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Summer is time for Park & Play

Fichtner-Mainwaring Park in Medford was brimming Wednesday with families, children and pets splashing in the spray fountains and exploring the playground, while beside a bright red, yellow and purple bounce house, a long line of eager children waited their turn to bounce.

The mobile play house, along with other activities such as arts and crafts, are part of the Park & Play Mobile Recreation Program.

"We've been doing this for a number of years," says Briana Milhoan, a staff member with the city of Medford Parks and Recreation Department.

Each morning, the staff meets at the Santo Community Center, loads up the truck and heads out for the day.

Park & Play visits eight parks Monday through Thursday, stopping at two parks each day for two hours; 10 a.m. to noon at the first park and 1 to 3 p.m. at the second. They bring a variety of activities, games and art projects to neighborhood kids. 

"We usually try to have the bounce house," says Milhoan, "but the craft project changes. We've made paper airplanes, whirlybirds and have coloring books."

Kim Wolfe, who is with a local day care center, had about 20 children under her care that morning.

"They have excellent crafts and coloring," says Wolfe.

The park activities are run like a well-oiled machine. For the bounce house, the staff monitors the children and enforces a time limit so everyone has a turn. On a busy day, 60 to 70 kids and their families will partake in activities Park & Play provides. 

"And it's always safe," says Wolfe.

Park & Play runs through Aug. 11. From 10 a.m. to noon, Park & Play will visit Liberty Park on Monday, Howard Park on Tuesday, Fichtner-Mainwaring Park on Wednesday and Donahue-Frohnmayer Park on Thursday. From 1 to 3 p.m., it will be at Lewis Park on Monday, Lone Pine Park on Tuesday, Bear Creek Park on Wednesday and Holmes Park on Thursday. Call 541-774-2400 for more information.

Reach newsroom assistant Rebecca Scott at 541-776-4477 or rscott@mailtribune.com.

Ethan Morthole, 9, of Medford, left, goes up for a slam dunk Wednesday while participating in Medford's Park & Play mobile recreation program at Fichtner-Mainwaring Park in Medford. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch