It looks like the ropes course in Prescott Park up on Roxy Ann has fallen into disuse. Can you enlightening me on its current status?

— Victoria S., Medford

 

One person's ropes course is another's challenge course. The Medford Parks and Recreation Department calls it a challenge course — so will we. That said, the challenge course is seasonal in nature and operated under contract with a Portland firm, Synergo, which supplies certified course monitors.

The course is just north of the long-standing picnic area on the road that rings Roxy Ann Peak. The city awarded a contract for construction in 2011, and it opened in 2012.

Six to 10 groups use the course annually, making reservations through the city website, Parks Department Director Rich Rosenthal said. The peak season for use is between May and September. But like many outdoor activities this summer, wildfire smoke deterred participation.

However, Rosenthal said there is a shortage of certified challenge course facilitators. At one time, the city had a staff member certified to lead youth programs, he said. But that's no longer the case.

"To my knowledge, there are only a handful of certified individuals in this area," Rosenthal said. "There are only two in the Rogue Valley, and one has another full-time job."

He said Synergo sends down a facilitator when groups such as the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County use the course for its leadership program.

The firm also helps the inspect the course annually.

"We want to make sure the ground-based elements and the high elements in the trees are in working order," Rosenthal said.

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