City of Ann Arbor to open all three outdoor pools this summer

Operations will be different due to COVID-19

Veterans Memorial Park pool. (City of Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR – The outdoor public pools at Fuller Park, Buhr Park and Veterans Memorial Park will be open this summer, the city of Ann Arbor announced in an email to its pool users on Tuesday.

The city opened Fuller Park pool last summer at a very limited capacity for lap swimming to ensure social distancing while the Buhr and Vets pools remained closed.

This year, all pools will welcome swimmers according to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Washtenaw County Health Department.

Programming

The pools will be operating differently due to the ongoing pandemic. In order to provide safe programming this year, swim lessons and day camps will take place at designated pools.

Veterans will become the city’s lessons pool, which will host sessions in the mornings before opening to the general public in the afternoons, evenings and weekends.

Buhr will become the city’s camp pool, which will hold programs through mid afternoons on weekdays before opening for the general public to use in the late afternoons, evenings and weekends.

According to pool staff, Buhr and Veterans generally don’t open to the public until the afternoon due to programming, so the new schedules are not a drastic shift from pre-COVID operations.

There is a possibility that Fuller pool will open before Memorial Day and longer weekend hours may be offered at Buhr and Vets so that the public can have more opportunity to enjoy the pools.

Safety

Similar to last summer’s heightened safety measures at Fuller Park pool, visits to each pool will require reservations, social distancing in the pool, mask wearing when outside the pool, arriving with swimsuits on, bringing your own pool chairs and toys and showering and changing at home following your swim.

All three pools will be offering family spaces and lap lanes by reservation as well as bungee swimming opportunities at Fuller and Buhr.

Pool staff have decided to lower the deep end test age to those age 12 and older in order to offer younger swimmers more opportunities to swim in lap lanes and deep end family spaces.

Season passes will not be offered this year due to the limited number of spots and the need for reservations.

Comparison of pool opportunities from 2020 to 2021. (City of Ann Arbor)

Reservation system

After receiving considerable feedback over challenges with last year’s reservation system at Fuller Park Pool, the new system aims to improve user experience.

“This new system will allow us to limit lap swim reservations to three times per week, per person, have reservations open for the entire summer with no early morning rush to reserve space and allow family members to reserve lanes without the need to create new accounts for reach family member,” reads the announcement.

“Although we know this system will not be perfect for every person, we hope that more members of our community will have the ability to make reservations and enjoy pool time this summer.”

Additionally, Parks & Recreation staff announced that UV filters will be added to each pool’s filtration system following an outbreak of cryptosporidium -- a diarrhea-causing parasite -- in Ann Arbor several years ago. The filters will be installed throughout the spring.


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