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Mayor Bowser Opens Outdoor Pool Season as Washington, DC Is Named #1 Park System for Fourth Consecutive Year

Friday, May 24, 2024
22 Outdoor pools and 32 spray parks open for summer operations on Saturday, May 25.

(Washington) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) continued the tradition of celebrating the opening of outdoor pools in the District with the annual event, Jump In, DC. The festivities included free food, music, students from Turner Elementary School and KIPP DC, and the first splash of the 2024 outdoor pool season. Mayor Bowser also recognized that, for the fourth consecutive year, Washington, DC was rated the nation’s number one park system by the Trust for Public Land.

“Going to the pool or spray park is a beloved pastime for District residents, but it’s more than just fun. It allows residents of all ages to keep cool while staying active, and it gives mom and dad a safe and free place to take the kids all summer long,” said Mayor Bowser. “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.”

All of DPR’s 22 outdoor pools and 32 spray parks will open on Saturday, May 25 and will remain open on Sunday, May 26, and Monday, May 27, from 10 am – 6 pm. Pools and spray parks will operate on a weekend-only schedule (Saturday and Sunday) through Sunday, June 23. Starting Monday, June 24, all full-service outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week and spray parks will operate daily from 10 am – 6 pm. For more information on DPR’s outdoor pools and spray parks, visit or

“We are so proud of DPR’s extensive network of 22 outdoor pools and 32 spray parks the investments Mayor Bowser continues to make to provide fun and safe aquatic opportunities to young people and residents of all ages,” said DPR Director Thennie Freeman. “I invite every DC resident to share the experience of the over 240,000 visitors to our outdoor pools last summer and join us in making your memorable moments at a DPR outdoor pool this summer.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Washington, DC was named the number one ranked park system in the United States by the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Additionally, the DC Public Library (DPL) was awarded the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is the medal is the nation's highest honor, celebrating institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

Under Mayor Bowser’s leadership, the District continues to invest and expand aquatics offerings, including:

  • In the FY24 budget, Mayor Bowser funded a $5 million spray park activation for spray parks in need of upgrades, which is currently ongoing.  
  • Next month, the Reservoir Park Recreation and Aquatic Center will open in Ward 5, including an indoor pool with lap lanes and a learn-to-swim area.
  • The Joy Evans Therapeutic Recreation Center with therapeutic pool is expected to open in Ward 7 later this year.
  • Construction is slated to begin this year on a new indoor pool as part of the new $36 million Congress Heights Recreation Center.  
  • Next year, Ward 7’s Rosedale outdoor pool will undergo a $6.8 million expansion to allow for greater capacity.
  • A new indoor pool addition is coming to Hillcrest Recreation Center in Ward 7, with construction scheduled to begin next year.
  • Anacostia Pool in Ward 8 is scheduled for a $7 million replacement, to begin in 2025.
  • The Rumsey Aquatic Center in Ward 6 will be receiving a $25 million investment to upgrade the existing facility, including the addition of a senior wellness center.
  • A new outdoor pool will be coming to the former Walter Reed campus in Ward 4.

For more information on things to do, places to go, and programs to support parents and youth, visit, the District’s one-stop-shop for summer resources.

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