Lincoln Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson announced today that city outdoor pools will not open on Saturday, May 23 for Memorial Day weekend to provide more time to review guidance from health officials. He said a decision has not yet been made on the status of pool operations for the rest of the summer.
"If we are able to determine a safe way to operate pools, we know that we will not open every pool in the city," Johnson said. "That means that the swim and dive leagues we normally operate will not take place this year. We also will not host any larger events like the regional swim meets normally hosted at Woods." Johnson said the Trago Park Sprayground will also be closed for now.
In making a decision about the pools, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said city is considering not just the health of the public, but also budget constraints and the impact on the public. She said public pools offer respite from the heat for those who do not have air conditioning, and they allow access to swimming for those that can't afford to belong to a members-only organization.
"The goal of our One Lincoln initiative - that every resident has the opportunity to succeed - means that we must always consider who may be uniquely harmed by any changes that we make to city services," Mayor Gaylor Baird said. "And, it calls on us to find creative ways to ensure that our residents' needs are still being met."
Playgrounds and restrooms in city parks also remain closed, and Johnson outlined the following changes to the Parks and Recreation normal programming.
"I want to thank all those who are following the health guidelines while they are enjoying our parks and trails," Johnson said. "We have been able to keep our parks open due to the cooperation of the public."
For program registration or more information, visit parks.lincoln.ne.gov.
More information on COVID-19 and the City's response is available at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov.