May 16, 2013 9:00 PM
TUCSON - The City of Tucson is a big player when it comes to swim safety. In two weeks most kids will be out of school and that's when Summer Splash 2013 gets underway. The city will open additional pools during the months of June and July.
Mary Williams has lived in the Stella Mann neighborhood on the east side for nearly 40 years.
"My children, when they were growing up, like to come up here. You know at that time, I could give them a quarter and they could come up and have an afternoon of fun and splashing and everything."
And her grandkids came to Escalante pool until it closed due to budget cuts. In 2009/10 many of the pools were closed.
"We didn't have any place for our children to go anymore."
Mary knows how important pools are for local kids.
"Our children just needed a healthy place to go. And be able to burn off some of their energy and have a good activity."
Kristi Kids was there when city crews were getting the Escalante pool ready for summer season.
The Freedom pool is also opening thanks to private donors.
"They really understand the importance of our children learning to swim," says Sierra Davenport, with the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Dept. "And because of our success in the first year, we're able to push forward and open additional two."
Last year over 6,000 swim lessons were given at city pools. Lifesaving skills learned and that's not all. The pools provide summer jobs for older kids. The city employs more than 200 lifeguards.
For three generations, Mary's family has made use of this community pool so they're thrilled to see it re-open. So are the neighbors.
"They all just overjoyed and supportive with having the pool open."
To keep these pools open, and to open any of the other 8-pools which are still closed, it will take donations.