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Ashland Parks and Recreation misses you

Here at Ashland Parks and Recreation, we are preparing for the day when we can get back to providing regular services to our community. For now, we will continue to provide limited services and resources that help keep you and your neighbors engaged, even when our ability to connect in person is challenged.

Through our parks, trails, open spaces and online resources we are finding ways to keep you connected whether you are at home or safely visiting the outdoors during the phase one reopening.

We are asking residents of Ashland and other local communities to complete a brief survey that will assist us in planning alternative ways to support recreation and connection during events that disrupt our daily routines, like the coronavirus or summer smoke. Take our survey at ashland.or.us/FindYourSpace, and be sure to join us each weekday on our Facebook page (@AshlandParksandRec) for ways to connect with your community.

We began the process of slowly reopening specific park amenities in accordance with the Governor’s phase one reopening plan. Effective Friday, May 15, the following parks and amenities were reopened to the public:

  • Community Skate Park
  • The Dog Park
  • BMX Park
  • Sports courts (for non-contact sports):
  • Tennis courts at Lithia Park and Hunter Park
  • Pickleball courts at Lithia Park and Helman Elementary School
  • Volleyball courts at Garfield Park and Lithia Park (restricted to one-on-one or doubles only)
  • Bocce Ball in Sherwood Park

If you are visiting parks, expect that some restrooms will be closed. Portable facilities are in place in nearly all parks. Some permanent restrooms are open but are not cleaned twice a day due to reduced staffing. We recommend bringing your own hand sanitizer along with masks and gloves as needed. Please note that under the phase one orders, vulnerable people are encouraged to stay home, so please don’t visit parks facilities if you consider yourself in an at-risk population.

We reopened the Oak Knoll Golf Course in early May, under strict public health guidelines. The reopening includes Mary’s BBQ, which is inside the Oak Knoll clubhouse. Be sure to check out all the golf course offers at OakKnollGolf.org, email them at oakknollinfo@ashland.or.us or call 541-482-4311.

Even though many of our summer events have been canceled or postponed, we are working to find ways to stay connected with you. As you probably know, the city of Ashland’s 4th of July festivities, including the 44th annual 4th of July Run, have been canceled. In the spirit of community and health, we plan to host a virtual run at no charge. View complete details and sign up at ashland.or.us/JulyRun.

The Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool also will not open for the 2020 season.

We have also been working to provide opportunities for recreation activities this summer. We are still not certain what shape our rec programs will take in July and August, but we will have information on our website soon for the 2020 Summer Community PlayGuide. Check our website at AshlandParksandRec.org.

If you’re excited to get back into parks and connect with your community, consider volunteering with us. Even if life has slowed, the spring growth in our parks has not, and we need help. We have developed a plan to safely support interested volunteers who are looking to get their hands dirty, and we have opportunities to fit your comfort level.

If you feel the desire to get some fresh air and help beautify our parks, contact volunteer coordinator Sulaiman Shelton at sulaiman.shelton@ashland.or.us, call 541-552-2264, or join us online at ashland.or.us/volunteer.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our park spaces and recreational facilities as the guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority allow. See our website for the latest guidelines for responsible outdoor recreation, AshlandParksandRec.org. Some examples include:

  • Keep at least six feet between you and others
  • Groups limited to 10 people or fewer in parks
  • Visit at off-peak times
  • Leave no trace, and pack out what you pack in
  • Visit less crowded areas

Remember, crowds lead to closures, and it is important to protect the health and safety of all in our community.

We want to give a shout out to all of our community partners. Much of what we do could not be accomplished without you and your support. For a list of our 2020 Summer Partners, visit our Find Your Space page at ashland.or.us/FindYourSpace, and be sure to check them out in our 2020 Summer Community PlayGuide.

We miss you and hope to see you soon. Remember, we are in this together, and we are here for you. For more information, email parksinfo@ashland.or.us or call 541-488-5340. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Rachel Dials is recreation superintendent for Ashland Parks and Recreation.

Oak Knoll Golf Course reopened in May. Tidings/file photo