All of Fort Worth's municipal swimming pools (except Forest Park and Marine) have been filled in and grass is now covering those areas. There should be markers placed at those locations to signify their part in Fort Worth's history.
Fort Worth swimming pools
Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:34 AM
The need for swimming/aquatic facilities in this area is huge. The small, neighborhood pools like Kellis Park served a need back in the day, but today we need to demand year-round indoor/outdoor facilities that can accommodate sport as well as recreational uses. The nature of recreation has changed greatly since the 1960s; can you imagine kids today walking a mile to a swimming pool? Can you imagine parents allowing kids to walk a mile to a swimming pool? Recreation is seen more and more as in front of a handheld device or behind a monitor rather than outside.
(Warning: Rant follows)
The future health of the citizenry is at stake, and the massive costs associated with an obese, circulation-challenged, and diabetic population will be a massive drag on the economy unless means are implemented now to counter trends among the younger population. Cities and school districts need to be pressured by the public to work cooperatively to build and maintain modern, multi-use aquatic centers, with less emphasis and budget expended on physically destructive contact sports and their massively expensive seating facilities. Unfortunately, judging by the viewing preferences of a large percentage of the adult population this is going to be an uphill battle; the "Hunger Games" mentality is deeply entrenched and schools and their budgets will likely remain as subsidized farm systems for the corporate sports/entertainment complex and cities will continue to give taxpayer funds away to other corporations willing to commit to short-term relocation schemes.
Posted 08 August 2015 - 07:33 AM
This article from the Washington Post from earlier this summer discusses the decline in public pools.
The trend [after desegregation] was unmistakable. Before 1950, Americans went swimming as often as they went to the movies, but they did so in public pools. There were relatively few club pools, and private pools were markers of extraordinary wealth. Over the next half-century, though, the number of private in-ground pools increased from roughly 2,500 to more than four million.
I'd be interested to learn more about whether similar societal trends were behind the decline/closure of Fort Worth's pools.
Posted 09 August 2015 - 10:01 PM
I'm not sure the prevalence of private pools explains the demise of public pools. The vast majority of backyard pools being built today are little more than lawn decorations. They are too small to actually swim in. Most modern pools are just something to lounge in with a beer, or look at from your "outdoor living room" (which used to be called a covered patio.)
I think the lack of swimming facilities in this area is more of a cultural and/or regional thing. I have several relatives who moved to the northeast. All their kids were on swim teams throughout their school age years. My sister-in-law compared the popularity of swimming in the suburban Washington D.C. area to football here in Texas. It might also have something to do with the cost of land and the weather as well. The cost of the land for a football/soccer field up north would be a lot more than it is here. While an indoor pool is not cheap, it doesn't have that big of a footprint, and can be used year round.
I took up swimming about 18 months ago and it is indeed excellent exercise. So, I would love to see the city and/or schools promote it with the addition of some indoor pools. However, in addition to the upfront costs to build it, it is my understanding that the cost to operate, maintain, and insure an indoor public pool is a substantial sum. I was once told that those costs can run $250,000 a year. So, it is somewhat understandable that local officials might hesitate to commit to such an ongoing expense. Still, I think it would be worth it in the long run.
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