Oregon Park District has busy summer planned


OREGON – Now that the long winter and equally long spring are drawing to a close, it is time to start thinking about summer.

And for many people, that means parks. And the Oregon Park District has plenty on the schedule for the summer of 2019 to keep people busy.

Erin Folk, executive director of the District, sat down to answer some questions about upcoming programs.

Question: I would guess this is a busy time of year for the Oregon Park District, yes?

Answer: Yes, this is a very busy time of year as everyone is gearing up for a fun filled summer. Oregon Park District staff spends each day prepping for upcoming activities, but is also planning for programs 6-9 months out.

Q: How many parks are in the district, and what makes them special?

A: The District owns and maintains 11 parks. Each one is distinctively different and designed to meet the needs of our community. Parks are classified as community parks, neighborhood parks or mini parks based on the population they serve and the amenities they offer.  Park West is classified as a community park and serves the largest number of residents and non-residents based on the athletic complex, play features, bike path and amphitheater. The Reading Nook, the District’s newest park, is considered a mini park. The Reading Nook was a donation from The Ingraham Family and has been slowly developed over the past year.  We are excited to add a playground geared towards 2-5 year olds in June. 

Q: What are some new programs the district is offering this summer?

A: The District released our Spring & Summer activity guide in March and are excited for the activities planned. Kudos to all the Oregon Park District for their hard work.  Each employee plays an integral park in these programs and none of it would be possible without everyone working together as a team. The District is excited to expand on the pilot programs of Art in Park and Pop Up & Play offered in 2018. Participants will enjoy free organized activities throughout the summer. The full schedule is available on page 32 of the current activity guide. In addition, Operation Move will offer unique recreation opportunities at various parks that will get the community moving throughout the summer.   

Q: What is on tap for the concerts in the park, which has been a popular event?

A: Concerts in the Park will kick off on June 4th alongside our Color Run.  Registration for the Color Run is open through May 30th.  The first Concert in the Park will be ‘The Hat Guys’ sponsored by City of Oregon. Local favorites and a few new bands will round out the summer entertainment.  All concerts are free and supported by local sponsors.  The final concert in the park, sponsored by the Oregon Park District, will be held on July 23rd with ‘The Ethan Bell Band’. The District will be serving walking tacos and end the evening with fireworks. 

Q: Are there any programs that people know that are not returning, or are being replaced or changed?

A: All programming is returning and will be expanded upon. The staff has conducted several community input surveys and we have been fortunate to gather some great feedback. The District is excited to make changes the community wants to see. These changes range from program procedures to scheduling changes that better suit the needs of our residents. For example, Wiggly Wag & Walk will be moved from July to September. Dogs and their owners have struggled to participate during the heat of the summer and we hope to see an influx of activity and cooler temps in September. 

Q: What kind of aquatic classes or events are coming this year?

A: Swim lessons will kick off on June 3rd.  Participants interested in registering can do so May 20th – May 25th.  First Fridays in the pool will return this summer with fun activities scheduled on the pool deck. Friday’s are only $1 at Nash open swim is available from 2-5 p.m. The 10th annual triathlon will be held on July 20th alongside the Super Sprint for the youth in our community or those who don’t wish to tackle the full sprint triathlon. 

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: The District received a $400,000 OSLAD grant in January 2019 for phase II of Park West improvements and will look to begin construction in late May. Improvements will include a full accessible playground, a new and larger restroom/shelter building, improved accessibility at the amphitheater, batting cage, new sand volleyball courts, baggo courts, and outdoor classroom. The final addition to the improvements will be a Yalp Toro Court. The Toro Court is a multipurpose play court for kids and adults utilizing advance technology for interactive games.  Installation is expected in early fall and will be the first Toro Court installed in the United States.