City pools open tomorrow: Kids seventeen and under can beat weekend heat wave for free

Denver weathermen are predicting this weekend will be hot, hot, hot. But fear not, not, not! (Sorry, couldn't help myself...) The city's sixteen outdoor pools open tomorrow at noon, just in time to beat the near-ninety degree heat.

It's too bad they weren't open last weekend, when a group of elementary-school boys was wandering around the fence surrounding the outdoor pool at La Alma Rec Center, 1120 Osage Street.

The pool was already filled with water, and when I pulled up and parked on a side street along its border, the boys immediately gathered around my car.

"Are you a lifeguard here?" one of them asked, eying my baseball cap and flip flops. He was holding a King Soopers bag containing a swimsuit and towel. "Is the pool open?"

My heart sank. "No," I told him. "I don't think it opens until next week."

The boys, most of whom were toting their own King Soopers bags, walked away dejectedly. I watched as they circled the fence, no doubt scheming a way to scale it.

The good news for those kids, and the rest of Denver's rugrats, is that the pools will be free for them this year. For the second year in a row, Kaiser Permanente is donating $150,000 to the city so that youth under seventeen can swim and recreate all summer at no cost. Which is a good thing, since Parks and Rec raised its membership fees this year.

Swim on, children! Swim on.

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