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Schools out, time to hit the pool

City-sponsored programs keep kids entertained and minds, bodies active

With school out and summer officially started, Portland Parks and Recreation has expanded its programs to help meet the needs of children who suddenly have a lot of time on their hands.

With the price of gasoline often topping $3 a gallon, parks officials believe this summer could see record attendance. Preregistration is not required for any of the activities.

Seven outdoor pools have opened for the summer: Creston Pool, Southeast 44th Avenue and Powell Boulevard; Grant Pool, 2300 N.E. 33rd Ave.; Montavilla Pool, 8129 N.E. Glisan St.; Peninsula Pool, 700 N. Portland Blvd.; Pier Pool, North Seneca Street and St. Johns Avenue; Sellwood Pool, Southeast Seventh Avenue and Miller Street; and Wilson Pool, 1151 S.W. Vermont Street.

The parks bureau operates six indoor pools year-round, but one, the Buckman Pool at 320 S.E. 16th Ave., has been closed for repairs. It will reopen July 16 with a celebration from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

'There is every indication our pools will be more popular than ever this summer,' said Nancy Roth, the bureau's aquatics program director. 'And we're thrilled that Buckman Pool will reopen after being closed last year.'

The bureau once again will be operating its Playground on Wheels program to bring crafts, organized games, songs, sports, obstacle courses and other activities to various neighborhoods during the summer. The Rec 'n' Roll Bus is supported by TriMet and the Amalgamated Transit Union.

In cooperation with the federal lunch program, the bureau will offer free meals to children ages 8 to 12 at selected parks. The meals will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., with schedules posted in each park.

A series of free evening concerts will take place in selected parks in July and early August. The schedule includes: Monday evenings in Sellwood Riverfront Park, Southeast Spokane Street at the Willamette River; Tuesday evenings at Mount Tabor Park, Southeast 69th Avenue and Taylor Street; Wednesday evenings at various North Portland parks; Thursday evenings at Wallace Park, Northwest 25th Avenue and Raleigh Street; Thursday evenings at Sunnyside School Park, Southeast 34th Avenue and Salmon Street; Friday nights at Fernhill Park, Northeast 37th Avenue and Ainsworth Street; and Sunday evenings in Lents Park, Southeast 92nd Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.

The popular Portland Symphony Festival Series also will be held at various parks in July and August.

Information on the bureau's programs is at all parks and community centers and on the city's Web site, www.portlandonline.com/parks/

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