Georgetown’s Summer Secret: 3 Free Public Swimming Pools Open Every Day

It was a pleasantly warm 80 degrees late Monday afternoon on Memorial Day with a little breeze and some clouds overhead. The pool spackled turquoise with clean water at just the right temperature. There were more than a dozen lounge chairs, tables and chairs set around the pool, fewer than six families lounging there or laughing, snoozing, splashing in the pool. The sounds were quietly happy. The entire setting seemed like a generously large private pool in a large estate or at small private school.

But actually it was the public swimming pool at Jelleff Recreaton Center at 3265 S St. NW enjoying its opening weekend. The Jelleff pool is probably one of the least known of the some 22 swimming pools supervised and maintained by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation. It is perhaps the best kept summer secret in Georgetown – maybe because it’s close association with the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club might have led many people to think it was a club facility and not a city one.

Besides Jelleff, Georgetown has two other public pools in or next to it: one at Volta Park 1555 34th St. NW and another just outside Georgetown (but an easy walk), the Francis Pool at 2435 N St. NW. The latter has just been remodeled.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DPR, opened all the pools for the season with her official “Jump In, DC” pool party on May 25.

All DPR pools are free for D.C. residents, but require a paid membership for non-D.C. residents who can purchase a daily outdoor pool pass or a pass that will last the entire 2024 season.

From Memorial Day until Sunday, June 23, all the pools will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) only. Starting Monday, June 24, all outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week with one day closures on staggered days so that there are always some public pools open every day. DPR pools remain open if it rains, as long as lifeguards are able to see the bottom of the pool. Pools close immediately at the first sign of lighting.

“DPR wants to remind all adults, children, youth, and families that your safety is our number one priority. Because of that, it is vital that all pool patrons respect the authority of lifeguards, pool staff, and DPR aquatics rules and policies at all times,” pool regulations read. Proper swim attire is also required in the pool and pool area. Food and glass drink containers are prohibited.

At the “Jump In” party, Bowser reported that for the fourth consecutive year, Washington, D.C., was rated the nation’s number one park system by the Trust for Public Land. “As we continue to invest in our aquatic facilities and parks, I’m proud that those efforts are being nationally recognized, as the District continues its winning streak as the nation’s number one park system,” she said.

In the FY24 budget, Bowser funded a $5 million spray park activation for spray parks in need of upgrades, which is ongoing. Funding for new pools in the District and reconstruction of older pools is also ongoing, according to the Mayor.



One comment on “Georgetown’s Summer Secret: 3 Free Public Swimming Pools Open Every Day”

  • Edgar says:

    Could this newspaper kindly ask Mayor Bowser to fix the Wilson pool? It has been closed for more than 18 months now. Why have a world-class, multi-million facility sitting idle? I have been writing to them about this for months without success.

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