December 2, 2021

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Administration: Be sure to see Mayor Esser's Holiday Message welcoming the diverse holidays and traditions that exist in our community. 

Community Development: Winter is on the way, which means it won’t be long until we once again hear the familiar sounds of shovels and snow blowers. 

Finance: It has been confirmed what the total mill rate  will be used to calculate property taxes. Check it out below!

Parks, Recreation and Forestry: Fun Prairie Frozen Fest is coming January 28-30!

Public Safety:  With the start of December comes additional parking restrictions for a number of streets in Sun Prairie. 

Public Works: The Pedestrian Safety Task Force will be airing its Town Hall on Wednesday, December 8th beginning at 6 p.m. for community members to ask questions and/or comment during the airing and have them responded to.

Sun Prairie Media Center: All 53 students enrolled in the Sun Prairie Media Center’s unique KIDS-4 program are sporting brand new KIDS-4 shirts thanks to a donation from the Sun Prairie Optimist Club, the Bank of Sun Prairie and Leader of the Pack.

Sun Prairie Public Library: Yule Ball Winter Crafts will look different this year. We'll be having a "Choose Your Own Adventure" set up! It's a craft buffet where you choose what you'd like to do, then take it home to make it. 


Mayor's Holiday Message

For many of us, Christmas is the primary holiday that we recognize and celebrate with community gatherings, festive celebrations, gift giving, volunteering, and more. However, our community is filled with rich diversity and it is equally important to acknowledge those traditions.

To all in Sun Prairie celebrating Kwanza, Christmas, Hanukkah, Three Kings Day, Winter Solstice, other significant cultural days, or none at all, it is our desire that you feel recognized and included in this community. Our City has planned a variety of seasonal events such as the 106th Annual Fire & Lights Parade, which are intended to bring the entire community together.

To all who live, work, and play in Sun Prairie, please know that you have a place here and the differences you bring are valued.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Check out the video here:
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RoundTrip Emergency Ride Home Program 

A better commute begins with RoundTrip! The RoundTrip program (formerly Rideshare Etc.), connects individuals and employers in the Madison region with convenient alternatives to driving alone. Make your commute to work or school more affordable and enjoyable by using RoundTrip’s online ride matching platform to search and connect with other carpoolers, state vanpool routes, bike buddies, Metro Transit routes and park-and-rides. 

RoundTrip also provides a hub of commuter resources and connections to transportation providers in the Madison region, as well as an Emergency Ride Home program to ensure that you are never stranded at work in an emergency when you regularly bus, bike, or car/vanpool to work.

What is Emergency Ride Home?

If you commute to work by bus, bike, carpool or vanpool, RoundTrip’s Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program is here for you!

The ERH program makes it easier to choose affordable, healthy, and sustainable commute options by providing a ride home in case of emergency to anyone who works in Dane County and uses an alternative to driving alone to work at least three days per week. The ERH program is administered by RoundTrip and funded by Dane County. 

ERH participants are eligible for up to six Union Cab vouchers per year, good for up to $75 per ride. Participants are responsible for driver gratuity and any additional cost beyond $75.

How to Participate

To participate, sign up with RoundTrip and submit a request to join under the “Emergency Ride Home” tab. A staff member will review the request and notify you of your status within one business day. Once approved, you will be able to access your ERH vouchers online under “My Account,” when logged into RoundTrip. 

If you experience a qualifying situation at work such as personal or family illness, illness of your carpool/vanpool driver, unscheduled overtime or bicycle breakdown, simply generate a voucher through RoundTrip and call Union Cab at (608) 242-2000 to request a ride home. If you are registered for ERH and unable to generate a voucher when needed, you may pay for the ride and submit your receipt to for reimbursement (gratuity not included).

Read more about the ERH program rules and process here

When to Use ERH

The ERH program is a safety net to help more commuters in Dane County feel comfortable ridesharing, bicycling, or taking public transit to work. It is intended for unexpected situations such as personal or family illness, illness of a carpool driver, unscheduled overtime making it impossible to take a bus or carpool, bicycle breakdown that cannot be fixed at work, and other similar circumstances. Rides to or from destinations such as the airport, restaurants, and entertainment venues are not allowed.

