The City And The Salem Y Are Keeping Us Cool In The Heat
By Elizabeth Cayouette-Gluckman
One of the most heralded events of any Salem resident’s summer is the opening of the Forest River Pool. Nestled inside Forest River Park, the pool consists of a small pool and a big pool. The two are attached by a gate, and are designed to suit swimmers of varying ability levels. The small pool is at most 3 feet deep, while the big pool ranges
from 5 feet to 9 feet.
Originally a salt water pool, Forest River is now chlorinated and cleaner than ever! Previously in the hands of the Park and Rec department, the pool is now operated by the Salem YMCA. In order to use the pool Salem Residents, with proof of residency, can purchase pool passes for $5. Proof of residency can come in the form of mail, a bill, a school id, a report card, or something of the same variety. A non-Salem resident guest may use the pool when accompanied by a Salem resident for a recurring fee of $7.
Cat Marcoux, Head of Aquatics for the Salem Y, oversees Forest River, as well as Waikiki Beach, which the Y also provides lifeguards for. Spearheading efforts at Forest River are head lifeguards Leah Horrigan and Bridget Little, both of whom have been with Forest River for many years. Little in particular has a strong connection to the pool, as she worked here in high school, before returning to be a head guard. These women have put in countless hours of their time working to open the pool, and this dedication is sure to be mirrored throughout the season.
Horrigan, who has
a pleasant disposition and a can-do attitude, says “the staff who choose to work at the Forest River Park Pool always work hard to make sure the facility is a clean and safe environment for patrons, so their is some work to be done before the pool opens. I’m pleased to say the the main building and pool look very well maintained thanks to our maintenance staff and several guards who pitched in a helping hand.”
“The turnout opening day was great, with many familiar faces back for another fun season. I myself always enjoy working at Forest River, where I lifeguard right by the ocean, and am surrounded by friendly staff and pool patrons.” It is evident that Horrigan loves her job, and that passion is reflected in the vigor with which she comes to work each morning.
The pool employs many Salem High students of past and present, as lifeguards and as gate/maintenance staff. Salem High students employed this year include Laura Barnes, Owen Clyne, Angelina Caggliano, Danny Nguyen, Eliza Holtz, Jason Dinh, Renne Venico and Aidan Keenan. Recent graduates include Elizabeth Cayouette-Gluckman, Diana Tarnowski, Anand Patel, Sammy Clyne, Reshelle Venico, Hannah Van De Stadt, and Chris Van De Stadt. There are also many lifeguards who come from other high schools and colleges, and who are vital to the staff.
Head of maintenance, Patel, says “as a second year employee at Forest River Pool, there area a lot of familiar faces in regards to both the patrons and the employees. Many of the employees are good friends with each other, whether they met each other through the YMCA or before working for the YMCA, and I believe that helps in running the pool smoothly.”
Some common pool rules that are always good to review are as follows: no running on deck, no flips, swim test must be passed to swim in the big pool, and all children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
These employees work tirelessly to keep the pool safe and organized, so that Salem residents can cool off over the summer. Please make their job easier by listening to the staff and obeying the pool rules!