The City of Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department is opening public park playgrounds and splash pads this weekend and will begin renting picnic pavilions starting June 22. However, a variety of complexities stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of Jackson Aquatics Center for the 2020 summer season.
Playground, splash pad and picnic pavilion users are responsible for accepting risks associated with facility use and must maintain six-foot physical distancing, and are advised to thoroughly wash hands after use. Customized signage displaying terms and conditions and other state guidelines will be posted at each of the recreation sites.
The City operates splash pads and water features at Hawthorne, Lewis, Lone Pine, Fichtner-Mainwaring, and Oregon Hills parks.
Jackson Aquatic Center (JAC) will remain closed this year because of significant capacity limitations and an unfeasible amount of adjustments necessary to operate in accordance with current Oregon Health Authority guidelines.
“This was not an easy decision especially because of the importance of swim lessons and aquatics safety in an area with considerable numbers of lakes, streams, and rivers.” Department director Rich Rosenthal said. “The amount of resources needed to ensure public health and safety at this time greatly inhibits our ability to provide affordable swim lessons and recreational opportunities to the widest possible number of citizens.”
The outdoor seasonal facility was scheduled to open June 8 through Aug. 30 to provide inexpensive swim lessons, lap swimming, and open swim activities. JAC attracted approximately 14,500 customers in 2019, and lifeguards taught 618 swim lesson sessions.
Built in 1960, JAC is Medford’s only municipal swimming pool. The Department intends to open the facility for its 61st year in 2021, assuming operating requirements or restrictions are not onerous, and if the facility does not require unexpected extensive repairs.
Besides opening the popular park amenities, the Department is also working with various partners to add additional youth tournaments at U.S. Cellular Community Park in a manner that would comply with state Phase 2 guidelines. The June 27-28 “Mid-Summer Monster” baseball tournament will be held as scheduled, and the first confirmed new event is a youth baseball tournament on July 18-19.
Meanwhile, the traditional Summer Day Camp childcare program begins June 15 at the Santo Community Center, and the summer season of the City’s adult slowpitch softball league starts June 22. Adult volleyball and soccer leagues will be re-introduced in July.
Drive-In Movies sponsored by Rogue Credit Union will continue on June 26 for six straight weeks. Click here for more information.