Contact Information

Visit, email, or call (608) 266-RIDE (7433) for additional information about RoundTrip and the Emergency Ride Home program.

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Holiday Schedule!

Be sure to see our holiday schedule to know when we're closed!

Holiday Schedule

Community Development

SNOW- It's coming!

Winter is on the way, which means it won’t be long until we once again hear the familiar sounds of shovels and snow blowers. During the winter months, many residents (including children walking to school and the physically challenged) need to be able to safely use the public sidewalks.  A vital element in providing clean and safe passage of pedestSNOW IS COMINGrians during the winter is in your hands, namely, the removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks and ramps.  The City has an ordinance regarding snow removal which identifies the responsibilities of citizens in removing snow and ice from sidewalks and ramps.  However, clearing snow and ice should simply be looked upon as a combination of courtesy and caring toward all those who need to use the public walkways.

Residents are required to clear snow from sidewalks within twenty-four hours after the snow has stopped falling. Snow must be cleared the full width of the sidewalk or ramp, not just the width of the shovel or blower.  And remember, snow plows might create a blockage even after your sidewalk or ramp has been cleaned.  In the event that removal of ice is impossible, the property owner or occupant is required to use sand, salt or other suitable substance to prevent the ice from being dangerous.  The sooner and more completely you shovel, the less likely ice will form.

If a sidewalk is not cleared by the required time, the property owner will receive one warning per winter season.  After that, City crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk.  Property owners will be billed for this service, and unpaid bills will be added to the owner’s property tax bill.  After the 2nd violation, fines will also be levied for not complying.   It is also unlawful to take snow or ice from one property and deposit on another (public or private property).  

If you are planning on a vacation or other absence from home, please make sure to make arrangements for someone to take over for you while you are gone.  Residents who require time extensions to complete clearing of sidewalks may request such by contacting the Building Inspection Division.  

If anyone has a question or concern regarding sidewalk snow removal, the Building Inspection Division is ready to help.  You can reach us by email at or by phone at (608) 845-1184 or visit the City’s website at for news and updates.  If you are reporting locations which may be in violation of the city snow removal ordinance, please be prepared to leave enough information so that your complaint can be processed in a timely manor.  Sidewalk enforcement is complaint driven. The entire block for which a complaint is received will be inspected to insure fair and consistent enforcement.  Return calls are not made to individuals calling or e-mailing complaints due to the sheer volume of complaints that can be received surrounding a snow event.

When it snows in Sun Prairie, the City depends on its citizens to be helpful, responsible, and aware of the need to remove all snow and ice from the public sidewalks including walks and ramps leading to a crosswalk. This enables people of all ages and physical condition to have access to clean pedestrian walkways.  


2021 Mill Rate

The Finance Department has been working on the next steps in the tax bill preparation process since the 2022 budget was approved on November 16th.  It has been confirmed what the total mill rate  will be used to calculate property taxes.  The 2021 total mill rate is $21.774388 per $1,000 of assessed value (or .021774388).  This is a decrease over the 2020 mill rate, which was $22.00609 per $1,000 assessed.  Below is the insert that will be included in the real estate property tax bills this year.  This insert provides information on how property taxes can be paid, who to contact with questions, and an example calculation comparing the taxes on an average single family home for 2020 and 2021.

Additional information will be provided at‐Taxes web page. Questions can be emailed to City of Sun Prairie Finance Department at or call 608‐825‐1192. 


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Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Recreation Department

SPPRF office is now open: Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:30pm and available by phone at (608) 837-3449 Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm, by email at

Office Hours Update

Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Closed: Dec. 23 -24 & 30-31

COVID-19 Update

In accordance with the Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) recent Face Covering Emergency Order #5 (, we will require everyone age 2 and older to wear a mask or face covering for all indoor programming and rentals, inside the Family Aquatic Center bathhouse, and when visiting the Parks, Recreation and Forestry office for in person services until Face Covering Emergency Order #5 expires January 3rd, 2022. For the most up to date Dane County COVID-19 information visit and specific Parks, Recreation and Forestry mitigation plan visit


Winter/Spring Guide out now!

