New Mackle Park summer programs are designed to feed young talents

Litha Berger, Rich Lutz and Dolores Siegel of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee listen to explanations of programs offered at Mackle Park this summer. The committee’s meeting was held on May 21. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Litha Berger, Rich Lutz and Dolores Siegel of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee listen to explanations of programs offered at Mackle Park this summer. The committee’s meeting was held on May 21. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Al Musico, chairman of the island’s Bike Path Ad-Hoc Committee, presents plans for new bike lanes, sidewalks, and shared-use paths as Joe Irvin, city zoning administrator looks on. Musico made the presentation May 21 for the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Al Musico, chairman of the island’s Bike Path Ad-Hoc Committee, presents plans for new bike lanes, sidewalks, and shared-use paths as Joe Irvin, city zoning administrator looks on. Musico made the presentation May 21 for the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

— Aspiring chefs, cartoonists, thespians and artists: When school’s out, Mackle Park summer camp is “in.”

New and returning camp programs were reviewed by Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee on Tuesday, May 21. They inspired some “oohs” and “aahs” as Lola Dial, the park’s teen leader, described them.

New this year is Face Painting 101, a wearable and fanciful art form. Seven year olds and older can learn application techniques and pattern outlines to become proficient. The course will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., July 22-23, for a cost of $40 for residents and $48 for non-residents.

For those who envision action characters and have the ability to draw them, cartooning camp also is new. The program hones skills that might otherwise be overlooked. Participants will learn to “flesh out” ideas and animate them. Two sessions will be offered from 8:30 to 11 a.m., June 24-28 and July 15-19. Sessions are open to 8-12 year olds and cost $65 for residents per session, $78 for non-residents.

Rounding out enrichment offerings are jewelry makers’ camp and junior chefs’ camp. Children as young as seven years old can participate in jewelry camp, creating necklaces and earrings from gems of all sorts. All materials are included at a cost of $80 for residents and $96 for non-residents. The jewelry making session will run from 9 to 11 a.m., June 17-21.

Junior Chefs’ Camp is open to ages 8-14 and comes with culinary rewards. Participants will prepare and provide meals for up to four that they can bring home to family and friends. Foods from England, France, Italy and Hawaii will provide variety and appreciation for other cultures. One session will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on July 8-12. Cost is $90 for residents and $108 for non-residents.

“I have two in that camp,” said Paul Meyer, chairman of the advisory committee.

Gina Sisbarro will direct theater camp for 8-13 year olds. Two performances are planned. “West Side Story” will be performed at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, and “Oklahoma” at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. All four performances will be held at The Marco Players theater. Participants must be able to read scripts and memorize lines.

A brochure of May to August activities is available at Mackle Park for parents considering options for their children this summer.

The committee also heard a review of bike path projects from Al Musico, chairman of the island’s Bike Path Ad-Hoc Committee. He presented the nearly $4.7 million of projects to be constructed or planned from 2013-2018. They included Safe Routes to School, sidewalks, bike lanes and shared-use paths.

Most funding for the projects will be supplied by Florida Department of Transportation grants, Musico said. The city would prepare designs at around 10 percent of construction costs and contribute 9 percent toward completion of projects, he said.

“These projects are use it or lose it,” Musico explained. “Our projects are done flawlessly, so FDOT likes to work with us.”

The city would need to supply around $900,000 over four years but has already spent $200,000 of the total on designs currently in the hands of Collier County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Musico plans to present the request for remaining funds to Marco Island City Council on July 15. He asked the parks committee to support the projects by providing a letter he could take to council.

Val Simon moved the committee create a letter of support for bike-use projects. The committee approved her motion.

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