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Petition created to turn one of Buffalo's Riverside Park pools into splash pad, amid lack of lifeguards

Riverside Park Wading Pool at Crowley Playground
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 10:26:59-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some community members hope to make a change that will help people stay cool this summer.

The City of Buffalo has eleven public pools, but only the indoor pools on Abbott Road and Lovejoy Street will be open.

The nine outdoor pools are closed for the season.

City leaders said a lack of lifeguards mean they cannot "safely staff" all eleven, but one resident has an idea that would keep one of those outdoor facilities open.

Pools like the one at Riverside Park, in Buffalo have gone dry this summer because of a lack of lifeguards.

City of Buffalo North District council member, Joseph Golombek said, "I think that the city needs approximately 80 to have all of the pools up and running, and we're had somewhere between 20 and 40 that have applied. I think the actual hard number is 20, who actually ended up accepting jobs in the City of Buffalo."

The pool, located next to Crowley Playground, has been closed for two years because of the pandemic.

That is led by Demetrius Borden, of Buffalo, to create a petition on Change.org, to turn the pool into a splash pad, which would provide relief from the heat for this community, without requiring a lifeguard.

"The kids having nothing to do out here. We have two pools. We have one on each side of the park. I've been all around Buffalo and I've seen them LaSalle Park, MLK, just a bunch of them. I figured, why not have one here," Buffalo resident, Demetrius Borden said.

Golombek is on board with the idea and encourages neighborhood residents to join a meeting to discuss Riverside Park's future.

Golombek said, "If you actually take about a half hour out of your life to show up at a meeting and say, 'Hey, this is what I want at my park, Riverside Park, that goes a lot farther than a signature that's on a petition."

NOTE: On Tuesday, July 19, a new location and time was released to discuss the park's future, via the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Facebook page. See below:

  • Parkway views from this afternoon Please consider attending the upcoming Quarter 3 Olmsted Community Alliance weekly meetings starting tomorrow July 20 through Aug 17. RSVP to attend in-person or via Zoom here: bfloparks.org/oca/rsvp
  • South District (Cazenovia & South Parks, McClellan & McKinley Circles, McKinley & Red Jacket Parkways) | July 20, 5:30pm- 7:00pm, Tosh Collins Community Center, 35 Cazenovia St, Buffalo, NY 14210
  • Delaware District (Delaware Park, Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln Parkways, Colonial, Gates & Soldiers Circles) | August 3, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Parkside Lodge, 84 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214
  • Riverside District | August 10, 2022, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, DePaul Riverside, Auditorium, 238 Ontario Street Buffalo, New York 14207
  • West District (Front, Prospect & Days Park, Symphony & Ferry Circles) | August 17, 6:00pm-7:30pm, D'Youville University Academic Center DAC108, Fargo Ave and Connecticut St, parking available at Lot A

"We try to get them out of the house.We try to get them off of their tablets. Once they're off of the tablets we bring them to the park and there's nor exchange to leaving their tablets, so everybody is looking for something to do with some water. We can't swim in the river. That's a no-no, so we really need the splash pad open. We really need everybody's help," Borden said.