Sunday, May 29, 2022

Join Southlake Sister Cities for the Rock Walk in the Park

We’re almost to the finish line of the Fit City Challenge, and we know just the way to rack up those final minutes!

Grab your walking shoes and creativity and meet Southlake Sister Cities on Saturday, May 14 at Bob Jones Park. Come out to Southlake’s new painted rock garden at 9:00 AM for a family-friendly, 0.5-mile hike on the paved path!

Come marvel at the painted rocks under the trees and take a moment to create your own painted rock that you can keep or leave behind to join the other painted rocks! Southlake Sister Cities will provide all the supplies to make your artistic vision come to life!

This is the perfect event to flex your athletic and creative muscles. Finish the Fit City Challenge strong with your friends and learn more about this incredible non-profit organization!

The rock garden is located next to the baseball fields, across from Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park.

See you at Bob Jones Park!


Southlake Sister Cities’ Rocks for Peace Program is Coming to Bob Jones Park

Paint one, take one, share one, leave one. Southlake Sister Cities is introducing their Rocks for Peace Program to Bob Jones Park and needs your help growing their painted rock collection!

What are Rocks for Peace, you ask? Southlake Sister Cities’ new program is one you won’t want to take for granite. In collaboration with the Community Services Department, SSC is forging a trail of painted rocks in Bob Jones Park to bring joy to everyone who sees them.

The goal is to create enough painted rocks to cover a trail, get people to explore a new side of Bob Jones Park, and share positive messages with the community. Southlake Sister Cities’ mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation; one individual, one community at a time. Now it will be one rock at a time as well!

We’re looking to grow our rock collection before placing them on the trail, and we need your help to paint some happy rocks! Southlake Sister Cities is participating in two Nature Center programs to create more painted rocks. Join in on the fun and paint a pebble that will have sedimental value for years to come!

Painting supplies and rocks will be provided. Just bring your creativity!

Paint Rocks for Peace with Southlake Sister Cities.

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve Open House
Saturday, September 25
9:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Cross Timbers Nature Club
Wednesday, September 29
4:00 PM- 4:30 PM
*Registration required*

We’ll see you at the Nature Center!

Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Southlake Sister Cities and Southlake Public Library invite you to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year with special events and activities.

It’s the Year of the Pig! A pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty and general prosperity.  Those born in the year of the pig are hardworking, peace-loving people who are truthful, generous, reliable, trusting, sincere, giving, and sociable. They have a great sense of humor and patient understanding.

Celebrate the start of the New Year with these special events.

Lunar New Year Story Time
Bring your children, ages 2-5 years, to a special story time event. Southlake Sister Cities will lead a themed story time with stories, songs and hands-on activities to introduce children to this cultural celebration.
Find it: February 5th | 10:45-11:15 a.m. | Southlake Town Hall 3rd Floor

Lantern Workshop
Let’s make lanterns! Bring your own design and supplies to the workshop, or come to make a simple lantern with provided materials. All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 3-5 p.m. | Southlake Town Hall 3rd Floor

Lunar New Year Celebration, Town Square Walk & Reception
Start the evening celebration with live entertainment. Enjoy live performances including a Dragon Dance, Chinese Yoyo, Martial Arts & more. All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Southlake Town Square Rustin Pavilion

Lantern Walk and Reception
Light up the night with hope for the New Year. Bring your lanterns (battery operated candles only) to light up the night in Southlake Town Square as we parade through the streets and around McPherson Park pond with a Chinese dragon and music. Follow the parade by celebrating the New Year together with a casual reception in Southlake Town Hall. Parade starts at the Pavilion in Southlake Town Square following the live entertainment.  All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 6:30 – 8 p.m. | Southlake Town Square and Town Hall

Visit Japan as a Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador

Serving as an SSC youth ambassador gives Southlake and CISD students a unique opportunity for global friendship, cultural exploration and a life-changing experience. The application deadline for the Japan delegation is Friday, March 1.

SSC youth ambassadors will represent the City of Southlake in one of our two Friendship Cities: Suzhou, Wuzhong District, China, and Tome, Japan. The youth ambassadors and City-appointed chaperones are immersed in a cultural experience while living with host families and enjoying a variety of activities planned by the City, schools and their hosts. In 2018, SSC sent 18 Carroll ISD students on the trips—be sure to check out the videos they made of their experiences in China and Japan!

2019 Youth Ambassadors to Tome, Japan

Trip Dates: June 3 – June 10, 2019
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Eligibility: Southlake Sister Cities members ages 13–18

Sister Cities International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, one individual, one community at a time.”

For more information about the Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program or application process, please contact Katy Hintze.

Southlake Volunteers Recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award

Kiko and Dee Ekstrom were recently recognized by Southlake Sister Cities and the Southlake City Council for their longtime service to the City.

“Kiko and Dee have given thousands of hours to Southlake through their service to Southlake Sister Cities,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We are so grateful for their commitment and how they have worked to establish such a strong Sister Cities program in Southlake, particularly with the city of Tome, Japan.”

Kiko and Dee with councilKiko and Dee have been involved in Southlake Sister Cities for 26 years and worked tirelessly from the beginning when they helped establish the program in 1991. The Ekstroms have served in a variety of volunteer roles with Kiko serving as the president of the Southlake Sister Cities board.  They have overseen the youth exchange programs which has connected well over 500 students from both countries and have organized numerous adult visits.

