Barretto Point Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Floating Pool At Barretto Point Park Receives Best Of Parks "Keeping It Cool Award"

swimmer in pool
Photo by Daniel Avila

While studying at Columbia many years ago, Anne Buttenwieser, a long time friend and promoter of Parks, had an idea to expand swimming opportunities and water access by developing a floating pool. Her years of commitment to this project came to fruition last year as the “Floating Pool Lady” made its debut in Brooklyn Bridge Park. In 2008, the aptly named floating pool took off for Barretto Point Park in the Bronx. The success and popularity here of the pool has earned it our Best of Parks 2008 “Keeping it Cool” Award.

Barretto Point Park is one of our most exciting new park projects with extraordinary waterfront views. What better way to highlight this beautiful new site and to expand recreation services than with an innovative floating pool. The pool worked well last summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Nonetheless, setting up a pool on a barge at a new location, at the edge of the city, is no easy task. Working on tight deadlines, legions of Parkies sprang into action.

The Planning Office arranged for permits. Capital Projects got the barge tugged into place, anchored it, and set up water, sewage, and electrical services to the barge. 5-Boro and Bronx trades and maintenance and operations got the facility ready by cleaning, painting and prepping the pool and adjusting plumbing and electrical fixtures. Aquatics set up new lap swim and learn to swim sessions. The Training Division educated the staff on special procedures for the floating pool. PEP, in concert with the police, implemented a thorough security plan. Over the course of the summer, we dealt with several issues unique to the floating pool: how to deal with wakes from large boats and tidal changes, what to do if someone jumps overboard, and seasickness.

Through their herculean efforts, our colleagues led by Bronx staff had the pool ready for Opening Day on June 27, when Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Benepe and dozens of our Bronx Recreation clients jumped in to inaugurate our newest pool. The challenges soon faded away and a great pool season ensued. Our lifeguards kept people safe. Aquatics offered lap swimming and innovative Learn to Swim programs tailored to children with asthma. Thousands of children from our Bronx Rec Centers, Summer Camps and individuals came to enjoy a swim on the East River in the South Bronx. We worked in partnership with The Point CDC, Rocking the Boat, and the American Lung Association at the pool. Over 37,790 people used the pool this summer, and they can’t wait for the Floating Pool Lady to return next June for an even more successful season of swimming.


“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

Salvador Dali
(1904 – 1989)

Park Information

Directions to Barretto Point Park

Was this information helpful?