Portland Parks’ summer programs in full swing

See exclusive photos of the Bureau’s summer playground program kick-off – hosted by Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish – right here, in outer East Portland …

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, Portland Parks & Recreation director Zari Santner, and staff member Maria Brown Miller show off their summery haberdashery, as they welcome folks to the Montavilla Community Center Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
To welcome kids and parents to their summer events and programs, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) held an event they called “Duck into Summer” on June 26 at Montavilla Community Center Park.

The event was short on speeches, and long on entertainment, as PP&R staff members showed off many of the games and activities they’re currently bringing to parks all over the Portland area.

Staff member Andy Sharp helps a young climber get ready to attack a Parks Department “climbing wall”.

PP&R now owns and operates two “climbing walls” that they take to different parks to give kids some healthy – and exciting – fun.

PP&R director Zari Santner welcomes visitors to the event.

101 years of fun
Portland Parks & Recreation director Zari Santner said the event provided a sampling of the programs offered by their bureau. “From our activities, to community gardens, to swimming pools and activities at the Community Music Center, we provide many free activities for children, adults, and grandparents.”

Santner noted that PP&R has been offering summer playground programs for over 100 years. “I believe this is our 101st year. Enjoy our summer programs, your days – and your evenings – with us. Remember, we also provide movies and concerts in many parks around Portland.”

Some of the fun is simple – like Jenna Mitchem, in the giant bubble made by Parks staffer Heather Height.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs makes friends, handing out honorary Police Officer Badges.

“How many here are under age 18?” asks Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish who oversees PP&R. “We have a great summer planned for you!!”

Fish promotes swimming
“Wow! Look at all the young people here today!” exclaimed Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. “I want to talk with you for a second. We care about the kind of summer you have this year. We at the Parks Bureau have greatly expanded our summer programs.”

He named many of the activities, including the Movies in the Park, concerts, PDX Teen Idol performances, activities, and of course, the swimming pools.

“How many of you like to swim?” Fish asked rhetorically. “I do too – some people say I was born with a specific set of skills, just for this activity!”

Commissioner Fish greets the stars from the 2009 PDX Teen Idol competition before their performance at the park.

Don’t wait! Summer is slipping by quicker than you think.
Visit www.PortlandParks.org, and look for their
“free summer fun” page today!

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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