Sister Cities’ 1st Vice President Barbara Walker praised the Ekstroms role in fostering friendship and understanding  at the June 19 Council meeting saying, “These relationships are pivotal to fulfilling the goal of Sister Cities which is to create citizen ambassadors.”

The Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have completed more than 4,000 hours of volunteer work in their lifetime.  A plaque commemorating Kiko and Dee’s service and lifetime achievement award will be permanently installed in Southlake’s Town Hall in the coming months.

Southlake Sister Cities Brings Russian History to Southlake

Southlake Sister Cities is hosting a free history lecture on Russian history. Come and enjoy some traditional Russian snacks and learn more about Russia from Dr. Dan Orlovsky.

When: September 14 at 7:00 PM
Where: 3rd Floor, Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX

Southlake Sister Cities is about fostering understanding and acceptance across many cultures through personal experiences. “We picked Dr. Orlovsky because he is a professor of Russian studies at SMU (Southern Methodist University), and he focuses on the middle working class people of Russia rather than just the history of the country,” says Katy Hintze, vice president for the Southlake Sister Cities.

Dr. Dan Orlovsky is a professor and George Bouhe Research Fellow in Russian Studies at SMU. He is a specialist in the history of Provisional Government after the February Revolution of 1917, and he continues to study the history of a much understudied hidden class of Soviet citizens, people who were neither workers nor peasants, the white collar “employees” of the Soviet Union between 1918 and 1956. Dr. Orlovsky travels annually to Moscow to work in the trade union, Communist Party and state bureaucracy archives in pursuit of this hidden class.

This is the third speaker Sister Cities has brought to Southlake. Past lectures included a speaker from China and a speaker from Germany.  Southlake Sister Cities creates such events to help educate the community about other cultures and to create understanding.

Learn more about Sister Cities at

Travel the World with Southlake Sister Cities

Southlake Sister Cities is now accepting applications for the 2017 Youth Ambassador Tour of Tome Japan and Suzhou China. If you are interested in traveling the world and seeing new places then get your applications in fast because the deadline is approaching quickly.

The Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program offers students of Southlake an opportunity to represent the City as a Youth Ambassador to Southlake’s Sister Cities. The Youth Ambassadors and adult chaperones are immersed in a cultural experience while living with host families and experiencing a variety of activities planned by the city and their hosts. If you are a Southlake Sister Cities member and interested in representing the City of Southlake on a Tour of Tome Japan and Suzhou China, we are now accepting applications until October 30th, 2016.

Applications for the Youth Ambassador Trip can be found online at For more information about Southlake Sister Cities or the Youth Ambassador Trip, please call (817) 713-9667.

Oktoberfest is Right Around the Corner: Let Southlake Sister Cities Help You Learn More About Germany

The Southlake Sister Cities organization is hosting another FREE event for the Southlake community on October 12. This time they are having a TCU associate professor come talk about Germany and its history from 1850 to present day. Come and enjoy some traditional German snacks and learn more about Germany from special guest speaker, Dr. Jeffrey D. Todd.

Dr. Todd is an Associate Professor of German and French Studies at TCU. His main scholarly interest is in German intellectual history from 1850 to the present. He is also concerned with American cultural politics past and present: in the past as it affected the German-American community; in the present as it shapes our image of and relations with European countries. Dr. Todd will address the stability of the European Union with the exit of England, as well as the immigration crisis Europe is facing today.

October 12th, 6:30 PM
3rd Floor, Southlake Town Hall,
1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX

For more information please visit

Southlake Student Delegation Visits China

Imagine traveling back in time 1,500 years. Three Southlake Carroll students,  Peter Mountford, Anna Ponzo and Ty Ponzo, got an experience of a lifetime over Spring Break when they traveled with Southlake Sister Cities to Suzhou Wuzhong, China.

Suzhou, one of Southlake’s Sister Cities, was founded in China in 514 BC and is known as the Venice of the East with its gardens, canals and area water towns. In partnership with the Jiangsu Foreign Language School, the students were paired with host families and treated to school days in China. Daily activities included classes in calligraphy, painting, traditional Chinese music and dance, and more. The host school arranged for daily cultural trips to discover some beauty of the ancient world.

Students spent one day in Luzhi, an elegant water town constructed 1,500 years ago, located near Suzhou and surrounded by five lakes. It holds 41 quaint ancient bridges, built in the Song (960–1279), Yuan (1271–1368), Ming, and Qing dynasties. So Luzhi is known as the “Museum of Chinesebridges”.

Additional highlights of the trip included a stroll down Pingjiang Road, a preserved 800-year old water lane in Suzhou, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Suzhou Museum and a 2-day tour of Shanghai. Students were educated in the more recent history of Shanghai and the influence World War II had on the area. Jeff and Catherine Wang, of Southlake Sister Cities, led the excursion and Southlake’s City Librarian, Cynthia Pfledderer, served as a chaperone.

The Southlake Sister Cities program partners with the City of Southlake to offer exchange trips for both students and adults between Sister Cities Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. For more information about Sister Cities and the exchange programs, please visit: