“Turkey Thicket bans children from the pool from 6:30 am to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm Monday through Friday”

Turkey Thicket Recreation Center located at 1000 N Michigan Ave, NE

“Dear PoPville,

Just saw this on the Brookland Listserv. Insane:

Turkey Thicket bans children from the pool from 6:30 am to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm Monday through Friday (pool is closed on Sunday). This policy even affects the children’s pool – which has been empty since the policy was implemented. The pool claims it gets too crowded yet instead of implementing a first-come, first-serve policy, the pool has decided it is best to ban families. Families who go to the pool to teach children to swim are told to use the splash park. When temperatures rise to dangerous levels – especially for young children – families are told to go outside and use the splash park. No other D.C. public pool has this policy. Turkey Thicket is one of the few pools easily accessible by metro & bus.”

Via email DPR says:

“We are evaluating our popular summer programming at the pool. We will alert residents with any changes and updates.”

Ed. Note: A couple years ago we spoke about a swimmer who was banned for wearing a swim shirt here.

26 Comment

  • As a person with no kids, I think this is just fine.

  • That reply from DPR makes it sound like this is something specific to the summer camp programs. If they are doing camper activities in the pool I can kind of see the point of not having non-camp kids mixed up in the pool with camp groups, but as usual DPR just goes for the nuclear option instead of finding a way for everybody to enjoy their facilities at the same time.

  • At this point, I have to assume the person in DPR who runs the city’s pool program is absolutely crazy.
    So many of their rules are asinine, illogical, and capricious.

  • Having experienced the lack of parenting and supervision by the kids who use DC public schools during the summer, this does not surprise me.

  • I wouldn’t be suprised if theis new policy was the result of lap swimmers complaining complaining about too many people and not enough rooms to do what they do

    • While the kids-free hours do seem a bit excessive at this pool, I fully support pools having some dedicated adults-only lap swim times. Kids can use the kiddie pool and splash park to play around in the water if they want to. Adults should be able to get in some lap swimming without having to dodge splashing kids, toys, etc.

      • But the point of this letter is to complain that kids are not allowed to use the kids pool. So, no they actually can’t use the kids pool. And at Turkey Thicket, they don’t usually use the adult pool. Plus, Takoma Rec Center pool is about a mile away, or two stops down the red line and has at least 20 dedicated lap lanes so there are plenty of places to swim laps without insisting that kids’ facilities at Turkey Thicket not be available to children during most hours that Turkey Thicket is open.

        • Yeah, I missed the part about the kids’ pool being closed too–I initially read it as kids simply being banned from the pool during certain hours. It does seem ridiculous to not allow kids any access to the kids’ pool for the majority of the day.

  • I use a MoCo during the week. They seem to do something similar for the am.

  • I was banned from wearing a swim shirt (or any kind of “non swimsuit” clothing, including a baseball cap) while swimming at Harry Thomas Sr pool last year.

  • This is the place that took our money for infant swim classes and then cancelled them without any notice. Someone’s really disorganized.

  • So the pool is open from 1pm-5pm for children? It might be just my nieces, but isn’t the afternoon when most kiddos nap?

  • Email CM McDuffie with this nonsense. Perhaps his office can do something about this.

    • But don’t expect a reply unless you also send a public tweet to his personal twitter account (@kenyanmcduffie). He has an official twitter account but his office is bad at responding to that one. Public embarrassment seems to be the only way to get him to respond to constituent complaints.

  • I lived in a neighbor hood with a pool for nearly 20 years. O only went maybe two times. I would have loved adult+swim hours.

  • hey folks, I was the one who wrote this email after about two weeks of back-and-forth and a lot of stonewalling with a number of people at Parks & Rec, Councilmember McDuffie’s office, and some people from the ANC. I suggested all sorts of compromises and someone would say “we’ll look into it…” and never get back to me.

    As a former lap swimmer, I understand how nice it is to have no screaming and splashing at the pool (altho, I can **guarantee** you that adults do way grosser things in the pools than kids would ever be able to do), but what really burned me up about the policy is that it was Monday-Friday and included the kids’ pool, which just seemed really cruel in the summer (esp since there were quite a few families teaching their kids to swim at TT before the ban was put in place, and now those families are told to use the splash park.) I also thought it was evil that this policy was at a pool in NE that was overwhelming used by Black families. And they don’t post this policy. The woman at the front desk tells you when you arrive with your child all bundled up and ready to swim!

    We’re all big kids, I think we can share – especially when it is 90 degrees outside or pouring rain.

    (also, I think the staff at TT is fantastic, and when I emailed the city officials, I expressed how great I think it is – just that the policy discriminated against working families and was really low for the summer. )

    • BTW, the lesson learned from this experience: don’t waste three weeks going back-and-forth with city officials to get something changed, take it to the community first and get them to help (bc city officials will just blow you off on your own)

      • That’s not really a lesson you should have to learn. Do you think it makes sense for city officials to change things every time a single citizen asks them to?

  • This is ridiculous. My daughter’s camp had planned to go there 2x/week for four weeks. They went once and now can’t go. Thanks for ruining the summer DC DPR. I am a lap swimmer and enjoy seeing kids enjoying the pool while I do my boring adult thing. Certainly a bunch of kids in their own pool doesn’t affect lap swimmers. From those who have gone through this before – what is the best plan of action? Complaints to the Mayor’s office? Tweets to DC DPR?

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