BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo is extending the hours at its splash pads, but the outdoor pools are still closed. No word yet from city officials on when or if any of its outdoor pools will open this summer.
Last year they were closed because of a lifeguard shortage.

The city’s 10 splash pads are open and people took full advantage of them on a hot summer day.

“The weather is beautiful and this option here for the kids is great. Especially if you don’t have a pool.’ said Mike Batt, who took his son to the splash pad at Cazenovia Park.

“We’re just testing the splash pads for our summer sessions so because we have special Ed students we have 6 weeks of summer program so we break for 2 weeks after this week,” said pre-school special education teacher Hannah Maries said. “We’re just getting the feels if the kids like the splash pads to add in the schedule for our summer sessions since we know it’s hot.”

The city also has two indoor pools, but so far none of its outdoor pools are open.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Mayor Byron Brown Wednesday announced that 10 of the City’s 11 splash pads will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., starting tomorrow, June 23, and running through Labor Day, September 5, weather permitting.

“I’m excited to announce our splash pads will move to extended hours starting at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning, just in time for the upcoming stretch of hot and humid weather. Our splash pads, which are located throughout the City, are very popular with families seeking a free, fun, and cool destination for their youngsters during the warm weather months,” Mayor Brown said.

The popular splash pads opened for the season on May 29, with limited weekday hours through the end of the school year. They will now be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day, weather permitting.
 
Here’s the list of City of Buffalo splash pads:
 
Cazenovia Park – behind the park casino
Houghton Park – foot of Spahn St.
Kensington Park – Kensington Ave. at Grider St.
Lanigan Park – South Park Ave., west of Louisiana St. 
Lincoln Park – foot of Quincy St.
Masten Park – Best St., adjacent to Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion
MLK Jr. Park Basin – Best St. and Fillmore Ave.
Ralph C. Wilson Park – foot of Porter Ave.
Roosevelt Park – foot of Roosevelt Ave.
Schiller Park – Sprenger St. side of the park

The Allison Park splash pad, on Reese Street, is currently undergoing repairs and is expected to open by the end of June. 

Over in Amherst, its outdoor pool at Clearfield Community Center, opened this week. Within minutes of opening Wednesday, it was packed.

“We were just super excited because it’s a really hot day,” said Elisabeth Wagner. “Oh it’s so refreshing. I’m really glad that there’s something like this and it’s a lot more developed than some places that just have the straight splash pad.”

“It just feels like summer. It just feels like summer. Today is the first day I’m outside swimming,” said swimmer Carol Styliades.

With towns and cities struggling to find enough lifeguards, Amherst town officials say so far they have not run into that problem. They say they are looking to hire more workers, but are confident they have enough staff.

“We’ve had to be a little bit creative with some of our scheduling with the guards but we’re doing what we can to keep people safe and accommodate all our swimmers,” said Laura Ehrenreich, who’s the recreation supervisor.

This is the first year after COVID where non-Amherst residents can go for a swim at the Clearfield Community Center for a fee of $5.

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Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.