Registration Begins – December 7th at

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Sun Prairie Historical Museum

Closed to the Public – November 1st-May 1st 

“Volunteer work continues behind the scenes to develop new exhibits and advance collections inventory. Anyone interested in volunteering at the Historical Museum should email

Calling all volunteers! – Become a “Rink Ranger!” 

 SPPRF has invested in two ice rink liner systems for the 2021-2022 skating season.  Th rinkrangerslogo(1) Opens in new windowe liner systems significantly improve the quality of the ice and the duration of the skating season.  However, the liner system also requires additional maintenance, time, and attention that a traditional flooded rink does not.

 SPPRF is committed to providing high quality ice rink facilities, but due to the additional manual labor required, combined with finite staffing resources, a community-supported volunteer program is critical for the success and future expansion of these facilities.

The "Rink Rangers" Adopt-a-Rink Volunteer Program is a family-friendly volunteer opportunity that relies on community members to assist the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department with basic ice rink maintenance such as snow removal, flooding/resurfacing (trained volunteers only), general site cleanup, and other maintenance needs as identified.


The 2021-2022 season is the first year of this program and will serve as a pilot to determine if additional ice rink liner systems within the park system are feasible in future years.

• For more information, see the Fun Prairie Rink Ranger Information Packet.

• To sign-up, please e-mail to request a volunteer form!

Safe Haven Youth Mentorship Program

Sun Prairie Community Schools and the Sun Prairie Neighborhood Navigators have teamed up to bring you the Safe Haven Youth Mentorship Program!

This FREE program invites youth and teens ages 8-16 to participate in safe, supervised activities every Friday from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at C.H. Bird Elementary School for the duration of the school year.

For more information, or to sign up, please visit:

New in 2022! – Fitness Flex Pass

Not sure what fitness class is right for you?   Enjoy the flexibility to try them all with our new Fit Flex Pass.  More details to come in our 2022 Winter/Spring program guide!

Fun Prairie Frozen Fest! 

            Join us for a weekend full of Winter fun January 28-30th

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SPPRF Gift Certificates

            Looking for a fun gift for a friend or loved one? Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation and Forestry has Gift Certificates available for purchase! Good for the FAC or most of our classes or programs! Call 608-837-3449 or stop in to the Westside Community Services Building for more information



Rec on the Go – December “Elves Workshop”

Res $15.00 / Non-Res $15.00 

Pickup dates begin 12/16 – Ages: 5-14

Rec on the go is a themed based exploration kits for kids ages 5 and up. Each month will feature crafts, experiments, and other fun activities for kids. Pick up or Delivery is available.

Pick-up and delivery will be available December 16 & 17. Participants will be emailed when kits are ready so make sure your email address is up to date.

Bedtime Buddies – December “The Littlest Reindeer”

Res $25.00 / Non-Res $25.00

Ages: 2-4

Bedtime Buddies are a themed based stuff animal kit for toddlers and preschoolers ages 2-4. Each kit will feature a themed based unstuffed animal, stuffing, book, and snack. Bedtime Buddies is sure to make bedtime more fun! Pick up or Delivery is available.

Non-residents must pickup - No delivery available.

Pickup/delivery is December 16 & 17. Please make sure your email address is up to date as that is the way you will be contacted about pickup/delivery.

4th Annual Holiday Light Decorating Contest - 2021

Res $0.00 / Non-Res $0.00

Open to homeowners and businesses!

Enter for a chance to win "Best Decorated Home in Sun Prairie!"


Registration Deadline - Thursday, December 9th, 11:59pm Register online at Home/Business must be located in Sun Prairie School District. For more info, follow the instructions on the left!

*By registering using either method, you are granting the City of Sun Prairie permission to use your name and photo of your house/business for future publicity.


Judging will be 5:00 - 9:00pm the week of December 13th.


