Calgary outdoor pools come back from brink of extinction

Calgary outdoor pools come back from brink of extinction
In 2003, the city proposed the closure of four of Calgary’s outdoor pools, but the community associations involved in the running of them objected.

City council obliged and a non-profit group called the Calgary Outdoor Pool Association was created, which now manages seven outdoor swimming pools on behalf of the city.

The seven pools are Bowview, Forest Lawn, Highwood, Millican Ogden, Mount Pleasant and Stanley Park.

“We are all up and running and they have done quite well the last couple of years,” said association executive director Jenny Jenson. “We’re happy.”

“We haven’t got the resources to totally rebuild the pools that we would like to do, but we are managing to do a little bit more than band-aid them now, which is good.

“We are getting some good maintenance done to them now.”

Jenson added that despite the maintenance underway, the ageing facilities will be in need of more upgrades.

“They will be need to be looked at and they are getting old, but with some love and care and will keep going.”

Keith Fielding has been driving across the city from his northwest home this summer, just to enjoy the Forest Lawn Outdoor Pool because he says the outdoor pools by his place are busy.

“It’s jammed packed,” said Fielding of the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool. “There’s nobody [at the Forest Lawn pool]. It’s a hidden secret. I don’t want to say this, or everybody will come here.”

Jeanette Fleming was at the pool with her children on Friday, and said she’s thankful Calgary’s outdoor pools are still around.

The news is not so good for anyone hoping for a dip in the Silver Springs Outdoor Pool. It’s opening has been delayed for a year because of groundwater seeping in.
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