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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cedar Hills "Rocking Their Park"

Cedar Hills Recreation Center would love your support as it competes in the National Park & Recreation Month's Flash Mob "Rock Your Park" video contest. And all you have to do is watch this short, fun video as Cedar Hills campers rock out. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Outdoor pools great places to cool off this summer

THPRD has two outdoor aquatic facilities, Raleigh and Somerset West. We also have an outdoor wading pool for ages 5 and younger at Sunset Swim Center.

Don't take my word for it. Check out this video. And have a great summer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New playground structure installed at John Marty Park

The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District is pleased to announce that John Marty Park, located in the powerline corridor between NW Charlais St. and NW Joscelyn St., now has a new playground structure thanks to significant community participation.

Thirty-two volunteers took part in the installation process on May 14 under the direction of THPRD Maintenance Department staff. After some finishing touches, the play structure opened to the public on Friday, June 3.

Members of the neighborhood were able to voice their support for their favorite play structure style at a public meeting in January. After their input, a smaller structure for ages 2-5 was chosen along with a larger structure for ages 5-12.

A new swing set, a bucket spinner, a climbing wall, benches, an ADA picnic table, and drainage improvements were part of the project. The new play structure replaces equipment that was more than 20 years old.

The total cost of the project was $83,000. The money comes from the Park District’s 2010-11 capital replacement program.

The old wood chips from the playground area were recycled and used for pathways in the community garden site at the park. Dirt from the project was also recycled and moved to Eichler Park for the new BMX bike course.

John Marty Park is the first of three locations that will have new play structures this summer. New play equipment will be installed at Forest Hills Park and Raleigh Park by the end of June.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teen with autism on his way to compete in Special Olympics in Greece with assistance from Beaverton Swim Center staff

Mason Coad, 16, will be one of the youngest swimmers for Team USA when he participates in the Special Olympics in Greece beginning on June 25.

When Mason Coad first came to the Beaverton Swim Center in 2003, the little boy gripped the railing at the steps leading into the pool and screamed.

His mother, Mia, didn’t know what to do. Her 8-year-old son was autistic and clearly frightened.

“It was terrible,” she said. “I was at the point where I almost took him home.”

That’s when Sharron Patapoff, the facility’s supervisor, calmed the waters.

“Sharron told me, ‘It’s OK … just go outside for about 30 minutes and come back,” Mia said. “It was one of the toughest things I ever did.”

Eight years later, Mason is preparing to participate in the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.  He is one of only two swimmers from Oregon to qualify for the event. The 16-year-old is one of the youngest swimmers out of more than 300 Americans who will be competing with Team USA when the Olympics begin June 25.

His story is one of remarkable courage by a little boy once afraid to even touch the water. It’s a story of remarkable love by a mother and a family, determined to give Mason the best life he could have. Finally, it’s a story of remarkable dedication by Sharron Patapoff and the staff and coaches at the Beaverton Swim Center who have worked with Mason over the years as part of THPRD’s swim program for developmentally disabled children and adults.

Today, Mason knifes into the water with confidence. He is an accomplished swimmer, with a number of regional Special Olympic gold medals to his credit.  Particularly skilled in distance races, he can swim for hours at a time. He practices six days a week, much of the time at the swim center where his journey began.
“It’s a real tribute to his Mom,” says Patapoff. “She’s really remarkable with how she’s encouraged him and how well he has adjusted.”

Mia returns the compliment.

“None of this would have happened without Sharron, without his coaches here, and without everyone at Beaverton Swim Center who have helped him and welcomed him,” she said.

“Sharron is a tremendous person, and the swim program for people with disabilities is incredibly important,” Mia added. “What it accomplishes in the lives of these kids and their families is vital.”

Along with Patapoff, Mia gives special credit to his coaches, Jeffrey Crews and David Crippen, who mentored Mason most of the past eight years.

“They have been great,” Mia said. “They know what they’re talking about, and Mason trusts them. He loves to swim. He does exactly what they ask, and the relationship he’s developed with them is wonderful.”

While Mason is very social, he is limited verbally.  But he lights up when discussing the topic of his upcoming Olympic journey.

“I am so, so excited to travel to Athens, Greece,” Mason says with a huge grin as he runs his fingers through his mother’s ponytail. “I am so excited.”

“He is very excited,” Mia said, reflecting her son’s smile. “For a child with autism, this is such a huge step.”

It is such a big step that Mason was required to participate in a week-long training camp for U.S. team members in San Diego this past March. He had to attend the camp without the aid of family members to see if he could handle being away from the familiar environment of home.

He passed with flying colors.