  • Best First-Time Entry
  • Judge’s Choice
  • People’s Choice (online voting)
  • Best Decorated Business - New for 2021

*All winners will also receive an official City of Sun Prairie ‘Holiday Lights Contest Winner’ yard sign

Contest Rules:

  • Entry deadline is Thursday, December 9 at 11:59 pm
  • Participants are required to submit one (1) photo of their home no later than December 10 that will be posted for community judging (People’s Choice Award). Photo can be emailed to
  • Home/business must be located within the Sun Prairie City School District (please check with us if you’re not sure)
  • Contest is limited to what can be seen from the street side of the house/business at night
  • People and live animals are not allowed as part of the display
  • All participants are encouraged to keep their house/business decorated through December 31 so the community may view and enjoy!
  • In-person judging will take place the week of December 13 between the times of 5:00-9:00 pm
  • Winners based on in-person judging will be notified by December 17
  • Online judging will be open until December 20 and winner will be notified after it closes

Safe Haven Youth Mentorship Program

Location C.H. Bird Elementary School – Fridays, 4:30 – 6:30pm

Ages: 8 - 16

The Safe Haven Youth & Teen Mentorship Program is brought to you by Sun Prairie Community Schools, Sun Prairie Parks, Recreation & Forestry, and the Sun Prairie Neighborhood Navigators.

The program meets weekly each Friday at C.H. Bird Elementary School from 4:30 - 6:30 pm and provides safe, supervised activities that foster growth in leadership, resiliency, and life skills.

Public Safety

Winter Parking Regulations 

With the start of December comes additional parking restrictions for a number of streets in SuWinter parking regulations Opens in new windown Prairie. From December 1st through March 31st, parking is not allowed on any designated snow route from midnight until 7am, each and every day. The list of snow routes within the city along with essential winter parking info can be found at this website ( 

Snow route violations carry a $50 fine and the regulations are enforced whether or not there is snow on the ground. Snow routes are indicated by white/red signs along those designated streets.

  • Other winter parking regulations which we want to make sure people are aware of include:
    • Alternate Side Parking - Wyoming Ave ONLY, which is in effect from November 15th through March 31st
    • Snow Emergency Parking – When 3” or more of snow falls, the city will declare a snow emergency. During this period parking is prohibited on any city street until the snow emergency has been canceled. Please check the City Website and social media platforms (Twitter @sunprairiepd and Facebook to confirm whether or not a snow emergency has been declared and if so, when it ends. 

    Holiday Lights Displays 

    1: Inspect each strand and bulb prior to putting them up. 

    • Check to make sure they are designed for the intended use (indoor vs. outdoor). 
    •  Inspect wires and plugs for damage.
    •  Check each bulb and replace not working or damaged bulbs. 
    • Find the rating for length or number of stands that can be plugged together. 

    2: Check you extension cords, timers and sensors. Make sure they are designed for the use you plan on (indoor vs. outdoor) and that everything is UL Listed. 

    3: When installing, do not pierce, cut, or alter the lights or wires in any way. Do not run cords through doors or windows.

     4: Know how much power your lights require, and how much each outlet can provide. Plug outdoor lights into a GFI outlet only. 

    5: Keep away from flammables, keep tree well-watered and healthy to prevent fire from overheated lights. 

    6: Only use lights when they can be monitored, and are needed. Leaving your tree on all day while at work is not recommended.

    We hope to see everyone at the Fire and Lights Parade this weekend, where we intend to show of our light decorating skills! 

    For additional decorating safety tips please see's article.


