This year, swimming will be just one of the highlights at .
That's because North Hempstead is opening a new water sports education center at the facility.
For North Hempsead Recreation Supervisor Kevin Hawkins, the new programs make sense. Hawkins, who spent the last 20 years running pool facilities and programs, including those at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Roslyn, began working for North Hempstead last year, when the pool re-openend.
"I took a look at the beach, and said, why aren't we utilizing it? It's so nice," Hawkins said.
So Hawkins and Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Recreation John Darcy got to work, putting together programming that will be new this summer.
At the center, residents ages 13 and up can learn to sail on a 23 foot sailboat (two 3-hour sessions run $325). Residents ages 18 and up can also learn to standup paddle board (a 1-hour session is $65), or take a 5-lesson package standup paddle boarding fitness class ($275.)
The center offers kayaking lessons for ages 10 and up, at both Manorhaven and , with a 2-hour class running $60 per person, or parent plus minor at $80. Residents under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. And there are fishing lessons for ages 5 and up, at $20 per person, where you can learn about equipment, size limits, where and when to fish and more. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
Other new highlights include Zumba for adults, Zumbatomic for those ages 6-12, and Cardio Dance Blast, taught next door at the . There's yoga on the beach, with a choice of sunrise or sunset sessions. And there's aquacise, swimming lessons for ages 6 months -adults and tennis lessons. The Red Devils Swim Team will be back in session for those ages 7-17. Most of the class fees are $70, and swim lessons for non-members are $105.
For those wanting healthy food choices, the snack bar will feature wraps, fruit cups, salads, yogurt and hummus. Hot dogs will also be available.
On Friday, July 27, the band Orleans ("Dance with Me," "Still The One," and "Love Takes Time") will perform in the park at 7:30 p.m.
The new programs were well-received by town officials.
“I am pleased that the Town Of North Hempstead is offering classes like sailing, yoga and fishing to our residents and encouraging the use of our beautiful waterfront," Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio said.
Both Hawkins and Darcy said the town is partnering with local businesses such as , Kostal Paddle and to keep courses affordable, and possibly help these companies reach new markets. Hawkins and Darcy are currently reaching out to local yoga outfits for partnering opportunities. All instructors are certified, Darcy said.
The pool will be open June 16-Sept. 3. Some classes begin as early as June 25. Some of the programs may become available year-round.
Click on the pdf at the right to learn more about new programs.