Pierson Park restroom damaged

The Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department posted a photo on social media Sunday of damage done to the Pierson Park restroom. It was a new restroom, open since April, according to officials. The restroom showed damage from fireworks. According to UG parks officials, it is illegal for individuals to shoot fireworks in the city and county parks. There was a public fireworks display at Pierson Park this past weekend. Any illegal activities in the parks may be reported to 913-596-3000, according to officials. (Photo from UG Parks and Recreation Department social media)

A cool, rainy start for summer and water activities

The weather took a cool and rainy turn for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer swimming and water activities.

In Wyandotte County, three spray parks were scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend, but the only Unified Government swimming pool, the Parkwood Pool, 950 Quindaro Blvd., will not open this summer, according to UG officials.

Angel Obert of the UG Parks and Recreation Department said at the 5 p.m. April 29 meeting that they were working closely with the UG Health Department to make sure they are operating safely.

Spray parks will be open Memorial Day weekend, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, Obert said.

Social distancing of 6 feet, with masks on, was required, except for people in the same household. Children can remove masks when actively playing in the water but otherwise should wear masks.

Parkwood Pool was expected to remain closed to the public for the summer 2021 season, Obert said. The pool will be filled to perform some routine maintenance, but not for public swimming.

A lifeguard training “work study” program will be offered to youth who are 16 and older, she said. This program, a six-week paid training program, was scheduled to start June 14, according to a social media post.

“I know that we are not the only organization, every aquatic department across the metro area has experienced a lack of lifeguards, and we lost a whole year of aquatics,” she said.

They are trying to rebuild the program to offer the community and youth something and be ready for the 2022 season, she said.

As things continue to change, they will make adjustments, she added.

She said the UG parks department was working on rebuilding youth sports, after not having many activities during the pandemic. Sports were introduced slowly in mid-March, and were building up to larger participation afterward.

The spray parks’ locations include: Eisenhower Park, 2901 N. 72nd St.; Pierson Park, 1800 S. 55th; and Heathwood Park, 1021 Parallel Parkway.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education recently heard a report that district staff are working on a plan to open some district facilities to community groups again. School swimming pools would not be included, however. In recent years there was some criticism from groups that said the fee was too high to use district facilities.

The Turner Aquatic Center, which is through the Turner Recreation Commission and Turner school district, has been operating under pandemic restrictions for the past year. The aquatic center is inside Turner High School. For information about rules and hours, visit https://www.turnerrecreation.org/departments/aquatics/index.php.

According to a Facebook note from the Turner Aquatics Center, there will be limited lap swimming and swim lessons beginning June 7.

The Bonner Springs Aquatic Park, 1200 S. 134th, was scheduled to begin lessons and swim team activities this week, with opening day on May 29.

However, the Bonner Springs Aquatic Park did not open on Memorial Day and the past few days because the temperature was below 70, with rain. For more information, visit https://www.bonnersprings.org/192/Aquatic-Park and https://www.facebook.com/BonnerSpringsPool/.

Season passes were available. Because of capacity limits, the Bonner Springs facility had sign-up sheets on its website at https://secure.rec1.com/KS/bonner-springs-ks/catalog?fbclid=IwAR00admgAQpzCHViueVAPxa1G0V5BHBIAVhMqpco9PqadIU2BTgiEdasQm0.