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Biddy Ball 2018

Do you have a little one who loves sports but isn’t quite old enough to play? If so, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Biddy Ball Basketball may be just what you are looking for.

Biddy Ball Basketball is for youth ages 3 to 5 years old, and players will learn the basic fundamentals of basketball and have fun playing weekly games against each other. This is a great way to get young kids out and active and teach them the importance of teamwork too.

Registration is taking place NOW through August 24th at 225 East Third Avenue, daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or you can contact Cristen Graves at 270-393-3583. Teams will fill up fast and there are 8 kids per team. Pre-registration is required and there will be a mandatory parent/coaches meeting to be announced.

Game days take place on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on September 8, 15, 22, 29 and October 6 and 13.

Sign you little one up today to be a part of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Biddy Ball Basketball.

Neighborhood Watch

Summer Time is Prime Time for Neighborhood Watch

With beautiful summer weather comes an uptick in property crimes, including thefts from vehicles and other crimes of opportunity.  Unlocked vehicles, garages and outbuildings like tool sheds can quickly become easy targets for someone looking to grab something quickly.
The key parts to being a part of Neighborhood Watch?  It boils down to this:


Secure Your Stuff

This means locking vehicles and doors, even sometimes when you may be home or simply in the back yard.  It also means documenting the things that you own by logging or photographing serial numbers on equipment, firearms, sports paraphernalia and other items so that law enforcement can attempt to match your property back to you if it’s recovered.  You can even engrave or otherwise mark an item with a unique number yourself to identify it.

Know Your Neighbors & Your Neighborhood

Be able to recognize when something is unusual or out of place in the neighborhood.  This means knowing the general routines and vehicles of the neighbors who live nearest you and what kinds of activity is normal for them and for your area.  Some neighborhoods have more or less foot traffic than others at different times of day.  It also means being able to communicate with neighbors about activity you see from day to day and being connected so that you watch out for one another.  This can be accomplished through informal conversations, social media, neighborhood events and meetings, or any combination!

  

Recognize & Report Suspicious Activity

As a general rule, the sound of glass breaking or any other loud noise at an unusual hour is probably suspicious.  Strangers entering a neighbor’s home or loud conversation that includes shouting, screaming or crying is probably suspicious, as is anyone removing accessories or a license plate from a car.  But any kind of activity that seems unusual for YOUR neighborhood could be considered suspicious!

 
DO NOT CONFRONT but report suspicious activity, especially activity that you witness while it is happening by calling 911 or the non-emergency BGPD number at 270-393-4000.  Be prepared to say WHERE the activity is happening, WHAT is happening, WHO is involved (this is where descriptions of vehicles and/or persons comes into play), WHEN it happened (30 seconds or 30 minutes ago), and any other additional details that would be helpful to the officers responding to the call.

It’s also important to report delayed criminal activity.  Have a designated neighborhood watch person in your neighborhood who is willing to share with police any delayed reports of minor criminal mischief or thefts for which victims don’t want a report.  You never know when your neighborhood may identify a crime wave that is just beginning due to the same small ring of thieves!

For more information about Neighborhood Watch, visit our page here:  http://www2.bgky.org/neighborhoods/watch.php

Walkability

Walkability: the measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absences of and quality of footpaths, sidewalks or other pedestrian rights-of-way, as well as traffic and road conditions. The desire for a community to become “walkable” has been steadily growing throughout America.

The City of Bowling Green has been working with various partners over the course of many years to increase the connectivity and walkability of our City. The building of greenways and sidewalks has been funded through a combination of transportation grants, CDBG (Neighborhood Improvement Project) funds, New Sidewalk Program projects, and more.  This large scale project is designed to connect neighborhoods and parks and commercial areas to allow residents to bike and walk to where they live, work and play.

Pedestrian connectivity Campbell Lane/Veterans Memorial

 

Through the Neighborhood Improvement Program and in partnership with Public Works and Parks & Recreation, Neighborhood and Community Service is helping to add new walking paths and sidewalk to connect neighborhoods in and through Lampkin Park and Pedigo Park.  When all planned projects are completed, residents could walk sidewalk or shared use path from Lee Pointe Apartments on North Lee Drive to Glen Lily Road, from there to North Sunrise either to Pedigo Park or to and through Lampkin Park to Morgantown Road and then to the Walmart at Morgantown Road and Veterans Memorial Boulevard.  New sidewalk, patio area, and a bus shelter were also recently constructed at Reservoir Hill Park.  This new connectivity also means park users will enjoy easier access from existing parking facilities to ball fields, restrooms, and other areas at these parks.

