Though more information on pool openings is expected soon, on Friday Milwaukee County Parks announced that Cool Waters Aquatic Park will open on May 29.
Schulz Aquatic Park (in Lincoln Park) and Sheridan and Wilson Park pools will also be open this summer. The indoor pools at Pulaski and Noyes remain closed.
Information on all County Parks pools and splash pads can be found here.
County pool openings have been affected by the pandemic, but also by another factor that also impacts the County-run beaches.
“We have a small number of lifeguards this year,” says County Parks Marketing Communications Manager Ian Everett. “We won’t have lifeguards at Bradford Beach this summer.”
According to Everett, lifeguard recruitment – which he says has been on a downward trend nationally for a few years – is an issue here, too.
“Funding is only part of it,” says Everett. “We were able to increase the hourly rate for lifeguards this year, but we still haven’t had enough people apply.”
The County, says Everett, is also looking at adding hiring incentives, but he says that last summer’s shutdown hasn’t helped the situation.
“Beach lifeguards need specific open water training, too, so they’re typically ‘returning lifeguards’ who have pool experience and the training. With no pools open last summer, our experienced lifeguards found other jobs, so we don’t have any returning lifeguards.”
A system of colored flags will alert beachgoers at Bradford to whether or not currents make swimming safe: red for swim at your own risk, green for go, Parks Director Guy Smith said at a press conference Friday.
Information on bacterial monitoring, safe swimming conditions, air quality and other Milwaukee-area beach-related data can be found here.
McKinley Beach, just south of Bradford, will remain closed to swimmers this year as the County undertakes a safety study there to see if the design of the beach, built in the 1980s with landfill from the deep tunnel project, is causing issues with rip currents.
According to Everett, barricades will soon be placed at the beach, where there were multiple drownings last year, and the Sheriff’s Office will step up patrols there.
“The beach itself will be open,” says Everett, “just not access to the water.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.