FORT WORTHRotary Club adopts, cares for Patricia Leblanc ParkSeveral years ago, a member of The Rotary Club of Fort Worth Southwest visited Patricia LeBlanc Park on the city’s southwest side at 6300 Granbury Cut-Off, and was dismayed at the condition of the 15,000 acre park. The Rotary Club formed a partnership with the Fort Worth Parks Department and took on the project of keeping Leblanc Park a nice place for families to picnic and enjoy.Rotary Club members continue to keep an eye on the park and stage an annual club cleanup.With the help of the Parks Department, a live oak tree was recently obtained and planted, and Rotarians have committed to watering the newly planted tree once a week for the next two years.The Rotary Club of Fort Worth Southwest meets every Thursday at noon at the Mira Vista Club House at 6600 MiraVista Blvd. Gabriel Alonso is president of the group. — Shirley JinkinsMeacham Airport gets funds for new pavement, lightingAbout $3 million for Fort Worth Meacham Airport was approved recently by the Texas Transportation Commission at its December meeting.The money will help pay for new pavement and lighting at the airport, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Transportation.A project consultant will be selected this winter, the agency said."Project costs will be funded through the city of Fort Worth and TxDOT’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program, which preserves and improves the state’s general aviation system," officials said in the news release.This year, the agency plans to pay about $60 million on community airports improvements in Texas. About 275 airports are eligible for funding. According to the agency, arrivals and departures from community airports account for more than 3 million flight hours per year. The airports also bring aviation support to agricultural, medical, business and commuter use, according to the agency. — Bill MillerFORT WORTH SCHOOLSJunior Cadet Corps sends ‘S.O.S.’ to overseas troopsHundreds of Junior Cadet Corps students from Forest Oak Middle School were scheduled to line up Thursday to spell out SOS on the school football field.It stands for “Support Our Soldiers,” a local program that helps collect and send food and other supplies to deployed troops.Cadets have spent the past month filling supply boxes and writing more than 200 letters that will be given to soldiers for the holidays.“These students could have easily given up on this project, but they chose not to,” said their instructor, Samuel Perry. “The cadets stayed with this because they wanted to help someone other than themselves have a good Christmas, and they thought helping our soldiers was a worthy cause.” — Shirley JinkinsChurch gifts Fort Worth school with book moneyMembers of Southcliff Baptist Church have turned their annual Singing Christmas Tree into a tree of knowledge for students at Alice D. Contreras Elementary School.Southcliff used proceeds from its choir’s recent Singing Christmas Tree program raise funds for books for the Contreras school library. Church officials presented a check for $4,000 to the students, teachers and staff at Contreras, 4100 Lubbock Ave., during a Friday morning assembly. — Shirley JinkinsCROWLEYLibrary gets a children’s room renovationThe Founder’s Room at the Crowley Library is being repurposed into a children’s area, with the help of three grants that made $55,000 available for the job.The redo involves new paint, carpet, books, shelves, computer stations and a sitting area, plus an enlarged entry into the main library.The new space will be a big improvement over the corner spot of the main library that was set aside for children. Once the move is made, that spot will be used to expand space for teens and tweens from 8 to 12 years old. Adult space will be growing, too, according to library officials. — Shirley JinkinsWEATHERFORDRetired teachers celebrate with clogging programThe Parker County Retired Teachers’ holiday meeting this month included a lively presentation by the Klassy Kloggers of Weatherford, along with a special holiday buffet of party foods.The event drew 110 former educators to Cuppett Hall at Central Christian Church.Louretta Evans is president of the group.Shirley Anderson, leader of the dance group, gave a program on the history of clogging and some of the finer points of the dance, before the troupe performed for half an hour.The group will meet again Jan. 7 for a program focusing on increased service opportunities for members. A lasagna lunch will be served for a cost of $8.For reservations and more information, call Kathryn Jordan at 817-594-5748. — Shirley JinkinsREGIONFirst-Day State Park events to kick off a good yearJan. 1 is a great day to get out of the house and into a nearby state park to begin keeping those resolutions about getting more exercise. Here are four parks sponsoring First Day events within a short drive of Fort Worth. Some are easy family outings; others are more challenging. • Cedar Hill State Park is scheduling the Day One Trail Run, with entry fees for the 20K and 5K runs benefiting the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. Fees (through Tuesday) are $60 for the 20K and $45 for the 5K before Dec. 31, and $5 more apiece on race day. Both races begin at 10 a.m.Cedar Hill State Park is located at 1570 W. Farm Road 1382. Take the Farm Road 1382 exit off Interstate 20 and go south for 4miles on the right (at Joe Pool Reservoir). • Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose offers intermediate and advanced First Day Hikes along Limestone Ledge Trail. The hikes are from 1 to 3 p.m. The intermediate level family hike is 2.5 miles long and follows the river, with a stop to view dinosaur tracks along the way. The hike begins at the park store parking lot.The Outer Loop Trail Hike begins at the Cedar Brakes Trailhead parking lot. This advanced hike is 7 to 8 miles long and follows the outer loop, transversing through the interior trails. The park is located 4 miles west of Glen Rose. Take U.S. 67 west to Farm Road 205 for 4 miles to Park Road 59, then go 1 mile to the headquarters. Park admission is $7 per adult; it’s free for children under 12. • Cleburne State Park has a guided First Day Hike, with park interpreters and Texas Master Naturalists along for the trek along Coyote Run Nature Trail. The hike is from 2 to 3:15 p.m. and participants can bring along leashed pets. The group meets at the Coyote Run trailhead.The park is 10 miles southwest of Cleburne. Take US 67 south from Cleburne, then turn left on Park Road 21. The park entrance is another 6 miles on the right. Entrance fee is $5 for adults, children under 12 are free. • Lake Mineral Wells State Park’s First Day Hike is a guided trek called the Penitentiary Hollow Wild Walk. Park Interpreter David Owens will lead this strenuous walk that involves some crawling through tight spaces in rock cracks, crevices and short caves. Trekkers can view awesome sandstone formations in remote areas that are only accessible on the guided hike. The hike is from 2 to 4 p.m.Reservations are required, and hikers should plan on getting dirty. Call 940-328-1171 to reserve a spot. Lake Mineral Wells State Park is 4 miles east of Mineral Wells on U.S. 180. Entrance fee is $7 per adult and free for children 12 years and under.Participants at any of the First Day Hikes are advised to bring along plenty of water, healthy snacks, good hiking shoes and to dress in layers. — Shirley JinkinsPrairie Lights display to run through Jan. 5Prairie Lights, the colorful holiday drive beginning at 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway in Grand Prairie, has extended its last day to Jan. 5. The 2-mile drive featuring 4 million lights drew 168,000 visitors last year.Check www.prairielights.org or call 972-237-4569. — Shirley Jinkins
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