 Pedestrian connectivity Downtown

 

In addition to the Neighborhood Improvement Program, we have seen sidewalks and greenways built or are in the process of design/being built on Warren Way, North Lee Drive, Crewdson Street, Old Barren River Road, North Sunrise and Woodway Street.  Other sidewalk projects completed along the way have included Gordon Avenue, Morgantown Road, South Sunrise, West 11th, Pearl Street and more.

Pedestrian connectivity Lovers Lane/Cemetery Road

 

The addition of these sidewalks are bringing our community together. Parks and facilities that are now connected include the BG Skate Park, Roland Bland Park, Boatlanding Park, Pedigo Park, Lampkin Park and Preston Miller Park.

Beyond adding and repairing sidewalks, the City has worked hard to improve ADA compliance, increase safety and update crosswalks. We are moving toward a more walkable City. This map shows the connectivity of multiple areas of town via shared use path, sidewalks and greenways. We hope to continue this growth and connectivity.

For more information on currently funded sidewalk projects, please visit http://www.bgky.org/publicworks/new-sidewalk-program. To view an interactive map of our sidewalks and greenways visit http://arcg.is/04eu0f

Back to School Safety Tips!

There are many things that parents can do today to make the start of the school year safer for their children.  Warren County and Bowling Green City schools will both begin in August and the City of BG has developed a variety of tips for parents.

Remember to provide phone numbers for your child as he or she heads back to school.  With today’s technology, many families have multiple phone numbers. To make things easier, print all numbers that your child may need on a laminated index card and place it in their backpack in a safe place.

Car, bike and walking safety are also very important as students travel to school.  Make sure that all children are buckled into your vehicle before you begin your drive and drop them as close to the school as possible.  If someone besides you is picking them up from school, pick a password that your child knows to ensure it is a safe adult.  Also, teach your kids that bikes have rules just as cars do and make sure that they always wear a helmet.

If your child walks to school, plan their route and minimize the number of streets that they have to cross.  Make sure that your child walks in a group and has made the trip before the first day of school.  Children should always know the importance of not talking to strangers.

City Crossing Guards are located at T.C. Cherry, Potter Gray, Parker Bennett/Curry, Dishman McGinnis and Lost River Elementary Schools. Crossing guards direct pedestrian crossings and traffic flow in order to ensure the safety of children by staying alert to traffic hazards.  Crossing guards typically work one hour before and one hour after school hours and are essential in assisting students in getting to school safely.

Please remember to use caution when going through a school zone as a motorist and obey all traffic signals, speed limits and crossing guard directions. In the event that a crossing guard is unavailable to work, a Bowling Green Police Department employee will be monitoring the school zone.

Another important safety tip as the school year approaches is to make sure that you and your children have a family meeting spot.  If there is a crisis, all members of the family should know where to meet.

Finally, it is always important to make sure that your children are safe after school if they are alone. Emphasize the importance of keeping doors locked, post a list of emergency numbers, have your kids call you when they get home, and make sure they never tell someone on the phone that they are home alone.

Bike Safety Day!

The City of Bowling Green is inviting residents to come out for “Bike Safety Day” on Friday, July 20th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Parker Bennett Community Center at 300 Jenkins Street. Join the Parks and Recreation Department and the Bowling Green Police Department for this great day of education, activities and giveaways of bikes and helmets.

Bike Safety day is FREE and open to the public for ages 5 to 13 years old. While attending this fun and educational day, kids will hear from BGPD and City staff about bike safety, bike rules and regulations, and receive hands on experience with bikes on our “obstacle course.”

At least 10 bikes and bike helmets will be given away throughout the day.

The City of BG wants all bikers to keep these great safety tips in mind when getting on your bicycle and hitting the road.

— Always wear a properly fitted helmet – this is the best way to prevent head injuries and death.

— Adjust your bike to fit your body. Make sure that you bike is not too big or too small for the person riding.

— Obey all traffic signals when on the road and ride in the SAME direction as the traffic. Remember that a bike is a vehicle.

— Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road when biking.

— Always stay alert on the road and look before turning. Be predictable when riding by making sure you ride in a straight line and never swerve between cars.

