The Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department can look back on a busy yet successful year of activities.

In addition to a new paint job at the City Park Swimming Pool, Manhattan’s swimming facilities also saw over 100,000 visitors as well as some new programs, the implementation of a new junior-lifeguard training program and new swimming lessons.

The Twin Oaks Sports Complex at Frank Anneberg Park has also seen a lot of activity this year.

“We have 585 teams that came in, which is a new record for us in terms of total number of teams for the summer,” Randi Clifford, the recreation director for Manhattan Parks and Rec, said. “That’s about 7500 players coming in for adult/youth tournaments and about 70 percent of those were from out of town. So there’s a pretty big economic factor involved with hosting those tournaments at those facilities and we’re very pleased with those turnouts.”

In addition to tournaments and aquatics programs, the Parks and Rec Department has also put on over 20 special events, such as family fun days, triathlons and other seasonal events.

For a list of upcoming events, visit

The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter has also seen positive growth of its own in the number of pets that have been adopted during what has been director Deb Watkins’ first year.

To date, 437 more animals have been adopted this year than in 2018.

Watkins has made it a point to hold events that promote pet adoptions, such as the Clear the Shelter event.

“We had not participated in Clear the Shelter before and we did like 80-some adoptions that day,” Watkins said. “So it was great for the Manhattan community to join in that event.”

There is another similar event coming up in just a couple weeks.

“We’re going to do our Home for the Holidays and so it will be (Dec.) 18th through the 21st,” Watkins said. “We’re wanting to get as many animals into homes (as we can) before Christmas.”

There will be a number of pet-adoption events in 2020, such as the Valentine’s Special, an open house event in April that will involve puppies and kittens, the clear the shelter event and then senior pet month in November.

To see which animals are available for adoption at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter, visit their Facebook page or

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