Austin Parks & Rec adjusts pool openings amid lifeguard shortage

Thursday, Austin Parks and Recreation announced plans to reopen additional aquatic programs and facilities. 

Select City splash pads and pools in each quadrant of Austin will begin opening, and swimming lessons for all ages will once again be offered.  

The Aquatics Division says it does not have enough lifeguards to open all of the pools that would normally open at the beginning of June. 

The department says due to a lifeguard shortage caused by a year-long hiring freeze and disruption to training, pools will continue to operate with modified hours and capacity. Expanding hours and opening additional pools will not be possible until enough lifeguards can be trained, certified, and hired. 

At this time, Aquatics says it has 150 lifeguards, only 20% of its needed 750 lifeguard force.  



The City stopped hiring lifeguards in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, and staff were unable to resume hiring lifeguards until March of 2021. 

The department says another limiting factor has been the number of lifeguards who can be trained at a time due to COVID-19.

Austin Parks and Recreation’s Aquatics Division says it will continue to consult with Austin Public Health on Lifeguard Training Safety as pandemic conditions evolve.  

An experienced and dedicated Aquatics Division team has been teaching classes at capacity since hiring resumed in order to get as many lifeguards as possible certified and working. 

As lifeguards are hired and trained, they will be assigned equitably to pools throughout the city. This will ensure that all Austinites have access to pools this summer.  

Apply to become a lifeguard at  

Splash Pads  

Open Saturday, May 22: 

  • Bartholomew 
  • Chestnut
  • Liz Carpenter
  • Metz 

More splash pad openings will be announced as they become operable. 


Currently open:

  • Springwoods
  • Bartholomew
  • Big Stacy
  • Barton Springs
  • Deep Eddy 

Open June 5: 

  • Govalle
  • Shipe 

As staffing levels allow, the Aquatics Division will announce the opening of Balcones, Mabel Davis, Montopolis, Parque Zaragoza, and Rosewood Pools. 

Swim Lessons 

  • May 24: Registration for swim lessons and swim teams will open. Register for swim lessons and swim teams at
  • June 7: Session 1 swimming lessons will begin at Balcones, Govalle, Mabel Davis, Montopolis, Rosewood, and Shipe Pools. Swim lessons for sessions 2 and 3 will be offered at Bartholomew, Big Stacy, Deep Eddy, Parque Zaragoza, Ramsey, and Springwoods Pools. 

 For more details about swim lessons and swim teams, visit

Find additional information about City of Austin pools and splash pads at