Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 5, 2014

Riding the waves

City pool provides welcome relief from the summer sun

TAHLEQUAH — This is the last season for Bear Creek Pool, the city pool in Sequoyah City Park, and many locals have already been a couple of times since it opened last week.

Jannifer Smith and Skye McGlothlin sat poolside while their five children swam and splashed around on the hot and sunny Wednesday afternoon. This was the first time they had been this season, but they went to the pool quite a bit last year.

“It’s a nice location,” said McGlothlin. “It’s a smaller pool, so it’s easy to keep track of all the kids.”

Both her son, Kodey, and Smith’s son, Cannon, are 5 years old and were wearing floatation devices they had brought with them.

The pool has vests and flotation devices available for children, and guests are allowed to bring in inner tubes, inflatables, and toys. Guests can also bring in coolers and their own food and drinks. No alcohol or tobacco products are allowed. Concessions of frozen ice pops, chips, candy, and drinks are available for purchase.

Selling the concessions were the multi-tasking lifeguards. Four  were on duty Wednesday, and two are always poolside. They all have been certified in CPR and in the use of automated external defibrillators. An AED uses an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythms.

Jaylee Duffield, a Keys High School student and first-time lifeguard, has already made one rescue of a little boy who jumped in and got scared when e couldn’t touch the bottom.

Duffield and co-worker Dakota Perry agree that worrying about the little kids is the worst part of the job. That, and cleaning the bathrooms.

“The best part is the free tan,” said Perry, a Tahlequah High School student. “I like my job.”

About 100-200 people visit the pool each day. The maximum load is 179 people.  The cost is $3 for children over 12 and adults; $2 for children 3-11 years; and free to children 2 and younger. The wading pool will not open this year.

“It’s way affordable,” said Dorothyia Juarez. “It’s better than spending money on gas to drive to Boy Scout Hole or other places. Plus, I don’t like swimming in lakes or creeks. I like being able to see through the water.”

Juarez was at the pool Wednesday for the second day in a row. She was with her three children and a friend, Katelyn Watson, who had brought her 1-year-old. They all like meeting new people, and the kids get to see friends from school.

“I really like the atmosphere,” said Watson. “It’s my first year coming here and I would recommend it to others.”

To help spread the news of happenings at the pool, Tahlequah Recreation Department has recently started a Facebook page. Melissa Harris, recreation director, says they will use the page to post about pool closures.

As a general rule, the outdoor pool will close if there is lightning, if the weather is below 65 degrees, or if the chemical/water quality becomes imbalanced.

“The pool will not open if at 12:30 p.m. there’s a chance of a storm,” said Harris. “We don’t want people to pay if they won’t be able to swim.”

Patrons cannot be in the pool if there is thunder and lightning. It can reopen 30 minutes after the last sign of lightning or thunder.

The city pool will be open the following days and hours: Tuesday through Friday, 1-6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. It is available for private rental. Interested parties should contact the Recreation Department at 918-456-0651.


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Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
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