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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: June 28, 2022

The City of Buffalo Announces Outdoor Swimming Pools Will Not Open This Summer

Seal of the City of Buffalo

Buffalo, NY – The City of Buffalo’s nine outdoor swimming pools will remain closed this summer due to the shortage of certified lifeguards, which is impacting pools and beaches across the nation, and here in Western New York.

“The decision to not open our outdoor pools this summer came down to the safety and welfare of our residents. We realize this decision will disappoint the hundreds of youngsters and adults who enjoy spending summer hours at our outdoor swimming pools, but the bottom-line is we don’t have the number of lifeguards required to keep our residents safe,” Mayor Brown said.

“However, we are very pleased to announce that we are waiving fees, and extending weekday and weekend hours at our Cazenovia Park and Lovejoy indoor pools, from July 1 through Labor Day, September 5, to maximize access to swimming opportunities,” Mayor Brown added.

Mayor Brown also said a request was sent to the Buffalo Common Council today to raise lifeguard pay to $20 an hour, from the current $16 an hour, in an effort to retain and attract additional lifeguards.

The City will also be offering free lifeguard training this summer.

“Over the past nearly six months, we’ve worked in partnership with the Police Athletic League of Buffalo in an unprecedented effort to hire certified lifeguards, including raising pay and running our own lifeguard training classes, but were still unable to hire the staff required to safely open our outdoor pools,” said Andrew Rabb, Deputy Commissioner of Parks & Recreation.

Starting in January, the City engaged in multiple efforts to attract, train and hire certified lifeguards, knowing it would be impacted by the national, regional and local lifeguard shortage.

Those efforts included: City staff actively recruiting for new lifeguards since last fall, outreach to previous lifeguard staff, posting the lifeguard positions on the City’s Jobs page, active outreach at local swim meets, and continuous contact with swim programs at Buffalo’s public charter, and public schools.

In partnership with the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, the City offered two highly-publicized lifeguard certification sessions in February and March.

“Despite all our efforts, we were only able to hire 22 additional lifeguards. In 2019, the last summer City outdoor pools were open due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a lifeguard staff of 80,” Rabb said.

The National Lifeguard Association and American Red Cross estimate between one-third and one-half of pools and beaches across the U.S. will remain closed this summer due to the on-going lifeguard shortage.

Locally, the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of West Seneca will keep pools shuttered this summer. The Cities of Rochester and Syracuse have announced at least half of municipal pools and beaches will be closed due to lifeguard staffing issues 

Starting July 1 through September 5, the schedules for the City’s two indoor pools will be: 

Cazenovia Pool, 626 Abbott Road

Monday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Tuesday - CLOSED 

Wednesday - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Thursday – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday – 8 a.m. to 7p.m. 

Saturday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Sunday – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lovejoy Pool, 1171 E. Lovejoy St. 

Monday - CLOSED

Tuesday – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Thursday – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ten of the City’s 11 splash pads debuted for the 2022 season on May 29, and are open weekdays, and are now open daily, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Labor Day, weather permitting.

The Allison Park splash pad will open as soon as pump repairs are complete.

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