Lack of Lifeguards Halts Swimming Plans at County Park

By Eric Deabill |

Published 06/24 2014 05:32PM

Updated 06/24 2014 06:39PM

Plans to open a new swimming spot at a county-owned park in Lackawanna County have hit a roadblock.

County leaders say they were hoping to offer swimming this summer at Covington Park in Covington Township but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.

As part of a recent renovation project, the county cleared-up space on a lake and were planning to let kids swim there.

That is, until a lack of lifeguards who applied for jobs sidelined the idea.

DeSantis Pond in Covington Park looks inviting but no swimming is currently allowed here because of the lack of lifeguards.

"It wasn't through lack of trying. I mean, we advertised in the newspaper, we had it on the county website, there was a story in the local newspaper," Lackawanna County Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation Bill Davis said.

Covington Park just underwent a $1.6-million makeover and plans for swimming were included in that.

Crews cleared away brush to make way for swimming and many people wondered what was taking so long.

"It was all brush and woods and then they cleared it up and they made the park and the pavillion and it's really nice," Sasha Heller of Moscow said.

Many are disappointed a lack of lifeguards will keep people out of the water.

"There's not really a lot of places to go, like public places to swim in Moscow so I think it would be great," Carleen Troup of Moscow said.

For Carleen Troup and Sasha Heller, who help supervise young kids, they say the swimming would have been a big draw.

"The kids have been asking: can we swimin it? can we go there?" Troup said. "You have to tell them no but I think it would be great."

While some might question how far the swimming plans really came because there's no sand but county leaders say that's an easy fix.

"If we can get the lifeguards we will create a small beach area for people to approach. We haven't so far because we don't want to invite people into the water if we don't have the staff here to supervise them," Davis said.

Lackawanna County currently offers swimming at three of its other parks, including McDade Park, Aylesworth Park and Merli Sarnoski Park.

In all, roughly 30 lifeguards got jobs this summer but to open up swimming at Covington Park, ten more lifeguards would be needed.

Applications are available on Lackawanna County's website at:

County leaders say if more certified lifeguards apply for positions, they would be able to open up the new swimming spot this summer in Lackawanna County.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

comments powered by Disqus