— Wear bright colored clothes and use lights and/or reflectors – especially when riding at night or in the morning.

— Always check your equipment before getting on a bike. Make sure that your tires are inflated, your gears are working and everything is in place.

For more information about bike safety day, visit www.bgky.org. Come out to see us on Friday, July 20th!

The City of Bowling Green Special Olympics “Toppers” Flag Football team (comprised of 8 Bowling Green athletes and 2 Russellville athletes) recently competed in the 2018 USA Special Olympics Games in Seattle, WA.  They finished the tournament with five wins and one loss and received the Bronze medal. The Toppers won the gold medal in their division of the 2016 State Flag Football Tournament last November to qualify.

They are the only team from Kentucky to ever receive a medal in flag football on a national level. Opening ceremonies took place on July 1st and closing ceremonies took place on July 7th.

Flag football is a version of American football where the basic rules of the game are similar to those of the mainstream game, but instead of tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier (“deflagging”) to end a down, and contact is not permitted between players which will result in a penalty for the team that initiates it.

The team was led by head coach Holly Vincent, of Bowling Green. Vincent has been a Special Olympics coach for two years and has coached flag football at various levels for three years. As the Special Populations Director for Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, Vincent heads up the Special Olympics program for the City and she also coaches softball, basketball, bowling and track. This was her first time coaching at the USA or World Games level.

Assistant Coach Michael Justice, of Bowling Green also attended the games. Justice is a Bowling Green Parks and Recreation employee and is in his third year coaching Special Olympics athletes. He has coached flag football for three seasons in addition to basketball, bowling, softball and track and field.

Congratulations to these fabulous athletes and their coaches!

Keep on Keeping it Clean….

‘Keep It Clean Bowling Green’ has been a part of our City since approximately 2003. The City uses the slogan and campaign for both stormwater and litter education and outreach.   Over the last 15 years we have reached out to children with Stanley the Trash Can and Tommy the Turtle, visited schools with our stormwater program, hosted multiple clean-ups throughout the City, partnered with various nonprofits and outreach programs, attended countless events, created multiple commercials and PSAs, and so much more.

Bowling Green faces unique challenges with respect to stormwater management. Warren County is located in a karst region that is typified by caves, sinkholes, springs, underground streams and other karst features. The Bowling Green and Warren County area has very few surface streams and rivers. This karst region that we live in makes keeping Bowling Green Clean even more important. Oils from cars, harsh chemicals, animal waste and contaminated dirt from constructions sites can all contribute to our stormwater difficulties.

The ultimate goal is to reduce the impact stormwater has on our local receiving streams, namely Barren River and Drakes Creek. Drakes Creeks drains to the Barren River, which is the sole source of our drinking water.

Beyond stormwater, our City departments, especially Parks and Recreation, work hard to keep our parks and common areas clean of trash and litter. All public places in the City are equipped with trash cans or recycling bins that are emptied on a regular basis. We hope that residents and visitors alike take the time to place their waste in a provided trash can. When we all do a little, we can do a lot to keep it clean in Bowling Green.

We’ve been keeping it clean since 2003! We hope that everyone will work together with us to continue to keep the City looking beautiful.

2018 Fireworks!

Many things come to mind when thinking about the 4th of July: freedom, summer, BBQ’s, pool parties and of course, fireworks!

 

There are those who love fireworks and those who loathe them. To help make sure that everyone has a great 4th of July holiday, the City of Bowling Green has offered some good neighbor courtesies as well as some safety guideline and regulations to keep in mind for the 2018 season.

Because not everyone is excited about the loud bangs and bright lights, notify your neighbors before using any large fireworks near your home and never put other people or their property at risk.

Fireworks are NOT permitted on public streets, and any debris left by fireworks should be picked up and disposed of properly. Never point or throw fireworks at another person, and always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap. Consumer fireworks may only be used by individuals at least 18 years of age.

The city DOES NOT require a permit to discharge fireworks from June 27th through July 5th from noon until 10 p.m., and on July 4th from noon until 11 p.m. All other dates require a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit from the Bowling Green Fire Department.

Keep in mind that enforcement of firework guidelines is a complaint driven process. Please call the Bowling Green Police Department non-emergency line at 270-393-4244 to file a complaint regarding fireworks. For more safety guidelines or to obtain a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit, contact the Bowling Green Fire Department at 270-393-3702, or visit their website at www.bgky.org/fire.

