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Western New Yorkers are Beating the Heat

lifeguard pool.jpg
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 19:39:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The heat is high and so is the demand for Buffalo's public pools. The Cazenovia and Lovejoy Pools are the only two to choose from across the city this summer. Families who live near those pools told 7 News it's an easy way to beat the heat.

"It feels good being next to a pool that's not far to travel," said Michael Karalunas.

"We can walk. We're just like a block or two away," said Nora Landwehr.

Landwehr said that she wouldn't want to spend a hot day anywhere else then in the pool with her family.

"It wouldn't be a great day because I would just be sweaty all day and I wouldn't be able to cool off."

Karalunas and Landwehr aren't the only ones rushing to the pools this summer. The city's roughly 30 thousand school aged population is headed there too. Matthew Heywood, Cazenovia Pool Supervising Lifeguard, said they recently hired new staff so the influx of summer swimmers hasn't been overwhelming.

"Between here (Cazenovia Pool) and Lovejoy, I've probably seen about 50 people extra at both locations within a matter of just a couple of days," said Heywood.

These two pools are great for those who live nearby but for people who don't have access, they're left finding alternatives.

Distance from Downtown Buffalo to open public pools this summer

The H.E.A.T Program is one way for children and teens who can't get to the pools spend their hot days.

H.E.A.T Program stands for:

  • Help
  • Empowerment
  • Attitude
  • Teamwork

"In the hot days like today, we're down here at the public library touring it," said Pastor James Giles.

Giles is the President of the program and said it is just one of several alternative the community has had to build in order to occupy their youth this summer.

"They love us down here," said Giles. "And our children are well behaved because of the attitude and teamwork we teach them. So there's always something that's some adult program or some program youth program can engage you."

Oreon Fletcher is a recent high school graduate and said this program couldn't have come at a better time.

"I feel it's actually a good opportunity for us kids to get a feel for the real world," said Fletcher. "Especially for me because I actually graduated last month. I'm one of those kids where I hate being locked up in the house not doing anything. That's why I'm actually here."

While Giles is happy to provide summer programming he said so many closed pools should just be a temporary thing.

"We don't have enough of our children, our young people being trained to be lifeguards," said Giles. "So I want to send that message out. We ought to be able to come and be lifeguards and be trained in it so we can open up some of the inner city pools."