Events planned in growing park all summer long.

    The snow has finally melted. The grass is turning green. We're planning time with sticks and mud, but first we have to clean. The time has come to give the natural play space at Castle Park a once over for the summer season. A "Clean-Up Castle" event will be held on Sunday, May 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. and again on Tuesday, May 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

    Community members of all ages are invited to come out for a few hours or a few minutes to join their neighbors in making Castle Park the place to play this summer. Jobs are available for everyone with no special skills required. For questions, call or e-mail Kirsten Fagerlund at 281-3385 or

    Why nature-based play?

    According to the Children and Nature Network, only six percent of children ages 9 -13 play outside in a typical week. Studies have shown those that do play outdoors are more physically active, more creative in their play, exhibit less aggression and have better concentration.

    Nature-based play puts kids in touch with nature by encouraging them to play with rocks, water, sand, leaves, sticks and other materials found in the great outdoors. A nature-based play space looks more like woods, prairie, or a garden than a playground, silently inviting children to design their own play activities.

    "Count me in at Castle Park!"

    Throughout the summer, special family activities are planned to help kids of ALL ages enjoy Crookston's natural play space. Kicking off with a Kids InMotion event on Thursday, May 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring a free picnic supper, music and exploration, the next few months will be filled with activities not to be missed.

    •    "Planting a Castle" - Thursday, May 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Come and work with "experts" Teresa and Taylor Cymbulak to plant pumpkins and sunflowers in the Castle Park garden. The pumpkins and sunflowers grown will be used for projects in the fall.
    •    "Birds, birds, birds. Let's feed the birds!" -  Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Laura Bell from UMC will share her knowledge of birds through the use of fun, interactive objects. Attendees will make natural bird feeders to take home.
    •    "Be fit at Castle" - Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Try out an outdoor obstacle course. Learn how to use natural landscapes to have fun while working your body.
    •    "Family picnic and kickball" - Tuesday, August 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Bring your family and a picnic dinner. Watermelon will be provided. Teams will be formed for fun family games of kickball.