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Press Releases

Thursday, June 27, 2013
No. 69

NYC Parks Spreads The Word To "Go Park" At Kick Off Event For The Outdoor Pool Season

Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation Melissa Mark-Viverito, Commissioner of the Department for the Aging Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, President of MetLife Foundation Dennis White and neighborhood children at Thomas Jefferson Pool in East Harlem to kick off the city’s outdoor pool season and to announce Go Park, a campaign encouraging all New Yorkers to discover something new in the more than 29,000 acres of parks and open spaces across the city. Thanks to restored funding from the City Council, all 55 public outdoor pools will once again be open for the season, and as is the case each year, they will close on Labor Day (Monday, September 2). Daily hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.

"Opening our outdoor pools is a great way to welcome summer and a great time for us to tell all New Yorkers about our Go Park campaign, which highlights the amazing range of activities available in the best Parks system in the world," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Summer is a perfect time to take a swim, take a hike or ride a bike – and there's no better place to do any of that than in New York City parks."

“Most New Yorkers know about and love their local neighborhood parks, but they may not realize the full breadth of activities and events our 29,000 acres of open space has to offer,” said Commissioner White. “Today we’re kicking off the outdoor pool season and encouraging everyone to make the most of their summer by discovering something new in our city’s parks. From chilling at the beach, to going wild at our hiking trails, nature centers, and wildlife preserves – there’s so much more to explore in NYC Parks.”

“Our swimming pools are vital community resources for New Yorkers to cool down when temperatures rise," said Speaker Christine Quinn. "I am thrilled that my Council colleagues and I were able to secure funding that will ensure all outdoor swimming pools remain open for another full season. I hope New Yorkers of all ages will get a chance to enjoy the City's pools for exercise, fun, or just to cool off on a hot day."

“It is fitting that the kick-off of the outdoor pool season in NYC takes place in our very own Thomas Jefferson Pool in East Harlem, where as part of being the Age Improvement District, it was the first pool to offer dedicated pool hours to seniors,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am proud that the Council was able to restore the funding needed to keep all of our pools open and for the entire summer season. Thomas Jefferson Pool holds a place in the heart of East Harlem/El Barrio for more reasons than just senior pool hours. It is a summer staple in our community where we can go just to cool off from the heat or to stay active. I want to thank Commissioner Veronica M. White for helping continue to make our communities a healthier and more active place to live and to age and Mayor Bloomberg for his support of the Age Friendly NYC initiative.”

“We have a very active senior population who enjoy their City Parks and love to use the pool as a means of exercise and as a way to cool off during the hot summer months,” said NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “Today’s launch of our pool season is especially gratifying to us as we mark continued success with our Age Friendly Initiative. The Thomas Jefferson Pool in East Harlem was the first pool with dedicated Senior Swim hours. They were the first, but that number has since grown, and as we celebrate the opening of all 55 City outdoor pools, I am pleased to note that the number of pools offering dedicated swim hours for our older New Yorkers has grown to 15. This is just another step as we continue to make our pools; our parks; and our City Age Friendly.”

"MetLife is pleased to partner with New York City Parks to support the Go Park campaign this summer," said Dennis White. "Go Park encourages all New Yorkers to get out and explore the City's great outdoors and free activities all summer long."
"After the success of the Million Trees NYC work, we were honored to be asked to create something thematically holistic for the Parks,” said Infinia CEO Ron Cappello. “It was a great opportunity to amplify the benefits of something we all enjoy here in the city.”
Whether you like to Go Chill at the beach, Go Fish at our freshwater lakes, Go Dig at our volunteer events, or Go Explore our 700 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone at New York City’s Parks. Take advantage of our nature centers, sports fields, and recreation facilities – there’s so much more to explore in our parks. Share photos of how you Go Park this summer on Twitter and Instagram with #GoPark. The Go Park campaign is sponsored by MetLife Foundation, and was designed pro bono by Inifinia.
Throughout the summer, NYC Parks offers a range of aquatics programming for all ages and abilities. Learn to Swim, a free water safety and swimming program for children and adults will be offered in three sessions, at more than 30 pools. We also offer the opportunity to join a swim team and train for the City’s annual Five-Borough Championship swimming competition, to be held on August 17.

Adults looking to get their daily exercise in the pool can register for the free Lap Swim program, which designates “Early Bird” lap swim hours from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and “Night Owl” lap-swim hours from 7:00 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. or dusk at selected locations. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of this annual program.

Parks is also offering once again this summer the Senior Swim program, for swimmers aged 62+. The program has been expanded to a new pool this year – Betsy Head in Brooklyn – for a total of 15 pools, and will run on weekday mornings from July 9 to August 23. The program offers dedicated free swim, water exercise, swim instruction and lap swim hours for seniors, so that they can enjoy the pool without the crowds.

Starting July 1, NYC Parks recreation centers are offering a brand new membership category to Young Adults. Created for people aged 18-24, the Young Adult category costs only $25/year to join a network of 35 centers across the city. The new membership, targeted at students and those who are just beginning their careers, will help to ease the financial transition from Youth membership (free) to Adult membership ($100 or $150/year). Senior memberships will remain $25/year.

An NYC Parks Recreation Center membership gives you access to New York City’s most affordable and extensive network of recreational facilities across the five boroughs. We keep our fees affordable for everyone and we do not charge an initiation or joiner’s fee. Recreation centers offer facilities such as indoor pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, and dance studios, art studios, game rooms, and libraries. All of our recreation centers offer a range of programs for people of all ages.

To register for any of the aquatics programs listed above, to find more details on outdoor pools and recreation centers, and to explore the ways to Go Park this summer, please visit

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