For all fireworks details and ordinance information, visit http://www.bgky.org/policies/firework-ordinance.

Most importantly, have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

When warm weather settles in, people in my neighborhood get outdoors for walks around the block, brats and burgers on the grill, and even some front porch sitting. I like that my neighbors know who my kids are and that I can always count on them to keep an eye out on our place when we head out for a weekend away. (And we do the same for them.)

I hope you enjoy great neighbors where you live, but did you know that the City of Bowling Green offers many ways to help residents make their neighborhoods great places to live and make memories? Whether it’s organizing a block party to bring neighbors together or planning an improvement project to spruce up the neighborhood’s appearance, it’s my job as Neighborhood Services Coordinator to provide neighbors and neighborhood groups with technical advice, materials, and even a little cash (through SNAP) to help make it happen.

Select Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) grants can provide funds to your neighborhood group to do projects of your choosing. The grants are just for neighborhoods in the City of Bowling Green, and the deadline for grant applications for this year’s SNAP grant cycle is 4:00 p.m. on July 13. The application and guidelines are posted online at: http://www2.bgky.org/neighborhoods/nhgrants.php#snapforms and training is required.

What kinds of projects will SNAP fund?  Here’s just a few examples:

With some sweat equity, passing the hat, and obtaining SNAP grants, the Crestmoor Neighborhood has made their entry median off Nashville Road truly beautiful with landscaping, decorative rock, and lighting.

Hillview Mills Homeowners Association has added a gazebo and decorative signposts in their subdivision, and neighbors have added curbing in many areas of Bent Tree to keep vehicles in the street and off of yards.

SNAP Grants also helped to create an outdoor nature classroom at Parker Bennett Curry Elementary School:  a project that is one of several neighborhood-school partnerships that has helped to add new playground equipment and landscaping at area schools.

Neighbors in the Crossings at Cave Mill were able to give a fresh coat of paint to some plank fencing, and the historic Shake Rag community is commemorated with a Kentucky Heritage Council historic sign located at 2nd and State Street:  both because of SNAP.

Don’t let your neighborhood miss out on SNAP or one of our other great neighborhood programs! For more information, give me a shout at 270.393.3674 or shoot me an email at: karen.foley@bgky.org.

The Fiscal Year 2018/2019 budget has been approved by the Board of Commissioners and there are some great Capital Improvement projects (CIPs) coming up.  CIPS include but aren’t limited to: land or easement purchases, building improvements or construction, infrastructure such as streets, drainage, curb and gutter, etc., parks are recreation facilities improvements, and equipment purchases over $5,000 in cost.

Read on to learn about some of our biggest and top priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year.

Improving Traffic Flow.  Progress continues on the Smallhouse Road corridor improvement project Phase II to extend from the intersections of Highland Way to Ridgecrest Way. The budget includes the third year of funding for Phase II in the amount of $1.2 million, which is the estimated amount necessary to complete the project. The budget also includes funding to address deficiencies in the Smallhouse Road turn lanes on the south side of the intersection with Campbell Lane.  When completed, nearly $7.0 million of the City’s local tax dollars will have been invested over the past seven years to improve Smallhouse Road from Cave Mill Road to Ridgecrest Way.

With Bowling Green’s continuous growth as a regional hub putting pressure on area roadways, two proposed capital projects recommended in this budget will improve traffic flow at high-volume locations. First, the widening of Shive Lane between Scottsville Road and Ken Bale Boulevard is planned with the inclusion of a roundabout at the intersection with Ken Bale. In addition, the budget includes traffic signal installation and turn lane enhancements at the Dishman Lane/Industrial Drive intersection. Funding for two other residential roundabouts is proposed to address traffic flow at the intersections of Parkside Drive and Cove Drive as well as Cove Drive, Woodway Street, and N. Sunrise Drive. With these additional road projects, the City is proposing to invest over $1.6 million more in FY2019 to improve traffic flow and further enhance vehicular movements around town.

Sustaining Aggressive Overlay Program. The FY2019 budget proposes to maintain the annual street resurfacing (overlay) project through the direct allocation of up to $2 million using both Liquid Fuel Tax (LFT) and General Fund monies, which would resurface approximately 23 miles of roadway. As the Public Works Department continues to address the quality of road surface conditions throughout the city, the total paving/resurfacing budget remains at approximately 147% over past fiscal years, from a low of $811,000 in FY2011.

