Philadelphia will open 50 pools this summer despite nationwide lifeguard shortage

Philadelphia Parks & Rec committed to opening 80% of the pools available in the city on a rolling basis

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The nationwide lifeguard shortage has been concerning in the wake of rising temperatures, but Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced Friday that the city will be opening the majority of its pools starting Tuesday, June 21.

“Like every municipality, seaside town, and private pool in the country, Philadelphia faces a dire lifeguard shortage,” Lovell said in a statement.

“With the support of so many civic-minded Philadelphians, we are proud to be able to open 80% of the available pools this summer, a critical step to providing free swim lessons and building Philadelphia’s pipeline of future lifeguards.”

Right now, 50 of the 63 pools in operation are scheduled to open not all at once, but on a rolling basis. The first 12 are opening next week.

The pools will close on a rolling basis too, allowing them to each be open for the same length of time.

Roughly 500 staffers have been identified to help maintain the outdoor pools this summer, including lifeguards and maintenance attendants. They also announced that all public pools would continue to offer free swimming lessons.

“We will continue our lifeguard training throughout the summer,” Lovell added. “While it won’t help us for this summer since lifeguard training takes some time, we are hopeful that people will come to our lifeguard training program in the hopes of becoming a lifeguard for the 2023 pool season.”

Pools and or spraygrounds will be open in every ZIP code in the city. About 70% of the open pools are in low-income communities, where the average family income is $45,000 a year or less.

See the full list of pool openings below, but for the most up-to-date list, you can go to phila.gov/ppr. The schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday, June 21

Fishtown Recreation Center
Mill Creek Playground
Samuel Recreation Center

Wednesday, June 22  

Barry Playground
Lawncrest Recreation Center
Penrose Playground

Thursday, June 23 

Kelly Pool
Vogt Recreation Center
Pleasant Playground 

Friday, June 24 

Murphy Recreation Center 
Mitchell Playground
Simpson Recreation Center

Monday, June 27

Bridesburg Recreation Center
Athletic Recreation Center
Ford Recreation Center

Tuesday, June 28 

Awbury Playground
Jacobs Playground 

Wednesday, June 29 

Jardel Recreation Center
Marian Anderson Recreation Center
Max Myers Playground

Thursday, June 30

Hancock Playground
Kendrick Recreation Center

Friday, July 1

Fox Chase Recreation Center

Saturday, July 2 

American Legion Playground
Cione Playground
Mander Playground

Week of July 4 

Hillside Recreation Center
Christy Recreation Center
J Finnegan Playground
Northern Liberties Recreation Center
Cherashore Playground
CB Moore Recreation Center
McVeigh Recreation Center
Cobbs Creek Recreation Center
Lackman Playground
Stinger Square
O’Connor Pool
Sacks Playground
39th & Olive Playground
Lonnie Young Recreation Center
Houseman Playground
Feltonville Recreation Center
Shepard Recreation Center
Piccoli Playground
Francisville Recreation Center
Scanlon Recreation Center

Week of July 11

Hunting Park Recreation Center
Waterloo Playground
Tustin Recreation Center
FJ Myers Recreation Center

Pools currently under renovation and not opening this year:

Lee
Shuler
Vare
Chew
Heitzman
Kingsessing
Schmidt