Jul 26

McCall Plaza Lineup Heating Up

Posted on July 26, 2017 at 6:29 PM by K’Ann Parham

McCall Plaza

Local music fans are finding their way to McCall Plaza in Downtown Plano, and our own Plano Stages has been hard at work creating several unique, toe-tapping events now through the fall season. 

Since it opened as an outdoor performance venue in April 2016, McCall Plaza has hosted numerous concerts and events, from swing dance lessons and festivals to dance troupes and emerging local musicians.  Speaking of variety, children of the `90s were surprised to hear we will host Tone Loc and Arrested Development on Sept. 16. So dig up your Doc Martens and meet us there for a night of nineties nostalgia! Tickets are just $15 and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. 

The addition of McCall Plaza as a concert venue has made a positive impact on the downtown area, as visitors enjoy the open-air stage in the heart of the Plano’s arts district. The plaza is strengthening the area by giving an opportunity and outlet for local acts to get exposure, said Michelle Hawkins, arts, culture and heritage manager for Plano Parks and Recreation.

“McCall is becoming a popular venue because of the diversity it fosters and its convenient location. Its size is ideal for just about any kind of performance and it is surrounded by everything downtown has to offer,” Hawkins said. “Each year we hope to bring more and more different forms of entertainment to appeal to everyone.”

Plano Stages’ Live & Local Concert Series is still going strong with concerts scheduled through August. These free concerts take place the third weekend of each month on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Our free dance lessons also continue, with the next ones set for on Aug. 30, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1. Dance style is TBD—so if you have suggestions, share them with us at www.planostages.com. 

Thank you for supporting the arts in Plano!

Mar 07

Stand apart, save a life—be a lifeguard for Plano Parks and Recreation

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 7:50 AM by City of Plano Parks and Recreation

lifeguard  guardgames

It may look like an easy task on the surface, but being a lifeguard for Plano Parks and Recreation is one of the most rewarding positions on our team. These highly trained employees are a critical component for providing a fun and safe aquatic experience year round here in Plano. 

Each summer our aquatics division hires roughly 150 lifeguards, water safety instructors and teaching assistants to work at our recreation and aquatics facilities, and this year is no different. As our aquatics supervisors begin the hiring, now is the perfect time to attain a Red Cross certification as a lifeguard or water safety instructor. 

Our entire aquatics staff plays a vital role in educating the public on pool and water safety. As qualified and innovative instructors, they are also essential for providing our preschool, youth and adult swim classes. These positions are particularly ideal for high school and college students looking for a fulfilling first job experience, said Kelly Kessler, aquatic supervisor at the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center.

“It’s a fun environment for them and I think that’s what brings many lifeguards back every year,” she said. “One thing we try to do for many of them is promote them to head guard positions to serve as a resume builder. This supervisory role is something they can take with them into their next job.”

But these jobs offer much more than fun with friends—lifeguards train once a week and also have the opportunity to participate in state lifeguard competitions. All positions also include recreation center membership, growth opportunities and flexible schedules.

Lifeguards are also trained in emergency rescue procedures, including CPR.  Our lifeguards serve as first responders for the entire recreation facility in which they work. Lifeguards hired through Plano’s Parks and Recreation Department also receive an added level of waterpark training in order to handle emergencies on pool slides and other equipment.

“We are a big team here. They all play a huge role in an emergency situation and their level of training prepares them to respond to anything that may come up in the facility, be it a breathing emergency or a drowning,” Kessler said.

How to apply
All candidates must complete the 28-hour Red Cross course in order to be eligible for hiring. Taught by our lifeguard instructors, this class provides hands-on and classroom instruction related to water safety and rescue. Students must then pass a skills test in order to work with the public. 

Spring break is a great time to take these certification courses, which are offered at Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, 5801 W. Parker Road. Check our Leisure Catalog for dates, times and pricing. 
You can also view these postings and job descriptions at plano.gov/employment. See below for a list of other prerequisites. For more information, call 972-769-4404. 

Lifeguard qualifications:
1. Must be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
2. Must swim 300 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both.
3. Must tread water for two minutes using only the legs.
4. Must complete a timed challenge within 1 minute 40 seconds

Water safety instructor qualifications:
1. Must be at least 16 years old on or before the last day of the instructor course
2. Must demonstrate the ability to perform several swimming skills, such as breaststroke, sidestroke and butterfly.

Swim teaching assistant qualifications:
1. Must be at least 14 years old.
2. No pre-qualifications,  training provided 
Mar 02

How do you Envision Oak Point?

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM by City of Plano Parks and Recreation

gray vertical.Envision Oak Point logo
As Plano continues to grow, city planners are looking ahead to see how areas east of U.S. 75 can also continue to evolve as a community that is rich in character and culture. While this side of town is home to natural treasures like Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Bob Woodruff Park and other beloved open spaces, there are other areas with potential for dramatic transformation.

So how can we make the best use of the land we have out there in a way that is compatible with our existing natural resources?

City leaders hope to find that out as we delve into Envision Oak Point, a study exploring the near and long-term future of a 730-acre area bounded by Legacy Drive to the north, Spring Creek Parkway to the east, Shawnee Park to the south and the DART right-of-way to the west.

Key public facilities within the study include Plano Centre, Oak Point Recreation Center and Collin College Spring Creek Campus. Go to EnvisionOakPoint.com to see a map and sign up for project updates.

This plan focuses on the Oak Point area because of its anticipated growth and change. What will result is a detailed look at potential development scenarios and consideration of the impact of a range of possibilities. The study began in February with the creation of a project committee consisting of stakeholders from adjacent neighborhoods, area property owners, faith-based organizations, city leadership, and partners such as Plano ISD and Collin College.

Now that the initial analysis is nearly complete, it’s time to work with the Plano community. We’re looking for your input on how this study should address both the opportunities and constraints within the Oak Point study area. We hope to hear from residents, business owners and civic, educational, and faith leaders located within and nearby the project. This collaborative and interactive planning process will shape the future of an important gateway into Plano. If you live, work, socialize, learn or worship in this area, we especially want to hear from you!

Please join us as your schedule allows for the first set of information sessions set this month at Plano Centre. The planning process will involve robust and inclusive public involvement, existing conditions analysis, a visioning process, and implementation planning that will result in a final report documenting Oak Point's future vision and next steps.

Information about the upcoming events is listed below. We look forward to your involvement and feedback over the next several months! Stay tuned!

Envision Oak Point upcoming events
Location: Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway
  • Tuesday, March 28, 6-8:30 p.m. - Community Design Workshop: Hands-on exercises will help you visualize and share your plan ideas for the future of the Oak Point area. We'll discuss how we can create a sense of place for the Oak Point area, and key elements like land use, open space and transportation. If you have just one day, this is a good session to attend. Your input will be very valuable, because ideas shared during the workshop will get the wheels turning on the planning process. (6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. workshop kickoff)
  • Wednesday, March 29, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. - Community Drop-in Session: In this session, you observe the team at work. Watch the project team absorbing your ideas, weaving them together to develop potential development scenarios for the Oak Point area. If you like details and process, you will love this session! 
  • Thursday, March 30, 5-8 p.m. - Community Open House: View and comment on the scenarios created over the two previous days. This is a good session to attend to tell us what you think of the results so far.
Shawnee Park  
Located in the Envision Oak Point study area, Shawnee Park offers visitors a quiet place to observe wildlife around the pond,  have a picnic or play a round of disc golf.
envision oakpoint
Envision Oak Point will assess current land use and future redevelopment opportunities east of US 75.