Skip to Content

Columbia Parks and Recreation begins to open pools ahead of summer


The City of Columbia will have its first pool opening of the season this holiday weekend.

Columbia Parks and Recreation will open the Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center for the summer on Saturday.

"A lot of kids seem to think they can do the same things that they did swimming skill wise as they could at the end of last summer, but they're a bit out of practice," Aquatic Supervisor Sydney Philpot said.

She wants to remind people to stay vigilant and to always watch their children regardless if lifeguards are around.

Douglass Family Aquatic Center is scheduled to open for the season on Wednesday, June 14, and Lake of the Woods Pool is set to open Wednesday, June 28. This depends if enough lifeguards are hired by that time.

"We need more lifeguards to apply," Philpot said. "That way, we can get Lake of the Woods open this year. We haven't been able to open it since 2019, so that's been our big push to get it open this year."

Training sessions for lifeguards are scheduled for early June. Training sessions are free for city employees and are $175 for anyone who isn't employed by Columbia. Lifeguards must be at least 15 years old.

Philpot said lifeguards go through roughly a two-and-a-half-day class, that's meant to prepare them for situations they may encounter.

"They'll be CPR and First Aid certified," Philpot said. "By the time they leave that class they're fully trained on how to make any kind of rescue."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, drowning is the leading cause of death for children. More children ages 1-4 die from drowning than anything else. For children 5-14, drowning is the second highest cause of unintentional injury death after car accidents.

Drowning rates vary by state, but on average there are over 4,000 unintentional drownings every year in the United States. Boating-related drownings are included in that number.

According to the CDC's website, the annual adjusted death rate in the United States from 2016-2020 was 1.28 deaths per 100,000 people. In Missouri, that number was 1.27 per 100,000 people.

In Jefferson City, the Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center and Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool will open for the season Saturday.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Jump to comments ↓

Ethan Heinz


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content