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Parks staff gears up for a busy winter

The winter months normally are a period when falling leaves and quieter times at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center give the parks and recreation department staff a chance to catch up with projects that its crews cannot get to during the busy spring and summer.

This winter, however, the staff is gearing up for a number of opportunities to serve the citizens of Forest Grove.

Aquatic center reopened

The aquatic center has reopened on Friday evenings and weekends due to the passage of the local option levy. The center resumed those hours during the weekend of Dec. 15 (see schedule, below). The center will also be open during the week of March 17, which had originally been scheduled for closure.

Partnerships

Pacific University, the Forest Grove High School Boosters Club and the Forest Grove Swim Club have partnered to install the latest technology in timing systems at the aquatic center.

The university has paid the majority of the costs associated with the system that all competitive youth programs that utilize the center will be using.

The new system is a significant improvement to the old timing system that teams have used for the past 30 years. No city funds were used to purchase the new system.

Lincoln Park

Construction is progressing slowly due to weather. Community youth soccer groups have been using the turf field during the construction period along with Pacific University teams.

The track and turf field is now available to the general community for informal public use daily. The baseball, softball and general-use areas of the park are still under construction.

Work should be complete in those areas this week; however, some areas may remain off limits until spring due to muddy conditions.

Thatcher Park

The City of Forest Grove has begun the design process for the property at the corner of Thatcher and David Hill roads. The Thatcher Park Advisory Committee had its first meeting on Nov. 27.

The committee is made up of citizens appointed by the city's recreation commission. They include neighbors, a planning commissioner, a member of the Committee for Citizen Involvement, members of the recreation commission and representatives from the adult sport leagues.

The committee's role will be to recommend design features of the park to the members of the recreation commission who, in turn, will pass their suggestions onto the Forest Grove City Council. The design work is expected to finish towards the end of January with construction to begin next spring.

Citizens with questions regarding any of these or other projects are encouraged to contact the parks and recreation department at 503-992-3237.

Tom Gamble is director of the Forest Grove Parks and Recreation Department.