spinach, beets, cabbage and other cool weather veggies.

This Saturday, the master gardeners will be available at the Savage Library to tell you exactly when to sow the seeds and to expect a harvest.

They'll also tell you the best type of bulbs and perennials to plant in the fall, when to transplant shrubs and how to plant a tree.

The master gardener will be there Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Speaking of gardening, ever notice how kind co-workers bring in extra kale, squash and zucchini to share with the nongardeners? But how come these kind souls never have extra strawberries, asparagus or grapes to share?


The planned Bethel Assembly of God church and support buildings are proceeding. The site appears to have been leveled and graded. It's going to be impressive when it's ready!

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