Southwest Philly’s Pools

Southwest Philly’s first public pool — built at 63rd and Woodland in 1915 — has been gone a long time.

Of all City residents these days, Southwest Philadelphians have the least access to recreational facilities. In 2010, only 28.7% of Southwest Philly adults reported regular use of neighborhood rec sites (including public pools), as opposed to 41.8% citywide and 58.9% in some parts of the Northwest (the area with the most access).

Is it unrelated that nearly 57% of adults in the Southwest have high blood pressure (the highest of any neighborhood)? INTO THE POOL, PEOPLE!!

If only it was that easy. Southwest Philly also has a poverty rate of 36%. And that’s the official poverty rate ($24,250 for a family of four). How many families are living on just a little more?

In this context, Southwest’s three free swim spots could not be more essential. Rollicking Kingsessing. Family-friendly Myers. Far, far away Finnegan.

Here’s the Department of Parks and Recreation’s listing. (They include Christy at 56th and Christian — I’ll cover that along with West Philly pools.)

Here’s a map from PlanPhilly.

Source for the unattributed stats above: Philadelphia Department of Public Health Community Health Assessment 2014.

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