Parks ready to dive into the summer

As opening weekend approaches, Jefferson City Pools are fully staffed with extended hours.

Aaron Grefrath, deputy director of the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, said the department was ready for the start of summer.

“The early release of the schools (in Jefferson City) helped,” he said. “We employ a lot of students (as lifeguards) so we were worried about being short of staff, but we are full.”

Grefrath said he had heard that other pools, like those at Columbia, were facing a staffing shortage.

“We are fortunate to be fully staffed,” he said.

The city operates swimming pools in Ellis-Porter and Memorial parks. Both open this weekend for the season.

One thing that will be different this season, said Grefrath, is that both pools will open earlier today. Previously, they operated from noon to 7 p.m., but will now open at 10 a.m.

Grefrath said the pools opened at 10 a.m. last year due to COVID-19 issues and people seemed to enjoy the overtime.

“We have decided to prosecute them,” he said.

With the extended hours, pool attendance was still below normal last year due to the pandemic. However, Grefrath has said he has hopes for this season.

“Based on the trends we are seeing with other park activities, we expect to be back on track, if not more,” he said. “People can’t wait to get back to normal activities and swimming is an important activity for people, especially children and young adults.”

Grefrath said the Memorial Park swimming pool normally closes earlier in the season due to staffing with students returning to school and college. It will close on August 15 this year and the pool at Ellis-Porter Park will close on September 6.

Admission is $ 5.50 for youth (17 and under) and $ 6.50 for adults. Season passes are $ 80 for youth and $ 95 for adults, or $ 190 for a family of up to four.

Grefrath said there was nothing special planned for the opening weekend.

“I hope we have good weather for this,” he said.


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