Riverside Park Pool Opens, Enforces Bag and Attire Policies

| May 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

Riverside Park Pool, as well as other Baltimore City “Park Pools,” opened this past weekend. This included the return of Patterson Park Pool and Cherry Hill Splash Park after both were closed last year for needed repairs.

The Park Pools are open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am t0 3pm and 4pm to 8pm. They will start offering weekday hours after June 14th.

The pools now have longer swimming sessions following previous restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic. Users must register for an account with Baltimore City Recreation & Parks prior to arriving for a swim session, however no registration is needed ahead of time. In the years immediately following the pandemic, swim passes often needed to be secured a week in advance and swim sessions were limited to 90 minutes.

This year, rules regarding bags and attire are being enforced. No bags, outside of a diaper bag, will be allowed on pool decks. Swimmers must also have on proper swim attire on the pool deck. Non-swimming attire such as T-shirts, dresses, and jeans are prohibited.

Strollers must also be kept off the pool deck.

Riverside Park Pool does offer lockers for people to leave items that are not allowed on the pool deck. The cost is $1 for small lockers and $1.50 for larger lockers. They only accept exact change.

From the BCRP website:

No bags will be allowed on the pool deck. If you bring a bag, there are a limited number of lockers for your use. The best practice is to come to the pool already wearing the appropriate swimwear (please see below), and avoid having to leave your bag in the lockers.

All persons on the pool deck, and/or swimming in the pool, are required to wear proper swim attire. All swimwear bottoms must have a liner. All swimwear must be clean. All infants/toddlers that require diapers must wear swimmer diapers and proper swimwear.

Why do I have to wear proper swimwear?

  1. Street clothes (especially cotton) can transport airborne and ultimately water-borne contaminants into the pool.

  2. Lycra and Nylon are the best non-absorbent material for swimming and are the best fabrics for proper swim attire.- Other absorbent materials (such as cotton) can break down in the water and cause fibers to clog filters.- Any “colored” material (unless specifically made for swimming) can bleed into the pool, affecting water chemistry and balance. This is also a reason for turbidity in pools.

  3. Cotton and similar materials can absorb the chemicals in the water, causing the water to become less effective at maintaining the proper chemical balance or may cloud the water.

All the rules can be seen here.

Enforcement of these rules led to some uproar on social media and neighborhood Facebook groups. There were many complaints about patrons not being able to be in regular clothes while watching children swim or covering up while on the pool deck, as well as about the inability to bring in bags with family pool-day essentials.

Justin Fenton, a reporter for The Baltimore Banner, Tweeted, “Just saw a crying woman with an infant turned away because she *wore clothes to the pool*”

He added, “As we approached, I didn’t see a single person in the water. It’s because they were all being turned away for having clothes and bags.”

Images from BCRP Department of Aquatics

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.