Pelham Bay Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, February 26, 2001


After hiring nearly 1,000 lifeguards last summer, Parks is continuing an aggressive recruitment campaign, and aiming to hire even more guards in 2001. Evidence of the recruitment campaign may be seen around town. Ads have been posted on MTA buses and attached to permit applications. They'll be distributed at Shea Stadium at the opening games of the season. 5,000 posters and brochures and 10,000 postcards were sent to elected officials, and high school and college administrators.

Parks is now offering free Lifeguard Training courses for those interested in safeguarding swimmers this summer at the City's 7 beaches and 53 outdoor pools. We provide training at four convenient locations: Manhattan's West 59th Street Recreation Center, Brooklyn's Metropolitan Pool, Staten Island's Broadway YMCA, and for the first time - Queens' Variety Boys & Girls Club. In addition, prospective lifeguards can use the City's indoor pools at no cost to get in shape for the qualifying test.

In order to qualify for the training course applicants must be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, have unaided vision no worse than 20/40 in one eye and 20/30 in the other, and be at least 16 years or older upon completion of the course.

Successful completion of the 40-hour training course is the next step towards a position as a Parks Lifeguard. After the course, candidates must pass a final exam and clear a background check, at which point they are guaranteed jobs with pay starting at $9.32 per hour. Beach assignments are available at the Bronx's Orchard Beach, Brooklyn's Coney Island and Manhattan Beaches, Queens' Rockaway Beach, and Staten Island's South Beach, Midland, and Wolfe's Pond. Positions at outdoor pools are available in all five boroughs.

The lifeguarding experience is challenging, rewarding and fun. The City's fourteen miles of beach will open on May 26 and the fifty-three outdoor pools on June 30. The outdoor swimming season runs until September 3. If you know someone who might be interested, please refer them to (212) 830-7880.


Thanks to the New York City Council, Parks' tradition of free athletic instruction continues with the Winter/Spring session of Learn to Swim. Ten Parks & Recreation public indoor pools will teach children ages 6-14 the basics of swimming on weekday afternoons. For the past fifteen years, Learn to Swim has been one of Parks' most-attended citywide athletic programs and a shining example of our commitment to the health and fitness of New Yorkers from an early age. This past year alone, over 7,000 people participated. Parents should bring their child to the pool with a bathing suit to register Saturday, February 3 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. or the week of February 5 on the day of the scheduled class between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. As space is limited, parents should register a week before the program starts at the site where their child will take lessons.

Building on the success of Parks Learn to Swim Program, Parks is proud to announce the third year of its new aquatics endeavor - Parks Swim Teams. Open to boys and girls aged 6-18 years old, teams will practice in tandem with the regular Learn to Swim sessions and be coached by Parks Aquatics Specialists. Practice sessions will emphasize competition swimming strokes, starts and turns, rules, and sportsmanship. The Swim Teams will also train their members for competition - both amongst themselves and in preparation for the Borough Cup Championship in the spring, sure to be a thrilling competition and the exciting fruition of all the participants will have learned in the program. The Parks Swim Team will welcome all comers to their ranks, the only qualification being each participant must be able to swim a minimum of 25 yards. The event is sponsored by the City Parks Foundation. For information about tryouts, registration, and practice schedules, call the Parks & Recreation Aquatics Hotline at (718) 699-4219.

(Monday, March 7, 1988)


The Parks Natural Resources Group (NRG) has completed three Natural Area Management Plans outlining strategies to preserve and enhance the woods, meadows, and wetlands of Kissena and Alley Pond Parks in Queens, and Marine Park in Brooklyn.

The documents, based on ecological research and analysis by NRG staff and consultants during the last four years, were funded by grants from the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), administered by the New York State Park Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Under the direction of Clare Beckhardt, New York City Regional Director, the State agency has awarded NRG a total of $425,773 in NHT grants since 1985.


"The cliff drops; over it, the water drops,
and steams out the footprints that led us on."

Robert Traill Spence Lowell (1917-1977)

Directions to Pelham Bay Park

Know Before You Go

Nature Centers
Orchard Beach Nature Center

Orchard Beach Nature Center is closed to the public.

Was this information helpful?