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Public pools opening across the city

Residents can soon make a splash as the city will open public pools on a rolling basis beginning on June 30.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation announced that 16 pools citywide will open this weekend, while an additional 31are scheduled to open over the next few weeks.

Pools will offer daily open swim and free swim lessons.

“Philadelphia public pools are a great way to cool down, have fun, and stay active this summer,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “We’re pleased to be able to provide residents, and especially young people, with the chance to make some great summer memories as we continue to safely emerge from this pandemic.”

According to the city’s website, scheduled openings for pools in South Philly include: Barry Playground at 1800 Johnston Street on July 2, Murphy Recreation Center at 300 W. Shunk Street on July 3, Anderson Recreation Center at 740 S. 17th Street on July 6, Vare Recreation Center at 2600 Morris Street on July 7, Sacks Playground at 400 Washington Avenue on July 8, and Stinger Square at 1400 S. 32nd Street on July 9. Hours of operation vary by location.

Ford Recreation Center at 609 Snyder Avenue and O’Connor Pool at 2601 South Street are scheduled to open in the near future. An up to date list on openings is viewable on the city’s Parks and Recreation website.

“Philadelphians love their neighborhood pools, and we are grateful to be able to open so many of these beloved summer institutions this summer,” said Ott Lovell. “We have been relentless in our efforts to recruit as many lifeguards as possible to minimize the disruption to service in our first pool season since the pandemic shutdown of 2020. We are seeing pools, recreation facilities, and beaches across the country reduce hours or close locations due to the lack of certified lifeguards to work this summer following more than a year out of the water due to the global pandemic.”

In addition, residents can stay cool by visiting more than 90 spraygrounds, open seven days a week through Labor Day. Residents can search for all open pools and spraygrounds  near them using the Parks & Rec Finder App or by visiting the Parks and Recreation website.

Public pools are opening despite a nationwide shortage of lifeguards. Philadelphia was able to recruit, train, and certify hundreds of lifeguards and pool staff to open 47 free public pools this summer, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of the city’s outdoor pools.

“I want to thank our water safety instructors who have accomplished a Herculean task of training hundreds of lifeguards to work in City pools this summer,” Ott Lovell said. “Thanks to these efforts, and our amazing team of Parks & Rec lifeguards, we are on track to open the majority of City pools in the next few weeks.”

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