    Sun Prairie Police is pleased to pass along a message congratulating and recognizing Officer Jamy Dennis for completing his field training program on Saturday, November 20th. Jamy has done very well throughout field training. We are happy to have him on our team. Congratulations!

    jamy dennis

Public Works

Pedestrian Safety Task Force - Upcoming Town Hall

The Pedestrian Safety Task Force will be airing its Town Hall on Wednesday, December 8th beginning at 6 p.m. for community members to ask questions and/or comment during the airing and have them responded to. It will be broadcasted on the City's Facebook page. Interested to see what some of the topics will be: 
Have questions that you want to submit and be addressed ahead of time? We've got you covered. Just follow the link below and submit your questions and comments in the last box. 
Do you want to learn more about the Task Force and their purpose? You can do so here: 

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City of Sun Prairie Participates in New Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program

The City of Sun Prairie is excited to participate in a program focused on keeping storm drains clean and clear. Storm drains play an important role in flood prevention and protection of lakes, rivers and streams. They help move storm water runoff from roofs, driveways, streets and other hard surfaces to underground pipes or storm sewers that eventually make their way to our lakes, rivers and streams. Unfortunately, that runoff also carries pollutants, trash, leaves and other debris with it to our waters. Keeping storm drains and the area around them clean can help protect our waters! Steps that the City has taken to tackle the issue of pollutants running down into waterways include:

· Reviewing and updating the storm water management plan annually.

· Joining the Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership to collectively apply for a storm water discharge permit to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

· Spreading awareness and education about the importance of keeping area storm drains clean to the public through articles, newsletters, social media activity, and more.

In addition to our existing efforts, we know this cannot be done alone and the community is invited to join!

Sun Prairie is one of five communities partnering with Dane County on a new Adopt-A-Storm Drain program and we’re looking for volunteers. It’s easy! Here’s how it works.

1. Adopt a nearby storm drain using the Dane County Adopt-A-Storm Drain App.

2. Commit to safely cleaning the area on and around the adopted storm drain at least once a month, but preferably before every large rain event.

3. Report the amount and type of debris after each cleaning using the Adopt- A-Storm Drain App.

4. Report any spills/discharges washing down the storm drain.

5. Agree to share feedback that will be used to improve the program and expand it to other Dane County communities.

All volunteers will be provided a Storm Drain Cleaning Kit that includes a safety vest, storm drain decal to place on their adopted storm drain, dust pan and broom, collection bucket and an Adopt-A-Storm Drain sticker to proudly display. Volunteers will also be included on our Adopt-A-Storm Drain e-Newsletter, which comes out 3-4 times/year. Adopt a local storm drain and have a Ripple Effect on area waters!

“We’re excited to participate in this program and invite the community to join in on creating cleaner and safer streets,” said Tom Veith, Engineering Director.

A limited amount of Storm Drain Cleaning Kits for Sun Prairie is set to arrive this Thursday at City Hall. After registering to adopt a storm drain, participants will need to coordinate with Adam Gross, Staff Engineer, for a kit to be delivered to them. He can be reached via email at To Adopt-A-Storm Drain near you or learn more visit: 

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Sun Prairie Media Center

SPMC at the Fire & Lights Parade

Once again, the Sun Prairie Media Center is thrilled to be a part of the Downtown Fire & Lights Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 4th. Two of our most seasoned radio personalities, Mark Gonwa and Steve Sabatke, will provide festive commentary of the live event and play a variety of holiday music. Starting at 5p.m., watch the event on both KSUN and KIDS-4 on Spectrum Channel 983 & 984 or TDS Channels 13, 14, 1013 and 1014 or online at and It’s also available on Roku and Apple TV apps (search KSUN or Sun Prairie to download the app). You can also listen to the broadcast on 103.5FM, Sun Prairie’s Community Radio. If that’s not enough, you can also watch or listen to the event on the free Sun Prairie Media center app, available for your smartphone (search Sun Prairie Media Center to download). 

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All 53 students enrolled in the Sun Prairie Media Center’s unique KIDS-4 program are sporting brand new KIDS-4 shirts thanks to a donation from the Sun Prairie Optimist Club, the Bank of Sun Prairie and Leader of the Pack.

“This gift is tremendously generous,” said Sun Prairie Media Center director Jeff Robbins. “In years past, the shirts were an additional cost for families enrolled in KIDS-4. Therefore, not all kids received a shirt. This year, thanks to the Optimist Club, Bank of Sun Prairie and Leader of the Pack, every child in the program gets a shirt. I think having the shirt helps cement in each child a feeling of belonging to a unique club, which is definitely what KIDS-4 is.”

The design of the shirt is also unique; each year students enrolled in KIDS-4 submit their ideas for a t-shirt design, with the winning design picked by other kids in the program. This year’s winner is William Dennis, a fourth-grader from Meadow View Elementary who attends KIDS-4 on Monday afternoons. After some minor design modifications, the shirts were printed at Ameriprint Apparel, located right here in Sun Prairie.

“I think the partnership between KIDS-4 and the Sun Prairie Optimist Club is a natural one,” said Robbins. “The Optimist Club’s motto is to be a friend of youth and to bring out the best in youth. Our KIDS-4 program, by encouraging children to be more creative, more media literate, and to be better communicators, certainly brings out the best in the kids enrolled.”

KIDS-4 is a unique program for Sun Prairie Area School District kids in grades 4-8. The classes meet once a week at the Sun Prairie Media Center from October-April, where kids learn how to produce programs and videos by performing all aspects of video production, from writing to acting to sound to directing. Programming produced in KIDS-4 crews also airs on the KIDS-4 channel.
For more information on KIDS-4, please call the Sun Prairie Media Center at 837-4193 or check out tshirt donation_2021_2 Opens in new window

Sun Prairie Public LibrarySun Prairie Public Library Logo

Children’s & Teen Services

Join us for Small Fry Storytime on Mondays at 10 a.m. in the SPPL Storytime Facebook Group or on the SPPL YouTube Channel, and Storytime on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in the SPPL Storytime Facebook Group or on the SPPL YouTube Channel. Visit for up-to-date info.

Gaming with Melissa Online

Friday, December 3 4-5 p.m. 

Melissa wants to play Gartic Phone, Among Us and Jackbox games! Game with Melissa on Zoom on select Fridays at 4 p.m. Registration required for each session; please use the form below. This program is for teens in 6th-12th grade. Questions, concerns, or if registration has already closed but the event has not yet happened, please email Melissa at

Teen Creativity Club Online

Tuesday, December 7th 4-5 p.m. 

Join Melissa on Zoom for Teen Creativity Club! The project for our December 7 meeting is TBA. Registration is required, reserve your spot by using the form below. This program is for teens in 6th - 12th grade. Questions, concerns, or if registration has already closed but the event has not yet happened, please email Melissa at

Yule Ball Winter Crafts

Thursday, December 9 from 3:00-5:30 p.m.
Friday, December 10 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 11 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Library Community Room

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Yule Ball Winter Crafts will look different this year. We'll be having a "Choose Your Own Adventure" set up! It's a craft buffet where you choose what you'd like to do, then take it home to make it. 

Holiday Cheer Storytime

Sunday, December 12 3-3:30 p.m. 

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Join Ms. Lynn for some holiday cheer! This storytime will be streamed live. Books will be about winter and holidays. Geared for ages 0-5, but all are welcome.  

Adult Services

Gentle Tai Chi

Thursday, December 2 2-2:45

Take an afternoon rejuvenation break and join us for Gentle Tai Chi! Tai Chi is slow, mindful exercise which focuses on attention to the breath and has been proven to be helpful for strength, alignment, flexibility, stress management, cognitive fitness, and balance of body, mind and spirit. It's practical, relaxing, and can be modified for a wide range of special needs. Facilitated by certified master instructor, Jody Curley, M.A. This program will be held via Zoom. To receive the Zoom log in information, please register on the Events Calendar at

Dream Bus Bookmobile

Join the Dream Bus bookmobile on Monday nights at Rolling Prairie apartments, The Element on Main apartments, and Vandenburg Heights Park, in collaboration with Sun Prairie Community Schools, The Sun Prairie Neighborhood Navigators, and the Sun Prairie YMCA. Sign up for a library card, check out free books, music, and movies, access free Wi-Fi and resources, and more! Masks are required. Staff will have free masks available upon request.


Rolling Prairie Apartments - 415 S. Bird Street

4 - 4:25pm 

The Element on Main Apartments - 102 Park Circle

4:30 – 4:55pm 

Vandenburg Heights Park - 1020 Vandenburg Street

5 – 5:25pm