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Swimming season in Sparks is almost upon us
by Sarah Cooper
May 27, 2008 | 1527 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Debra Reid - Children hit the water at the Sparks Marina for the annual triathlon with swimming, kayaking and running.
Tribune/Debra Reid - Children hit the water at the Sparks Marina for the annual triathlon with swimming, kayaking and running.
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The water at the Sparks Marina was a little choppy Tuesday as gray clouds loomed overhead and a slight rain began to pour. But come rain or shine, the marina beach will be opening June 1 for swimmers of all ages, accordng to Stan Scherer, director of the Sparks Parks and Recreation Department.

“We have been doing cleanups and safety sweeps in preparation for this summer,” Scherer said. “We are ensuring that everything is ready.”

Pools and parks across Sparks will be opening for summer fun beginning the first week of June.

Marina swim season begins on June 1, with hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August.

Other outdoor swimming venues include Deer Park Pool, located at 1700 Prater Way, which will be open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. the weekend of May 31 and June 1. From June 7 through August 24, pool hours will be 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Oppio Park Pool, located at 2355 18th St. opens to the public Saturday, June 7 and will remain in operation through August 24. Hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

These two outdoor pools charge a fee for summer usage. For youth (under 18 years) the cost is $3; adult (18 to 54 years) $5; seniors (55 years and older) $3.50; and families (up to six members) $12.

Scherer is also preparing for the flocks of summer-fun-seekers who will use the parks in addition to the pools.

“With some of the new facilities we built during the course of the last year, (for example) improvements to the marina, extended services and Golden Eagle (Regional Park), we think it is going to be a fabulous year,” Scherer said.

Swimmers may recognize some changes this summer, including shorter hours at the marina.

“Those hours are a little shorter than years past but as everyone knows local government is going through a little crunch right now,” Scherer said. He explained that the guards who work at the marina require a higher level of training because it is an outdoor venue. Hence, higher pay is required to attract qualified lifeguards.

As he looks forward to the summer season, Scherer has his own list of tips for summer safety at Sparks pools.

• Do not distract the lifeguards while they are working. Questions should be directed to the guard office or ranger staff. The rangers monitor the entire facility from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

• Children under 8 years of age must have an adult with them in the designated swim areas at all times. “Keeping your child within an arm’s length is a good policy to follow,” Scherer said. “First and foremost people have to understand the inherent risk in a pool or a lake and keep a very close eye on their children.”

• Toys, rafts, noodles, etc. cannot be used in place of swimming ability or for water safety purposes. “If you are not feeling well, don’t get in the water,” Scherer said.

• No alcohol, cans or bottles are allowed near the water. Also, barbecues that are fueled by charcoal are not allowed at the marina. “If (you) want to barbecue (you) need to bring gas,” Scherer said.

• Groups of 25 or more must make a reservation at any pool by calling 353-7879.

Parks in Sparks

Aimone Park - 55 Queen Way

Alf Sorensen Community Center* - 1400 Baring Blvd.

Ardmore Park - 1200 12th St.

Bodega Park - 1200 Bodega Drive

Burgess Park - 1605 Pyramid Way

Canyon Hills Park - 4480 Los Altos Parkway

Church Park - 1850 First St.

City Recreation Center - 98 Richards Way

Cottonwood Park - 777 Spice Island Drive

Coyote Springs Park - Vista Del Rancho Parkway

Deer Park* - 1700 Prater Way

Del Cobre Park - 7990 Via Del Cobre Ave.

Gandolfo Rodeo Arena - 2200 Loop Road

Gateway Park - Greg Street

Glendale Park - 399 Coney Island

Golden Eagle Regional Park - 6400 Vista Blvd.

Jacinto Park - 7805 Jacinto Ave.

Les Hicks Jr. Park - Sparks Boulevard. & Vintage Hills Drive

Lillard Park - Pyramid Way & Victorian Avenue.

Longford Park - 250 E. Greenbrae Drive

Maldonado Park - 2100 Canyon Parkway

Oppio Park* - 2355 18th Street

Pagni Ranch Park - Festa Way

Pah Rah Mountain Park - 1750 Shadow Lane

Pinion Park - 355 S.21st St.

Poulakidas Park - 530 Fourth St.

Red Hawk Park - 3215 Poco Rey Drive

Rock Park - 1515 Rock Blvd.

Rose Garden Park - 6195 Wingfield Springs Road

Shadow Mountain Sports Complex - 3300 Sparks Blvd.

Shelly Park - 2901 N.Truckee Lane

Sparks Marina Park* - 300 Howard Drive

Sparks Memorial Park - C Street and Pyramid Highway

Van Meter Park - Fargo Way and O’Callahan Drive

Village Green Park - 849 Lepori Way

Vista View Park - 2201 N. D’ Andrea Parkway

Wildcreek Park - 3900 El Rancho Blvd.

Willowcreek Park - 125 E. Prater Way

Woodtrail Park - Golden Spike and Wood trail

*Parks with swimming.
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