PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents of a North Portland neighborhood are pushing to save their community pool.
About 100 people gathered on Saturday at the Columbia Pool to brainstorm ways to stop the city from shuttering the only indoor pool in North Portland.
Community members are under pressure to come up with a plan to save what they call “the jewel of the north.”
The city has called for drastic cuts in the parks department and the Columbia Pool is set to close next summer.
“Columbia Pool is a historic part of Columbia Park,” said Rachel Burdon, the president of Friends of Columbia Park. “There are many users from elders to young school children at Rosa Parks who use the pool — and if it closes, even for a few months, it will be really detrimental to the community’s well-being.”
Volunteers like Mary England are asking the city if they can form a group specifically for the pool to fundraise for repairs, scholarships and new programs to boost attendance.
“I learned to swim in Columbia Pool 61 years ago,” England told KOIN 6 News. “We want to help and we want the parks bureau to join in partnership with us in that way.”
The group shared updates with neighbors on Saturday and started brainstorming more solutions they hope the city will consider.
“I was there yesterday and there were infant swim classes going on, family play swim, classes for children toddler age, there were people my age and elderly lap swimming,” said neighbor Erin Lauer. “What it represents is all these people coming together in one place.”