Park & Planning Commission’s Department of Parks &
Recreation truly offers aquatics for all. The agency operates 11
facilities, including sprayparks, indoor pools and seasonal
facilities designed for recreation, competition, learn-to-swim,
therapy, and fitness.
“We have instituted an extremely inclusive program that
allows everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities and programs,
as well as making what some may deem as an ‘unattainable
resource,’ affordable for all,” says Tara Eggleston,
the agency’s countywide aquatics coordinator.
Prince George’s County has a diverse population, and a key
aspect of the agency’s aquatics success is the diversity
among leadership. “This is our way of ‘leading by
example,’” Eggleston explains.
The agency also is working to promote aquatic safety. Eggleston and
her team have developed a comprehensive safety initiative,
participating in the national water safety month program as well as
USA Swimming Foundation’s Make A Splash program.
Aquatics is a major component of departmental special events,
including Senior Health & Fitness Day, Family Fun Fitness Day,
Passport to Wellness Program for Career Employees, and the Safe
Other notable programs are the “Aqua Access,” which
provides youth in Prince George’s County with free admittance
to aquatics facilities and programs during the summer; adapted
aquatics classes; and water fitness and therapeutic
With 11 facilities, maintenance can be challenging. In 2010 the
department renovated three aquatics facilities, converting two
sites from standard pools into splashparks, and renovating a
To further enhance the aquatic offerings, the agency also recently
enhanced a number of aquatic programs. There’s a new youth
swim team and free lifeguard prep courses.
When it comes to staff training, new lifeguards receive a total of
72 hours of specific training. In January, the department also
implemented the first annual Lifeguard Instructor’s
In-Service Training Program.
That included a review of CPR/AED training programs; crunching of
audit information; and practice-teaching opportunities. To market
aquatics programs the agency uses several media channels, including
the parks and recreation Web site and its companion site just for
teens; a weekly e-newsletter sent to almost 20,000 patrons; press
releases, local advertising and special events including dive-in
movie nights and doggie swims.
“The commitment to diversity, operator
certification and aquatic access for all makes this
aquatics program a model for others to
- 5 seasonal outdoor facilities featuring
a variety of amenities, including wading pools, spray features, lap
pools and water slides
- 3 year-round indoor facilities featuring movable floors,
heated whirlpool/spas and lazy rivers
- 2 splashpads featuring spray features, lazy rivers, dumping
buckets, aqua climbing wall and water slides
- 1 indoor/outdoor facility featuring a heated, 25-yard
6-lane indoor pool; heated training pool; heated whirlpool/spa;
fitness rooms; outdoor splash and wading pools; diving well; picnic
area; and volleyball court