By Alejandro JSM Chavez
San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol
As the temperatures rise, families and people of all ages are heading to public swimming pools at LA’s County Parks.
LA County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath joined them and took a pool plunge herself at the San Fernando Recreation Park and Aquatic Center last Saturday. She was joined by Alina Bokde, chief deputy director of Parks and Recreation, along with lifeguards and local residents who also jumped in.
“Nothing beats a cool pool in the hot, hot summer. I had a blast at the San Fernando Aquatic Center with so many families and neighbors,” said Horvath.
The county run pools are now open and free during designated hours.
The public can swim for free at the San Fernando Aquatics Center Monday – Friday 12:30-2 p.m. and on Saturday 12:30-2 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m.
The aquatic center, located at San Fernando Recreation Park, has a very attractive Olympic size pool that was built by the City of San Fernando — but after construction it was found to be too costly for the City to maintain, so the facility was turned over to LA County who manages it. Kids love the large water slide, spray features and its splash pad.
“So far, on some days we’ve had as many as a hundred people come in to enjoy the pool,” said Richard Arce, a front desk and locker room attendant at the San Fernando Aquatic Center. “I have the pleasure of interacting with the people that come in and everyone seems to be having a really good time.”
Beyond local residents, swim teams from surrounding areas utilize the pool for practice and competitions. The San Fernando pool also includes starting blocks and three diving blocks for those who are competitive swimmers.
The special features at the aquatics center include long lanes to offer more extensive lap swimming. It was designed to provide opportunity and practice for those who are interested in swimming as a sport and may want to compete.
“We offer a lot of great programs and have novice swim, diving and water polo teams that are trained by our lifeguards,” said Arce. “We really want to get the word out about our teams and all that we offer. It’s also really important for people to know that we offer free swimming lessons,” he said.
While swimming is considered one of the best forms of exercise and a great stress reliever, knowing how to swim is a life-saving skill to have. Drowning is a leading cause of death for young children. Safety is the number one reason to learn how to swim for everyone no matter how old or how young.
Training is also available for people who are interested in becoming a lifeguard.
“The Third District is fortunate to have two LA County Parks and Recreation aquatic facilities in the San Fernando Valley [including the pool at El Cariso Park]” said Horvath. “I hope the community pays a visit this summer for swim classes, open swim, and fun. We need lifeguards at our pool facilities across the county — I encourage anyone interested to learn more,” said Horvath.
The San Fernando Aquatics Center is located at 300 Park Ave, San Fernando 91340
For more information on the aquatics season visit parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics
LA County Parks and Recreation offers numerous aquatics programs for free or at a low-cost. For more information on the aquatics season visit parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics/. If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, information is available at https://parks.lacounty.gov/lifeguard-recruitment/.