By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Parks and Recreation is gradually reopening city recreation centers and programs this month. Officials say several outdoor pools will open in June.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, when we had to make this decision,” said Keith Bell, the director of recreation for the City and County of Denver. “It was very challenging to us because we are you know we are a service to the city and residents.”

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CBS4 visited the Carla Madison Recreation Center on Monday, on its first day open since the pandemic. Residents need to reserve a one-hour workout block. Three rec centers opened together, operating limited hours on weekdays only. Reservations can be made up to seven days in advance. Next month three more rec centers are expected to open with city pools. 

“An awesome opportunity for us to re-engage and reconnect with those customers who have been really, again, very patient and waiting for us to get back into some space,” Bell said Monday on a video conference call. 

Capacity rules will vary depending on location in order to maintain social distancing. The city also expects a return to some activities, like softball and older adult fitness classes.

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“We spent a lot of time engaging with our staff, giving them an opportunity to get back into the fold, the planning and organizing and putting this all together, so this is all about what they do as experts,” he told CBS4. 

The 2021 outdoor pool season is scheduled to go from June 7 – Aug. 14. The following locations will be open Monday – Thursday from 9 am. – 6 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.:

  • Berkeley Park Outdoor Pool
  • Barnum Park Outdoor Pool
  • Cook Park Outdoor Pool
  • Globeville Outdoor Pool
  • Green Valley Ranch Outdoor Pool
  • Harvard Gulch Outdoor Pool
  • Harvey Park Outdoor Pool
  • Mestizo/Curtis Park Outdoor Pool

Reservations for 90-minute swim blocks open on May 31. Registration for group swim lessons opened late last month.

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For more information and updates about the phased openings, visit the City of Denver website.

Shawn Chitnis