Three kids prepare to jump into the pool at Fassnight Park in an undated photograph (Photo by Springfield-Greene County Park Board)

All six of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s public swimming pools will open on the same weekend.

It’s the first time in three years that all six outdoor pools opened on Memorial Day weekend, marking a move toward recovery from the public health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fassnight and Meador pools open Saturday, May 28, from 1-6:30 p.m. McGee-McGregor Wading Pool also opens May 28, and will be open from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Pools at Grant Beach, Silver Springs and Westport open Sunday, May 29. 

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board attributes the shortened operating schedule to a shortage of lifeguards able to staff the public pools. The COVID-19 pandemic reportedly made it difficult for the park board to conduct lifeguard training sessions and, combined with a nationwide labor shortage, resulted in fewer lifeguards available in Springfield.

“Unfortunately we were only able to fully staff four outdoor pools last year,” Director of Parks Bob Belote said. “It’s been very important to us to be able to bring back all six pools this summer, even if they’re not open every day. We absolutely will not operate a pool without sufficient lifeguard coverage.”

Indoor pools at Chesterfield and Doling family centers are open seven days a week.

Discount “Splash and Sizzle” swimming takes place at Grant Beach and Meador pools all day Monday, May 31, Memorial Day, as well as on Independence Day and Labor Day. Admission is $1 for swimmers of all ages, or free with a canned food donation to Ozarks Food Harvest, during “Splash and Sizzle” holidays.

After the holiday weekend, all outdoor pools follow a regular schedule, with each site operating three days per week from 1-6:30 p.m. through Sunday, Aug. 14. The McGee-McGregor Wading Pool is open 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. The Park Board advises swimmers to check the daily schedule at http://ParkBoard.org/Aquatics to be sure of dates and times.

Prospective lifeguards must be age 15 or older, must be strong swimmers, and must complete training and certification. Interested persons may apply to be a lifeguard at http://ParkBoard.org/Jobs. Park Board aquatics staff will arrange for applicant training and certification. The next scheduled training session is June 3-5. 

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board published an operating schedule for its outdoor pools for the 2022 summer season. (Graphic by Springfield-Greene County Park Board)

Daily outdoor pool admission is $5 for adults, $4 for youth ages 4-17 and seniors ages 60 and up. Discount Splash and Sizzle admission takes place daily after 5:30 p.m., and is $1 for all ages or free with a canned food item donation.

Admission is free to McGee-McGregor Wading Pool, which is for kids age 6 and under only, with an accompanying adult. 

Indoor pools at Chesterfield and Doling Family Centers are also open seven days a week, with outdoor admission rates offered Monday-Thursday from 1-8 p.m. Regular indoor admission is charged Friday-Sunday, currently $8 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors. On July 1, admission prices increase to $10 for adults and $7 for kids and seniors. 

Detailed information about each pool, lifeguard training, pool rules, Stingrays swim team and more is at ParkBoard.org/Aquatics. For more information, call the Aquatics Hotline at (417) 864-2099. 

Another popular Parks water attraction, the Ozarks Stream and Fountain at Jordan Valley Park, opens for the season Tuesday, May 24. Admission is free to this interactive water feature. No lifeguards are on duty at Jordan Valley Park.

Rance Burger

Rance Burger covers local government for the Daily Citizen. His goal is to help people know more about what projects their government is involved in, and how their tax dollars are being spent. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with 15 years experience in journalism. Reach him at rburger@sgfcitizen.org or by calling 417-837-3669. Twitter: @RanceBurger More by Rance Burger