Since the winter, Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department (BPR) has focused on hiring seasonal staff for peak summer fun in recreation programming, swimming, and in the park system.
Like many organizations, the nationwide labor market shortage has impacted the number of applicants BPR received for seasonal positions, despite funding available to operate many services this year at near pre-pandemic levels.
With peak season beginning Memorial Day weekend, reduced staffing levels have forced the department to focus on services that provide the maximum benefit to the community. Generally, the department will operate at either a reduced or constrained level this summer.
Some examples of the department’s planned parks and recreation operations for this summer include:
- Scott Carpenter Pool’s lap pool amenities are anticipated to open Monday, May 23 with a limited schedule and leisure pool amenities the afternoon of Memorial Day. The full summer schedule will begin on Tuesday, May 31.
- Spruce Pool will remain closed for the summer due to BPR only being able to hire 90 of the 140 lifeguards needed for the ‘ideal’ scenario of operating both Scott Carpenter and Spruce pools. Spruce Pool is a facility that holds a special place in our community's hearts and one that the department would love to operate. The significant quantity of lifeguards and resources needed to open this facility at any level is not possible.
- Any additional lifeguard staff hired will support sustaining the planned 'constrained' service level, possibly increasing the hours for Scott Carpenter leisure pool amenities, indoor lap pools, and indoor leisure pools. Any employees hired after Memorial Day will help address the typical turnover in seasonal staff throughout the summer and an attrition rate that accelerates starting in July.
- Providing daily lap swim and leisure pool time at the indoor pools at the East Boulder Community Center and North Boulder Recreation Center. As has been since December 2021, only one facility’s aquatics area will be open weekdays 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for the summer.
- In a “reduced” service level, the safety of BPR parks, including mowing, playground maintenance, hazardous tree removal, waste management, and graffiti removal, are prioritized. Work that enhances the appearance of a park but does not impact safety, such as string-trimming, edging and weed removal, will be completed less often.
- At Boulder Reservoir, under a “reduced” service level, trash removal, mowing, weeding and the removal of goose waste will happen less frequently, and boat inspections may require schedule adjustments. No impacts are anticipated for the swim beach schedule and lake operations.
This information is subject to change as recruitment is ongoing, so please visit the Service Levels web page for the most up-to-date details and more information.
“Our staff worked hard to recruit enough people to reach our ‘ideal’ service level this summer,” said Boulder Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes. “We were only able to hire about 65% of the lifeguard staff we need to operate all our pools, so we are, sadly, not going to be able to open Spruce Pool. We will continue hiring, with the hope of increasing the hours for Scott Carpenter leisure pool amenities, indoor lap pools, and indoor leisure pools, which continue to be limited under current staffing levels.”
If you know someone looking for a summer job, we’re still hiring! We’re hiring community members starting at age 14. You can see all our open positions and apply at BPRjobs.org. BPR provides free lifeguard certification to employees and will pay for time spent in training for those hired before their training begins.