Gerran Walker

Gerran Walker, Tahlequah Public Library IT specialist, organizes the library's non-traditional items. These are materials like sports and workout equipment, board games and more that are available for patrons to borrow for up to three weeks.

With this week's weather looking bright and warm, Tahlequah residents may be wanting to make the most of it with backyard sports and activities.

Popular summertime backyard sports include swimming, baseball, football and basketball. For families who want to go big during their holiday cookouts, inflatable water slides and bounce houses are available for rental from nearby locations such as Show It Off, Tahlequah Lumber, or Space Walk of Muskogee.

Equipment can be expensive for many of these activities, so Tahlequah Public Library now offers bocce ball, croquet, basketball, football, workout equipment and more to check out for free.

"We want to provide materials that people may not have access to, whether it's from not knowing or for budgetary reasons," said Gerran Walker, Tahlequah Public Library information technology specialist. "People may not ever try out croquet, but if they can check it out here for free, then they're much more likely to give it a chance."

TPL patrons can check out up to three items of sports gear for up to three weeks. After their due date, there is a $1 late-fee charge per day.

"We're always adding new stuff, so people should check back if they haven't been here in a while," said Walker. "We also take requests, so if we don't have something you want, let us know."

For more information on Tahlequah Public Library's sports equipment, call 918-456-2581.

For families who want to get out of the house, the Tahlequah area offers several inexpensive activities, including parks, swimming pools and the splash pad.

"I would encourage families to do what you can afford," said Heather Winn, family and consumer science educator. "There are lots of free activities to do around Tahlequah."

Winn is part of Oklahoma State University's Extension service, a group of educators who provide children 4-H programs on the environment, family life, health, nutrition and more. Most importantly, she encourages families to be active and stay cool.

"I have a teenager, so I'm always trying to think of ways to get him off the computer," said Winn. "In Oklahoma, statistically, we're not getting enough exercise. It's really important that we address that."

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