Community Spotlight is an occasional look at some of the fantastic organizations around the beautiful Portland metro area. We are deeply involved in our community and want to put some focus on the special parts of it. This week’s spotlight covers our local park and recreation district.
Many of us are mourning the end of long-running television favorite “Parks and Recreation,” but one thing we might not have thought about before is the existence of our very own P&R districts here in the Portland Metro area.
From the outside, it may seem as though P&R just takes care of, well, the parks. And that’s part of what they do, but in reality, their duties cover so much more. Here in Beaverton, the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District is in charge of managing parks, trails, recreation centers, nature centers, and more that are located within 50 square miles of land. That’s a lot.
One of the neatest things about P&R is that they offer many classes all year long, open to district residents of any age for accessible prices. A large amount of these classes focus on physical activity, such as learning how to dance, swim, or do gymnastics, but others are more education-based, like pottery, cooking, and bird identification. These classes can last for one day or several months, depending on your preference and the seasonal options.
The P&R district also offers outdoor day trips, mainly for water activities such as rafting. Water sports can often be difficult to get into without some sort of guide, which P&R provides, along with equipment.
Activities such as yoga can sometimes be price prohibitive, meaning that for those who cannot afford $12 per class, the activity is out of the picture. P&R has options which allow these activities to be accessible to all community members, such as Family Assistance. If your household qualifies, each person could receive up to $200 a year to go towards programs and activities.
If your interests lie less towards participating in programs that already exist and more towards helping and changing the P&R district, there are advisory meetings open to the community, volunteer opportunities, and of course the chance to work for Park and Recreation, living out your dream of being Leslie Knope or Ron Swanson.
The Tualatin Hills Park and Rec District does a lot to include every single willing member of the community, no matter what their personal situations are. That’s why we love Park and Recreation—it makes just about anything accessible to anyone. We have them to thank for the beautiful nature that exists in our cities and towns, and the ability to enjoy this nature, whether during a drive to work or a Sunday hike.
For more information about the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District, visit their website here.
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