Bucking the national trend, all available public pools are expected to open this summer, with free swim lessons and continued lifeguard training

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Interim Commissioner Orlando Rendon today announced that the City will open 61 pools this summer, representing all of the outdoor public pools available for use. Public pools will open on a rolling basis beginning today, June 14. City pools will open a week earlier than last year, and on the first day of summer break for School District of Philadelphia students. 

New this year, all public pools will host mandatory swim lessons for Parks & Recreation’s 6,000 summer campers. The City’s popular SwimPhilly program returns, with 10 public pools receiving the private swim club design treatment. The ten SwimPhilly pools were selected based on community health and safety data, and represent many pools that have been unable to open since 2020 due to the lifeguard shortage.

“Thanks to hundreds of dedicated residents who stepped up and answered our call to work as lifeguards, we are bucking the national trend and on track to open 100% of available public pools this summer,” said Mayor Jim Kenny. “Our public pools are a sanctuary for residents on hot summer days, and an important place for communities to come together, relax, and recreate.”

With an identified workforce of approximately 700 pool staff, including 350 lifeguards and 350 pool maintenance attendants, the City is on track to safely open all available public pools this summer against the backdrop of a nationwide lifeguard shortage. All public pools offer free swimming lessons. Pool hours and details about swimming lessons are available on the Parks & Rec Finder App.

Forty-one public pools are scheduled to open this month. Twenty additional public pools will open on a rolling basis in early to mid-July. The 2023 pool opening schedule was developed based on equity, available staffing, and to maximize residents’ access to pools in every part of the city. 

June 14 is the opening day of the public pool season. Pools in Hunting Park, Port Richmond, and Mill Creek will open. Last year the first pool opened in Fishtown on June 21.

“Our public pools are a beloved part of summer in the City and a great way to cool down, have fun, and stay active this summer,” said Interim Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Orlando Rendon. “Like every municipality, seaside town, and private pool in the country, Philadelphia was facing a dire lifeguard shortage. With the support of so many Philadelphians, we are proud to  be able to open 100% of the available pools this summer, a critical step to providing free swim lessons and building Philadelphia’s pipeline of future lifeguards.” 

Pool schedules will vary based on available staffing. In neighborhoods with multiple pools, nearby pools may operate on a split schedule to maximize community access. 

Residents can also stay cool and have fun this summer by visiting any of the City’s 90+ spraygrounds, open seven days a week through Labor Day. Residents can search for all open pools and spray grounds near them using the Parks & Rec Finder App

“With our first pools opening on June 14 this summer, young people can go straight from the classroom to the pool deck,” said Bill Salvatore, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Deputy Commissioner of Programs. “We are opening pools earlier than ever and offering six weeks of swim lessons to thousands of summer campers, so there is a lot to be excited about on the public pool deck this year. None of it would be possible without the dedicated support of our incredible City lifeguards and pool maintenance attendants.” 

Pool rules are available here. Parents and caregivers are responsible for watching their children in the pool deck. Any child under the age of eight must be within arms reach of their parent or guardian at all times when in the water. 

The pool opening schedule is subject to change and is available on phila.gov/ppr. Pool schedules vary by location and are based on available staffing. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Friday, June 16, 2023

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Monday, June 19, 2023

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Thusday, June 22, 2023

Friday, June 23, 2023

Saturday, June 24, 2023

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Friday, June 30, 2023

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Monday, July 3, 2023

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Pools expected to open after July 5, 2023

Turning the tides: Addressing the national lifeguard crisis

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation put programs in place over the past 18 months to address the national lifeguard shortage and build a pipeline of lifeguards in Philadelphia. These efforts have included:

  • Offering a first-ever end-of-summer hiring bonus of $1000 to any candidate who applied to be a lifeguard by April 15, and a $500 bonus to any candidate who applied by May 15. 
  • Hosting the first ever Philly Phreeze lifeguard recruitment awareness and fundraising campaign. The Phreeze generated over 1 million in earned media and over $80,000 toward the City’s aquatics program.
  • Offering Free lifeguard training 12 months a year. Interested candidates can sign up at phila.gov/lifeguards.
  • Introducing a no-cost training and application process to any lifeguard candidate 24 or under. This includes free lifeguard training, free Red Cross LIfeguard Certification, and the cost of work clearances. 
  • Hosting teen pop-up pool events in summer 2022 to attract new young people to the swimming pool, and encourage them to build their swim skills.
  • Piloting mandatory swim lessons at all Kensington summer camps in 2022. As the neighborhood with the lowest lifeguard recruitment numbers, PPR provided daily swim lessons to all registered summer campers. The successful initiative will expand Citywide this summer.
  • Hosting a swimwear drive in partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC) to ensure everyone who wants to take a swim lesson or get in the pool has the appropriate swimwear to do so safely and comfortably.


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