“I was a nervous wreck … I couldn’t sleep” Mia said. “But the coach who was assigned to look out for him said he did outstanding. When she called me and told me that, it was wonderful.”

While seven family members will travel to Greece to support Mason, he will be housed separately with the rest of the athletes.

“I’m not worried about that anymore at all,” Mia said. “It’s a huge weight lifted. I think he’s going to have a wonderful time.”

Mason’s father, Michael, is a Beaverton attorney. His 19-year-old brother, William, is a Portland State University student. Both are ardent supporters.

“Mason came to Beaverton Swim Center because his Dad likes to sail and he wanted Mason to be able to swim,” Mia said. “And William has been there every step of the way. He taught Mason how to play piano. He took swimming lessons with him just to be there for him. He’s a very loving, very caring older brother.”

Mia said there were times of discouragement. Some parents may have been nervous having their children around Mason.

“However, we did meet so many people who were very supportive,” she said. “And once people get to know Mason, they love him. He’s so outgoing and friendly, it’s hard not to.”

Mia has a parting message for anyone who is facing or has a family member facing a disability.

“There is nothing you can’t accomplish if you work at it,” she said. “There were times where I was very, very down. But if you keep trying, if you keep working at it, there’s nothing you can’t do, no place that you cannot go.”

Even Athens, Greece.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Season 13 of Cedar Mill Farmers Market kicks off Mother's Day weekend

Need a special last-minute gift for Mom? Visit the Cedar Mill Farmers Market, which returns for its 13th season on Saturday’s May 7, the day before Mother’s Day.

The “friendliest little market around” will continue every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the end of October in the Sunset Mall parking lot. Sunset Mall is just west of Murray, across NW Cornell Road from Sunset Park and Sunset High School.

Sponsored by the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, the market will again feature a variety of fresh produce from local farmers, including plenty of organic and no-spray natural fruits and vegetables.

Visitors will also find floral bouquets, nursery plants, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet cupcakes, locally grown organic meat, homemade items created by local artisans and crafters, organic coffee, and much more.
Live music will be performed each week, and children will enjoy free balloon animals and face-painting provided by student volunteers.

"We'll offer free recipes to help cooks make the most of their produce purchases," said Dina Gross, Cedar Mill Farmers Market coordinator. "And we'll have other friendly touches you won't find at bigger markets.”
The market accepts food coupons from the State of Oregon's Farm Direct Nutrition Program and Oregon Trail EBTcards from the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Participation in SNAP is partially underwritten by a grant from New Seasons Market.

For more information about the Cedar Mill Farmers Market, visit Volunteers are welcome, and those who are interested should call Gross at 503/913-7733.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BES project nearly completed around Garden Home

Fanno Creek Trail
Just a heads up, but after a long winter of construction, the city of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services is wrapping up work around the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Garden Home Recreation Center.

The installation of a new pressure sewer pipe from SW 86th Avenue to SW 69th Avenue along Multnomah Boulevard resulted in the closure of the north end of the Garden Home parking lot since November. It also closed down a stretch of the Fanno Creek Trail, the outdoor play field, and the playground at recreation facility.

Fanno Creek Trail is now completely open between SW Oleson Road and SW 86th, said John Gaddis of THPRD’s Natural Resources Department.

Superintendent of Recreation Eric Owens said a new play structure has been installed and is now open to the public. Trenches in the play field have been filled and need only to be reseeded to complete the restoration process.

Owens said the parking lot, which needs to be resurfaced with pervious asphalt, should be completed sometime in April. When completed, the area will hold 36 parking spaces.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elevated boardwalk at Center Street Park keeps patrons dry

Some creative thinking and teamwork by two THPRD departments (Maintenance and Athletic Facilities) has resulted in an elevated boardwalk at Center Street Park that will keep park users dry after an equally industrious beaver caused a portion of the park’s concrete pathway to become flooded.

That pathway was covered by water after the busy beaver built a dam in a wetland area on the south side of the park near Center Street.

The boardwalk, which was designed by the Athletic Facilities Department, was completed at a savings of several thousand dollars. Part of the savings came from the decision to recycle wooden bleacher boards THRPD crews had recently removed from area athletic fields.

The boards were dried, sanded, and repainted with paint mixed with a product called Tread-Tex that will give the boardwalk grip for safety.

“This really was a great example of a collaborative effort between two Park District departments,” said Jason Monaghan of Athletic Facilities. “I think this is something our patrons will find very useful.”

The boardwalk was built in 4-by-6-foot sections, is removable, and is ADA-accessible, Monaghan said.

Monaghan, who is a licensed contractor, said the boardwalk was built for just $2,300. Had the project gone out for bid, the cost likely would have been anywhere from $9,500 to $11,500, he said.