Except for a few gorgeous days and some tulips that are fighting to bloom, it still feels a little too much like winter for my liking. That said I’m desperately seeking signs that warmer weather is on the way.
Fortunately a giant one appeared near my house not too long ago: that billboard advertising that the park district summer catalog is now online and registration has begun!
Linda Hermanek, who taught an incredible fitness class I took this winter called The Mix, is bringing some exciting summer classes to Forest Park. Starting June 8, she will be running an outdoor boot camp on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. She said that although the class will be intense – the workout involves weights, tubing, jump ropes and other equipment – people at any fitness level are invited to enlist.
Hermanek will also be teaching aqua aerobics, which begins on June 15 and runs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For this fun cardiovascular workout, you receive an entry card upon sign-up and you can attend as many, or as few, sessions as you like. Linda is an excellent instructor and you’ll have a blast while you’re getting into shape, so check out her classes.
And while you’re at it, visit www.pdofp.org to see what else the park district has to offer this summer, like the monthly Movie in the Park series. Can’t you see yourself relaxing outside, staring up at the big screen? That series kicks off June 10 with Despicable Me.
Another sign that spring is near recently appeared when I got my water bill: an invitation from the Live Healthy Forest Park! campaign to join Comcast Cares Day at the Community Garden on April 30. Around 50 Comcast volunteers and several Forest Parkers will donate their time to prepare the garden for spring.
I wanted some more information on the event, so I called Denise Murray from the village. She said the volunteers will clean up the space on the 600 block of Harlem Avenue, put in a decorative walkway, and add more flower beds, including some for the Forest Park Food Pantry and public education and herb gardens. You can also learn how to rent a garden plot and how to garden on your balcony. Denise feels this event will not only help to make Forest Park a healthier community, it will also “beautify our park area and make it a space we can feel proud to walk or drive by.”
More volunteers are welcome, and will be given free T-shirts and food for helping out. So if you would like to lend a hand on Saturday, call Denise at (708) 343-6576 or email her at email@example.com. Be sure to call ahead because it’s important they get an advance head count for the food and T-shirts.
While I had Denise on the phone, I asked her about my favorite Forest Park summer event: the Farmer’s Market! It takes places once weekly, and this year it will be held in the Grove instead of the community center parking lot. It kicks off June 10 and runs every Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
So when the remaining chilly, rainy days get you down, try and focus on the fabulous activities and warm weather that await us!
– Stephanie is the author of “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” and “Ballads of Suburbia.” She’s a proud Forest Parker who holds a master’s in fine arts degree from Columbia College Chicago. She also works locally at the Beacon Pub and loves to hear from people through her Web site www.stephaniekuehnert.com.