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PR- 228-06
June 30, 2006


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today kicked off the opening of outdoor pools citywide with a celebratory “First Splash” at Red Hook Pool on Bay Street, Brooklyn.  Mayor Bloomberg was joined by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and children from local recreation centers.  51 outdoor pools in the City are now open to the public today and will remain open through Labor Day.  Daily hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.

“The best way to cool off this summer is in one of New York City’s 51 outdoor public pools,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s a great way to stay active in the summer heat and best of all; it’s a free activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Summer is time for fun and relaxation and City Parks are the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the season.”

“As most New Yorkers know, a cool pool is the best place to beat the heat,” said Commissioner Benepe.  “Swimming is a great form of recreation, but for many it is also a survival skill, a competitive sport, and a lifetime passport to health and fitness.  We hope New Yorkers will take advantage of our free Learn to Swim and adult lap-swim programs, which focus on basic swim instruction and ways to stay fit.  As always, please remember to swim smart and swim safe.  We urge you to follow pool rules, listen to lifeguards, know your swimming limits, and most of all, have fun!”

This summer, Parks & Recreation’s “Learn to Swim” program, held at select City outdoor pools, offers toddlers and children the opportunity to learn how to swim.  Free swim instruction will be provided during two three-week “Learn to Swim” sessions and one five-week session.  The program, made possible by Parks’ partnerships with the City Parks Foundation and the American Red Cross, will operate from July 5 through August 11.  For children seeking the thrills of competition, the City will host the Sixth Annual Five Borough Championship swimming competition in August.  For adults, Parks offers a free morning and evening lap-swim program at all of the City’s outdoor pools, allowing for uninterrupted swimming that focuses on health and fitness.

The pool opening ceremony began with swim races for youth recreation swimmers.  Following the speaking program of the event, Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Benepe and the children jumped into the pool to kick-off the beginning of this summer’s pool season.  Western Beef provided a free barbecue lunch and Snapple provided complimentary beverages.  The pool opening festivities were capped off by entertainment courtesy of radio station Power 105.1.  Several New York City lifeguards were on hand, and Parks & Recreation staff reminded children of important water safety tips.

Sol Goldman Pool opened to the public under the name of Red Hook Pool in 1936, as one of the 11 WPA-funded pools that opened that year under Mayor Fiorello H. Laguardia and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses.  The pool was designed by Aymar Embury in the 1930’s and was restored and renamed to honor the financial contributions of the Goldman Family in 1986.  Currently, Red Hook Pool is a participant in the Department of Education’s SchoolFood program, which serves free, nutritional lunches to approximately 300 children each day during the summer.

Eleven pools were constructed during the summer of 1936 by the LaGuardia and Moses administrations. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission last week unanimously granted landmark status to one of them, the Astoria Park Pool, because of its monumental scale, spectacular setting and unique design. With a capacity of 6,200 people and measuring 54,450 square feet, the Astoria pool is the City’s largest public pool and hosted the swimming, water polo and diving trials for the United States Olympic Team prior to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

For more information on locations, activities, and free swimming lessons, visit New York City is also home to 11 indoor pools and 14 miles of public beaches, which are open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Labor Day.


Stu Loeser / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958


Warner Johnston   (Parks)
(212) 360-1311

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