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A family has fun at Daniel Meyer Pool in 2014. The Daniel Meyer Pool will open June 4 for lap swim only. The pool will be open to the general public on Thursday, June 14. [Photo courtesy of Ashland Parks & Recreation]

Park Views: Ashland summer rec options abound

“Take a hike or take a ride, enjoy your summer and check out the APRC PlayGuide.”

I struggled a bit the last couple of weeks trying to choose a topic for APRC’s monthly article. Usually I have several ideas and find it easy to write about any of several hot topics on our agenda. But as most of you know, we at APRC headquarters have been getting a lot of press over the past several months. Most of this news has been informational and for anyone that follows our news releases and updates you will know that we have quite a bit going on this summer.

My short quote above about the APRC PlayGuide highlights an excellent source document for summer recreation and is the perfect place to find local activity information that you and your family will enjoy this summer in Ashland. (For more information visit ashlandparksandrec.org.)

In less than a month the Daniel Meyer Pool will open for the summer season. Swim classes, lap swim and open pool times are an excellent way to beat the heat in summertime Ashland. APRC has made it one of our top priorities to pursue a solution to replace the “competition style” pool that our community lost when SOU decided not to replace their aging aquatics facility when they remodeled their sports complex.

Swim sports and swimming in general is a great lifetime activity. Citizens who use swimming as one of their main recreational activities generally want to swim year-round. Swim sports (competitive swimming and water polo) for school-aged children mostly take place during the school year. We currently do not have an aquatics facility that meets these needs for either group.

Over the summer APRC will be exploring, once again, the needs of the Ashland swimming community:

• How can we best use our current facility?

• What would be the benefits to users if we expanded the season of our current outdoor pool? Who would use it?

• Who would pay for the expanded use?

• How many more useable years does the Daniel Meyer Pool have before it needs to be replaced?

• Who in the community will support a rebuild of our community pool?

Stay tuned for more information and discussion on this topic. For general information on the pool, and to view the pool schedule, visit ashland.or.us/Swim.

So, summer is upon us. Don’t forget about signing up for the 4th of July Run. Registration is now open for the 2-mile fun run and the 10K run (go to ashland.or.us/JulyRun).

The Lithia Park Master Planning process in if full gear now and we have had much meaningful input on the subject of what values are important to our community with regard to our “crown jewel” public park. You will continue to hear more from us as this project proceeds through the planning process. Complete information on the master plan can be found at ashland.or.us/LithiaParkMasterPlan.

And while we are thinking of Lithia Park, don’t forget about the Lithia Park Guided Nature Walks that commence every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday (and Saturdays in July and August) at 10 a.m. at the entrance to Lithia Park, just off the Plaza. These guided walks are free and informational. Plus you can enjoy the beauty of the park and hear some interesting facts.

So whether you take a hike, ride your bike, walk your dog, swing a golf club, visit the Nature Center or Senior Center, play some tennis, or better yet, Pickleball, you can enjoy your summer in Ashland and take advantage of the many facilities and programs offered by your Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission. Have a great summer!

Mike Gardiner is chairman of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.

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