Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Pools Closed for 2020 Season

Many wading pools and splash pads will remain open.

By - May 22nd, 2020 03:10 pm
The Washington Park pool. Photo by Alison Peterson.

The Washington Park pool. Photo by Alison Peterson.

While some amenities in Milwaukee’s parks are opening, others will remain closed for the rest of the year.

It was announced that all Milwaukee County Parks’ deep-well pools will remain closed for the rest of the season. This includes: Cool Waters aquatic park, Schulz Aquatic Center, Pelican Cove, Washington Park, McCarty Park, Jackson Park, Sheridan Park, Holler Park, Hales Corners Park, Wilson Park, Grobschmidt Park, and the indoor pools at Noyes and Pulaski. However, Hoyt Park Pool, which is operated by the non-profit Friends of Hoyt Park, is planning to open this summer.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, because we know what our pools mean to the community,” said Jen Francis, interim parks director.

The Parks department felt it needed to close the pools because it would have been nearly impossible to maintain physical distancing recommendations and limits on group gatherings still in place.

“Every decision we’re making right now is focused on the safety of our park visitors and our staff,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, in a statement.

Not to mention, the staffing challenges created by the “drastic toll” the pandemic has had on the parks budget.

Francis did say the system will try to keep as many of its wading pools and splash pads open as it can. And will try to do so in a manner that is fair and equitable across the county. She noted that these amenities are important to many county residents for beating the heat during the hottest parts of the summer.

The annual parks budget is highly dependent on the revenue the system generates. Already, the department is showing a multi-million dollar deficit for 2020. Departments across Milwaukee County are facing deficits, and the County as a whole may face an unprecedented budget gap this fall when it attempts to craft a budget for 2021.

Along with pool closures, league play and equipment rentals in the parks will remain canceled through July. And the Domes Summer Show and the July 3rd Lakefront Fireworks remain canceled as well.

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