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Finding new ways to stay connected

When life returns to normal, and it will, we will be here for you as always, providing parks, open spaces, trails, recreation programs and important social services that help people connect and live better lives.

For now, we are here for you and want to hear from you and help you find your space.

What type of support do you need from Ashland Parks and Recreation in order to stay healthy, engaged and connected during a public health emergency? We are asking the citizens of Ashland and nearby communities to complete a brief survey that will assist us in planning alternative ways to support healthy recreation and connection during events that disrupt our daily routines, like the coronavirus or summer smoke. Will you take a moment to provide your feedback on our “Find Your Space” survey? Visit ashland.or.us/FindYourSpace.

“Find Your Space” is a system that will first focus on the safety of residents, staff and our instructors, and offer alternative options for enjoyment as we navigate public health guidelines. The system offers three spaces:

  • Physical space: Parks, trails and open space
  • Safe space: Community resources for health, safety and well-being
  • Fun space: Ways to stay active and engaged with other community members

Examples might be:

  • The self-guided plant walks in Lithia Park, ashland.or.us/LPtrailGuide
  • Providing resources to our citizens, such as our current Senior Services Division COVID-19 resource web page, ashland.or.us/COVID19SeniorResources
  • Connecting neighbors through the city of Ashland’s “Adopt a Neighbor Ashland”
  • Online recreation events that keep you connected to your community

We are anxious to get back to providing regular services to our community. In the meantime, our goal is to provide resources that help keep you and your neighbors engaged even when our ability to connect in person is challenged.

As a way to engage with you now, we have kicked off our social media “Find Your Space” campaign. Look for ways to connect with us each weekday on our Facebook page for the next couple of months:

  • Noticed in the Neighborhood Mondays: What did you see or discover over the weekend as you ventured out into your neighborhood for fresh air and exercise? A blooming flower, your own yard or garden, teddy bears in windows, inspirational signs anything that connects you with your neighborhood and helps you get through this challenging time.
  • Partnership Power Tuesdays: Much of what we do is accomplished through our community partnerships; our sponsors and advertisers help us fulfill our goals of reaching you and offering more to our community.
  • Work in Progress Wednesdays: Share the simple, enjoyable steps you have taken this week for your art and creativity.
  • Things to Do While Staying Home, Saving Lives Thursdays: We will share fun things to do while self-quarantining that include fun activities and instruction from our instructors and other local recreation providers. You can share your own ideas and discoveries.
  • Friday Flowers: Spring is in the air and it’s all about the flowers and blossoms and right now. Share your snapshots with us.
  • Adopt A Neighbor Ashland: The Adopt a Neighbor Ashland program was launched March 31 as a collaborative effort between the Adopt a Neighbor Ashland organizers and the city of Ashland. The effort was led by City Councilor Tonya Graham and former mayor Cathy Shaw.

Isleen Glatt, APRC senior services superintendent, worked behind the scenes to coordinate the city’s part of the collaboration and ensure that our staff team was trained and in place to help connect our vulnerable population with volunteers.

Can you use some help with shopping and errands? Or can you help your neighbor with shopping and errands? Reach out to your friends or neighbors by phone or email. If you need help connecting, please sign up at AdoptNeighbor.org to get or give help. People who do not have internet access can sign up at 541-552-2500.

According to Isleen, “We all must stay home as much as possible now, but for people over 60 or with underlying health conditions, even going shopping is too risky. Adopt a Neighbor Ashland helps the most vulnerable in our community stay home and stay healthy — and helps all of us by reducing the burden on our hospitals.”

  • Senior Phone Buddy: Social connection is important for all people, and perhaps even more so for older adults and people who live alone. Isleen urges everyone to “stay connected during this time of physical distancing.”

If you are an Ashland or Talent senior who would enjoy more (virtual) company, Ashland Senior Services Division can help. The new, free Senior Phone Buddy program matches seniors for daily check-ins and socializing. For questions or to sign up, call 541-488-5342 or email seniorinfo@ashland.or.us.

Remember, we are in this together and we are here for you. For more information, see ashland.or.us/FindYourSpace, email ParksInfo@ashland.or.us or call 541-488-5340. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @AshlandParksandRec, and use the hashtags #FindYourSpace #InThisTogether #APRCstayConnected #AshlandParksandRec #APRC #FunItsInOurNature. For more on Ashland Parks and Recreation, see AshlandParksandRec.org.

Dorinda Cottle is an executive analyst for APRC.