• The information below is about the 2022 pool season. Stay tuned for information on the 2023 season.

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell today announced that the City will open 50 pools this summer, representing 80% of the 63 operating outdoor pools available for use. The City’s outdoor pools will open on a rolling basis beginning Tuesday, June 21.

With an identified workforce of approximately 500 pool staff, including lifeguards and pool maintenance attendants, the City is able to safely open 50 outdoor pools this summer against the backdrop of a nationwide lifeguard shortage compounded by seasonal hiring challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.All public pools offer free swimming lessons. Residents can find details about swimming lessons by visiting the pool or searching the Parks & Rec Finder App.

Twenty-six public pools are scheduled to open by July 4th. The 24 remaining pools will open on a rolling basis between July 4 – 15. 70 percent of the pools open this summer are in communities where the average household income is less than $45,000 a year. A detailed pool opening schedule will be regularly updated at phila.gov/ppr.

The 2022 pool schedule was developed based on equity and to maximize residents’ access to pools in every part of the city. Pools were selected to open based on available staffing, geography, past pool usage data, and neighborhood need.  Pool schedules will vary based on available staffing. In neighborhoods with multiple pools, the largest, or most visited pool may open, or nearby pools may operate on a split schedule to maximize community access. All pools will offer free swim lessons.

“Our public pools are a beloved part of summer in the City, and a great way to cool down, have fun, and stay active,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Like every municipality, seaside town, and private pool in the country, Philadelphia faces a dire lifeguard shortage. With the support of so many civic-minded Philadelphians, we are proud to be able to open 80% of the available pools this summer, a critical step to providing free swim lessons and building Philadelphia’s pipeline of future lifeguards.”

Turning the tides: Addressing the national lifeguard crisis

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is putting programs in place this summer to address the persistent national lifeguard shortage and build a pipeline of lifeguards in Philadelphia. Some efforts include:

  • Free lifeguard training courses will take place throughout the summer at Lincoln High School’s indoor pool. Interested candidates can sign up at phila.gov/lifeguards.

  • Teen pop-up pool events will take place at various sites throughout the summer to recruit lifeguards for 2023 and beyond.

  • In Kensington, the neighborhood with the lowest lifeguard recruitment numbers, PPR will provide daily swim lessons for all registered summer campers.

  • All current lifeguards with certification set to expire next year will be able to seek re-certification through Parks & Recreation this summer.

  • swimwear drive in partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative (PYSC) to ensure everyone who wants to take a swim lesson or get in the pool has the appropriate swimwear to do so safely and comfortably.

In addition, residents can stay cool and have fun this summer by visiting any of the City’s 90+ spraygrounds, open daily through Labor Day. Residents can search for an open pool or sprayground by using the Parks & Rec Finder App.

“Philadelphians love their neighborhood pools, and we are so grateful to the hundreds of caring individuals who heard our call to serve their city this summer by working at a public pool,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. “We have been relentless in our efforts to recruit as many lifeguards as possible, and are grateful to all the community leaders, elected officials, and members of the press and public who helped us get the word out about the incredibly important role lifeguards play in giving Philly kids the summer they deserve.”

While seasonal employers across the country face reported labor shortages, PPR used a variety of new tactics to maximize interest in lifeguarding for the City. Efforts include:

  • Raised the starting pay to $16.00/hour.
  • Paid the Red Cross certification fee for 16-24 year old applicants.
  • Paid background check and other pre-employment costs for applicants from Kensington and other neighborhoods with high needs.
  • Distributed more than 10,000 flyers, posters, and postcards across the city.
  • Connected with more than 100 high schools, charter schools, colleges and universities to share the job opportunity with the student body and school community.
  • Knocked on doors to personally invite candidates to apply to be a lifeguard.
  • Led a targeted social media campaign that reached over 250,000 individuals.
  • Focused on recruiting retirees and saw a 100% increase in the number of senior citizens working as lifeguards this summer (12 this year, up from 6 in 2021).
  • Launched a TikTok account dedicated to recruiting Philadelphia lifeguards.
  • Attended over 35 job fairs in all corners of the city, including at highly-visible festivals and events including at the Blue Cross Broad Street Run and Expo.
  • Generated over $800,000 in earned media coverage thanks to community and media support.
  • Engaged other City agencies and City Council offices to share key messaging.

The pool opening schedule available below is subject to change. Pool schedules vary by location, and are based on available staffing. For the most updated schedule, visit phila.gov/ppr.

Tuesday, June 21  

Fishtown Recreation Center 

Mill Creek Playground

Samuel Recreation Center

Wednesday, June 22  

Barry Playground

Lawncrest Recreation Center

Penrose Playground

Thursday, June 23 

Kelly Pool

Vogt Recreation Center

Pleasant Playground

Friday, June 24 

Murphy Recreation Center

Mitchell Playground

Simpson Recreation Center

Monday, June 27

Bridesburg Recreation Center

Athletic Recreation Center

Ford Recreation Center

Tuesday, June 28 

Awbury Playground

Jacobs Playground

Wednesday, June 29 

Jardel Recreation Center

Marian Anderson Recreation Center

Max Myers Playground

Thursday, June 30

Hancock Playground

Kendrick Recreation Center

Friday, July 1

Fox Chase Recreation Center

Saturday, July 2 

American Legion Playground

Cione Playground

Mander Playground

Week of July 4 

Hillside Recreation Center

Christy Recreation Center

J Finnegan Playground

Northern Liberties Recreation Center

Cherashore Playground

CB Moore Recreation Center

McVeigh Recreation Center

Cobbs Creek Recreation Center

Lackman Playground

Stinger Square

O’Connor Pool

Sacks Playground

39th & Olive Playground

Lonnie Young Recreation Center

Houseman Playground

Feltonville Recreation Center

Shepard Recreation Center

Piccoli Playground

Francisville Recreation Center

Scanlon Recreation Center

Week of July 11

Hunting Park Recreation Center

Waterloo Playground

Tustin Recreation Center

FJ Myers Recreation Center


The pool opening schedule is subject to change. The most up to date schedule will be available at phila.gov/ppr throughout the summer.Each year a handful of the City’s outdoor pools cannot open due to renovations and maintenance. This year the pools under renovation are: Lee, Shuler, Vare, Chew, Heitzman, Kingsessing, and Schmidt.

Media with questions about the pool opening can meet Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell today at 10:30 a.m. via a Private Live Stream (FOR PRESS ONLY):

Notes to Media:

  • Please ensure that your Zoom login name includes your full name and media affiliation. You can do so by mousing over the word “More” in the participants list and selecting “Rename.” Anyone logged in without listing their full name and media affiliation will not be admitted.
  • Reporters should upload a headshot or company logo to their Zoom account for broadcasting purposes.
  • Due to time constraints, only one representative from each media outlet is permitted to ask questions.
  • Reporters are asked to limit their questions to three or fewer.

Notes on Using Zoom:

  • To download Zoom for your computer or mobile device, visit zoom.us/download.
  • To ask a question, please use the “raise your hand” feature and turn on video to ask your question.
  • If you experience technical difficulties, please email questions to press@phila.gov.