Heat Wave Information: Cooling Centers, Camps, Playgrounds

sun peeks through maple leaves

Willamalane designates cooling centers and cancels Summer Playground Program for two day period during heat wave

 With temperatures tracking to be in the triple digits this week, Willamalane Park and Recreation District is designating two of its facilities as cooling centers for the public to escape the heat. As an extra precaution for youth, Willamalane will also be canceling its Summer Playground Program for a two day period.

“Heat-related illnesses can be very serious, and we want to provide all the resources we have available for the public to find relief and respite from the heat,” said Superintendent Vincent Martorello. “We’re also mindful that our youth can be especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and we will be closely monitoring, and even canceling some of the youth activities planned this week.”

This includes cancelling the Summer Playground Program, held at 10 parks across the district, on Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees. The program will also be curtailed on Tuesday, ending at 12:30 p.m.

For summer camps and other outdoor programs, Willamalane will be taking additional precautions to assure children stay cool and hydrated, said Erica Hinshaw, youth program supervisor.

Hinshaw said staff, who are trained in identifying the symptoms and treatment of heat exhaustion, will be tempering the activity level of outdoor play, such as scheduling the more strenuous programs in the morning. Plenty of water is always available, said Hinshaw, and mandatory water breaks for both children and staff are implemented every 15 minutes.

If necessary, outdoor activities will be moved indoors as another alternative to escape the heat, she said. The same safe practices will be implemented indoors with lights dimmed, fans turned on and afternoon activities kept low-key.

Field trips to Willamalane’s pools are also scheduled for several summer camps, with additional trips possibly added this week.

For the public’s safety and well-being, Willamalane has designated both the Bob Keefer Center and Willamalane Adult Activity Center as cooling centers.

Bob Keefer Center, located at 250 S. 32nd St., features a large lobby area for people to sit and relax while they cool off. The center is open from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Willamalane Adult Activity Center has also been designated as a cooling center, and features a spacious lobby area with ample seating accommodations and cooling air conditioning. The Adult Activity Center, located at 215 W. C St., is open on 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Thursday; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday; and 9 a.m. – noon on Saturday.

In addition to the cooling centers, Willamalane’s two pools provide additional options to beat the heat, while enjoying a refreshing swim, or a fun day with the family.

Splash! at Lively Park, Splash! offers Waterpark swims, which includes a wave pool, water slide, family activity pool, hot tub, lap pool and kiddie pool on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m., and  Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Additional hours in the mornings and evenings are available for lap swimming and water exercise. Splash! is located at 6100 Thurston Road in Springfield.

Willamalane Park Swim Center is also a great place to cool off and fit in some exercise. The Swim Center features an eight-lane, 25-yard lap pool, an accessible deep-water pool with diving boards and a shallow wheelchair accessible play and exercise pool with a waterslide. For exercise, the Swim Center is open 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday – Thursday; 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday; and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For recreation swims, hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The Swim Center is located at 1276 G Street in Springfield.

We will also be postponing Wednesday’s Sounds Like Summer concert in the park until further notice.