Families try to beat the heat with limited pools open in Milwaukee County
MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Another hot day in Milwaukee on Friday, June 17 served as a reminder for some residents that their favorite pool might not be open this year, after the parks department noted staffing and lifeguard shortages earlier this year.
Several closures are leaving the official start to swimming season with limited locations.
This past spring, county officials voiced concerns about seasonal staffing shortages.
"We need lifeguards to open pools, we need folks helping out for golf courses, we need folks to help out with concessions," Digital Marketing Coordinator, Luke Roman, told CBS 58 in April, "There's lots of stuff at stake."
Those shortages are now visibly taking a toll on summer fun, with nearly two dozen regular and wading pool areas closed for the season, according to the Milwaukee County Parks website.
"I'm worried. Why are they all closed, they need to be open. It's too hot," said Reka Wilson, a Milwaukee resident. The pools Wilson usually visits in the summer are closed. She bought a backyard pool this summer to make up for it, but said it was very expensive.
So far this June, there are few options for those looking to cool off after a week of high heat.
One option that is open is Schulz Aquatic Center in Glendale.
"We're so thankful that this one is open, because the kids can still have fun and it has been really hot," said visitor Erika Flores.
Some families, especially those with young kids, are finding an alternative to pools by visiting neighborhood splash pads.
There are five splash pads in Milwaukee County opening this summer, many with their first day on Saturday, June 18. Three others will be closed for the season.
The splash pads are a small way to beat the heat.
"It's not the exact same. Nothing is like an actual pool. I have bigger kids and the bigger kids would like to get in the pool," Wilson said.
"It makes me feel sad, because I want to cool down when it's hot outside," said Milwaukee resident, Amary Fischer.
CBS 58 reached out to Milwaukee County Parks on Friday for an update on their staffing shortages. We have not heard back as of right now.
For a list of Milwaukee County pool and splash pad openings, click here,