Washington, D.C./ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 27, 2024
Mayor Bowser Launches Outdoor Pool Season in Washington, D.C., Commemorates Top National Parks RankingSource: District of Columbia Government, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Muriel Bowser made a big splash in the Capitol as the aquatic season kicked off with the traditional Jump In, DC event, where the city's outdoor pools were ceremoniously opened for public enjoyment. Mayor Bowser highlighted the significance of these community hubs, "It allows residents of all ages to keep cool while staying active, and it gives mom and dad a safe and free place to take the kids all summer long," as stated by dc.gov. Festivities greeted attendees with free food and music, alongside students from local schools, as the district reveled in being rated the top park system in the nation by the Trust for Public Land for a fourth straight year.

The celebrations signal the readiness of DPR's 22 outdoor pools and 32 spray parks, opening on May 25 and will remain accessible to the public on Memorial Day from 10 am – 6 pm; these facilities are scheduled for a weekend-only operation through June 23 with full-service outdoor pools set to follow individual summer schedules, six days a week and spray parks will be open daily, during the same hours as the outdoor pools, details of which can be found on the DPR website. DPR Director Thennie Freeman expressed pride in the aquatic network, inviting "every DC resident to share the experience of the over 240,000 visitors to our outdoor pools last summer," as per dc.gov.

Beyond the seasonal festivities, the District is showcasing its commitment to community development with major investments under Mayor Bowser's leadership. As the city's park system stands atop the national rankings, the financial dedication includes a $5 million allocation for upgrading spray parks in need of attention. In another stride for community access to recreational facilities, next month, Ward 5 is set to see the opening of the Reservoir Park Recreation and Aquatic Center, and Ward 7 anticipates the debut of the Joy Evans Therapeutic Recreation Center with its therapeutic pool later within the year.

Large-scale projects are also breaking ground, such as the new $36 million Congress Heights Recreation Center featuring an indoor pool slated for construction this year and a $6.8 million expansion in store for Ward 7's Rosedale outdoor pool; while Anacostia Pool in Ward 8 is scheduled for a staggering $7 million replacement set to begin in 2025, meanwhile the nearby Rumsey Aquatic Center in Ward 6 is receiving a significant $25 million investment for upgrades including a senior wellness center and a new outdoor pool will be established at the former Walter Reed campus in Ward 4. According to dc.gov, the city's dedication to aquatic excellence is further marked by the DC Public Library being awarded the prestigious 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service in recognition of its exceptional community contributions according to the same announcement.