Smoke cancelling summer activities

Medford, Ore. — Air quality continues to be an inconvenience for businesses and organizations throughout the region. That includes Medford Parks and Recreation. The department’s had to cancel several events this summer, all due to smoke.

The good news is, parks and recreation is working to reschedule all of the cancelled events. The bad news is, with smoke and air quality fluctuating, they said this probably won’t be the last time it’s dealing with rescheduling this summer.

“A lot of people don’t understand and realize how much time and work and effort goes into running and offering services,” said Rich Rosenthal, Medford Parks and Recreation.

Poor air quality, due to smoke, is continuing to put a damper on summer fun.

“We’ve worked for months on summer programs and to have the air quality make that a waste of time is really disappointing for us,” Rosenthal said.

Smoke is an issue Medford Parks and Recreation has been dealing with for the past four out of six years.

“They’re looking forward to it and planning on it and have signed up for it – and then we have to say we can’t do it. It’s a killer,” Rosenthal said.

The department says they do everything to make it work, if they can.

Like at this week’s softball tournament at US Cellular Park.

“Schedule the games in the morning where generally the air quality has been the most best and where air temperatures are the coolest,” Rosenthal said.

Working around smoke and heat is just something the department is used to.

“It’s just the reality of our world now – that we need to plan for it as much as we can and be able to provide the recreation opportunities that they come to expect and find a place to do them – if at all possible,” Rosenthal said.

So far this summer, Medford Parks and Recreation had to cancel two Movies at the Park, one concert, Junior Giants Baseball, and a number of open swim sessions and swim lessons. Organizers are working to reschedule, if possible.

If you’re signed up for programs, it said the best way to check its status is to visit its website here.

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