HEAT WAVE: Enterprise arranges free access to Splash Park, Vale pool

Mikaela Clark prepares to catch 3-year-old son Liam Fillmore at the Vale City Pool on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

UPDATE: More donors step up for Ontario Splash Park.

Dealing with the heat next week will be a little easier with free admission on selected days to the Ontario Splash Park and to the Vale swimming pool as local temperatures reach 100 degrees and more.

The Malheur Enterprise is sponsoring admissions to the Vale pool for the open swim times on Tuesday, June 29, and Wednesday, June 30. The open access will be from noon to 5 p.m.

The pool at 316 Main St. S. can admit 100 people at a time. Admission is normally $4 for those age 3 and above.

City Manager Todd Fuller said the city would welcome other sponsors to provide cost-free swimming as the heat wave is expected to stretch into next week. He said a donation of $300 provides for one open swim session. Businesses or others who want to help should contact city officials at City Hall,150 Longfellow St. N., or call 541-473-3133.

In Ontario, admission to the Splash Park at Lions Park, 790 S.W. Third Ave., will be free from Sunday, June 27, through Thursday, July 1. The park, operated by the Ontario Recreation District, normally charges $1 admission for those 7 and older. It is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Enterprise is sponsoring the free days to help the recreation district launch a program it is calling “Beat the Hundred With One Hundred” to fund admissions through the heat wave.

Andrew Maeda, executive director of the recreation district, said businesses and others can donate to cover the admission cost of the first 100 people into the park each day. Any additional donations each day would provide for more free admissions, he said.

Maeda said those using the park should bring water and sunscreen.

“It is an opportunity for our community members to not only support one another but to also socialize in a fun, family friendly environment regardless of socioeconomic status,” Maeda said. “The importance of socializing between community members is essential to our emotional wellness.”

He said anyone who wants to sponsor a day of admissions can contact the district office between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 541-889-7686 or drop by the front desk at the park during its open hours. The district can accept cash, a check or card to make the donation.

By Friday afternoon, several joined the splash park effort, including Mary Jo Evers, Recreation District board chair; Megan Brown-Cook, Recreation District board member; personal donors including Paula Harris, Justin Apodaca, Sammy Castonguay and Crsytal Jekel Cleaver, and the Ontario law firm Yturri Rose.

A boy jumps off the high diving board after another person had done a cannonball into the Vale City Pool on the hot June day of Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

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HEAT WAVE: Temperatures will begin to ramp up this weekend, approaching records