Hunting Park residents seek alternative methods to cool off as their pool will not open

Day four of a sizzling heat wave and Philadelphia pools have opened across the city. They will continue to open on a rolling basis.

But, some won’t open at all this summer. That’s the case in Hunting Park, one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods.

With the blow of a whistle, Soukie Cadet and seven-year-old Annabella get a taste of summer they missed for two years.

"I’m looking at this, okay, as the recuperating year. Let’s just get back to normal, or try to get back to normal," Cadet stated.

Mayor Jim Kenney joined city Parks and Recreation leaders to kick off 47 Philadelphia pools opening on a rolling basis, starting Wednesday, in a heat wave, after they were closed last summer, due to COVID.

"It’s been, what, three days of 90 degree weather? So, we need this," Cadet added.

Community leaders say Hunting Park can be as much as 20 degrees hotter than other neighborhoods in the city during a heat wave, and they will not have a pool this summer.

The city says it’s unsafe and in need of repairs, as do three other city pools. And, with staffing shortages, they can’t open 18 others.

The Hunting Park neighborhood Advisory Committee started a GoFundMe to fundraise for cooling options like A-C units. And, they are now bringing in neighborhood ambassadors to help them find those most in need.

"People are suffering and one of the things that we’re trying to do to prevent that is proper ventilation," stated Charles Lanier, the Executive Director of the Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee.

Lanier said they are working with Parks and Recreation on alternative cooling options.

When asked about pools closing in mostly lower income neighborhoods, Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell pointed to other options.

"A pool isn’t your only option. It’s a great option and everybody in the city lives within driving distance, if not walking distance to a pool. If you can’t get to that pool in a quick way, just check out your local spray ground," Ott Lovell commented.

The full list of open pools across Philadelphia is here.



Philadelphia's outdoor pools to open on rolling basis beginning June 30

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