Thriving Downtown.  The revitalization of the centerpiece of downtown Bowling Green, Fountain Square Park, and the implementation of a continuous, cohesive and consistent wayfinding system to improve the navigation of visitors to the downtown area and throughout Bowling Green were completed during FY2018. The City now turns its focus toward revitalizing downtown by creating safer pedestrian walkways, improving streets and alleyways, and developing an inviting connection between Fountain Square and Circus Square parks. Funding for this phased project began in late FY2016. The FY2019 budget includes almost $1.3 million for a total of over $3.2 million, to provide funding for the Downtown Streetscape Improvements project to begin construction later this fall. The first phase of the project comprises improvements surrounding the downtown square, addressing both Capital and Morris alleys, and enhancing the connection between Fountain Square and Circus Square parks. The next phase will enhance the streetscapes of College and State Streets from 7th Avenue to 10th Avenue including a designated bike lane.

Enhancing Community Walk-ability.  The FY2019 budget proposes to continue funding $500,000 for new sidewalk projects to create a more walkable city, a top priority of the Board of Commissioners. The City has invested over $6.4 million in new sidewalks since the inception of this program in 2008, with 15.1 miles of new sidewalk constructed or pending. This equates to an average of approximately 1.5 miles of new sidewalk being constructed each year. As traditionally done, this budget also provides funding for improvements to existing sidewalks, including the addition of ADA-compliant ramps. As previously mentioned, the Neighborhood Improvement Program for Census Tract 112 also includes the construction of 3,500 feet of new sidewalks on Lee Drive, Crewdson Drive, Old Barren River Road, N. Sunrise Drive and Woodway Street funded by CDBG.

Continuing Focus on Stormwater Mitigation.  This budget reinforces the efforts that began in 2010 to address stormwater problem-areas throughout the city, which is also considered a top priority. A total of 60 projects were identified at the onset of this program with 39 remaining, and 11 projects have been completed and one is pending construction, as others have since been added to the list.  Local tax money totaling over $4.75 million has been invested in this on-going program since its inception.  .  Additionally through the years, nine smaller projects have been completed using in-house labor and materials.

Implementing Parks Development Plan. There are several parks and recreation projects slated for funding in the FY2019 budget. These projects are estimated at over $1.5 million, and most were included in the Parks Master Plan. The projects include an inclusive playground at Roland Bland Park and extensive renovations to the skate park; an outdoor fitness playground along the walking trail at Preston Miller Park; baseball field lights and other renovations at Kereiakes Park; court refurbishment at Parker-Bennett; a new shelter at the Loops at Lovers Lane; and architectural/design services for a mausoleum at Fairview Cemetery.

Developing Plan for Old Louisville Road Corridor.   Identified as a major project for FY2019 at the request of property owners and other interested residents and in the interest of riverfront park expansion, the City is in the process of developing a plan to make enhancements and to promote development and new investment along one of the older entrance corridors to downtown Bowling Green, Old Louisville Road (to be renamed River Street).  This plan will focus on the rebranding of the area including the further development of the park properties, aesthetic improvements along the roadway related to fencing, lighting, and landscaping.  Two related projects recommended in the FY2019 budget at a total estimated cost of $450,000 include renovations and maintenance to the rock wall structure at RiverWalk Park and a greenways connector under the bridge at Old Louisville Road (River Street).  The successful implementation of any proposed plan will require a partnership among the City, Warren County, Commonwealth of Kentucky, and area property owners and developers and will take several years to complete.

 Meeting the Needs of a Growing Community.   The growth along the City’s boundaries continues to stretch municipal resources.   The Fire Department currently staffs six stations throughout the City but is facing lengthened response times that are critical in providing immediate service.  Rapid development along Lovers Lane has pressed the City to plan, construct, and staff a new fire station to open in 2020, while studying possible additional stations to serve the Transpark and Russellville Road areas.

The Public Works Department is in the process of developing a targeted traffic improvement plan in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion resulting from the City’s growth in recent years. Similar to the Stormwater Mitigation and New Sidewalk Programs, this plan will identify areas for improvement and prioritize projects based on a predetermined set of criteria.  Funding for the prioritized locations and projects will come from savings in the Future Road Projects Fund.

 

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