Research by SOAC’s Matt Miller offers a quick and eye-opening overview of the status of community pools in 98 Oregon towns and cities with a population of 4,000 and over. The research was part of the Ad Hoc Pool Committee’s presentation to Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioners.
A recent survey of Oregon aquatic facilities shows that 83 of the 98 cities in Oregon with a population of 4,000 residents or larger have access to a year-round public pool within at most 30 minutes driving. Ashland does not. In fact, there is no year-round public pool in the Rogue Valley. For comparison, Astoria, with a population of 9632, has four year-around public pools; Madras, with a population of 6552, has three year-round public pools; and La Grande, with a population of 12,999, has two year-round public pools. Corvallis, with a population of 56,224, and Albany, with a population of 52,007 — which are separated by only 10 miles and a 15-minute drive — both have indoor, year-round aquatic facilities with 50-meter, Olympic-sized pools and additional recreational pools.