2023 Update

Through the winter and spring, Boulder Parks and Recreation (BPR) has focused on hiring enough seasonal staff for peak summer fun.

While we continue to be impacted by the nationwide labor shortage, we expect to provide most department services at the highest level since 2019.

We’ve hired over 215 lifeguards to staff our pools, the most the department has ever hired at one time for a summer. The lifeguard staff will keep our community members safe at North Boulder Recreation Center, East Boulder Community Center, Scott Carpenter Pool, and, open for the first time since 2020, Spruce Pool.

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2022 operations

With summer almost here, BPR is excited to support the health and well-being of the entire Boulder community through our facilities and programs to the best of our ability and based on current staffing levels.


Throughout the winter and spring, we have focused on hiring enough seasonal staff for peak summer fun in recreation programming, swimming, and in our park system. Like many organizations, we have faced challenges hiring enough folks to fill these positions. The nationwide labor market shortage has impacted the number of applicants we received for our seasonal positions, despite funding available to operate many services this year at near pre-pandemic levels.

Now that we are ready for the summer, we have had to carefully prioritize what services we can offer to provide maximum benefit to the community.

Our goals

We hoped to fill all open positions and have consistent operating hours at recreation facilities and pools, all services available at the Reservoir and Flatirons Golf Course, and park amenities fully maintained.

During our planning, we anticipated three possible “service level” scenarios in each of our areas of operation:

  • Ideal – Services at planned/optimal levels based on our approved budget and fully staffed.
  • Reduced – Services at 2021 levels, which are reduced from pre-pandemic due to not enough staff to provide services at the ideal level, i.e., reduced hours and services, delays in maintenance
  • Constrained – Significantly reduced level of services and below 2021 levels, i.e., limited services, noticeable reductions, safety is the priority and no services above and beyond “core services”

Each level had a staffing threshold for what services/operations/programming that could be offered. The ideal scenario is based upon the recovery we planned for and was funded when developing our 2022 budget.

Generally, the department will operate at either a reduced or constrained level for this summer.

Our planned operations

Here is a general breakdown of our planned parks and recreation operations this summer. This information is subject to change as recruitment continues, so please visit that facility or team’s web page on our website for the latest information.


You can find our current operational plans for all our pools on the Aquatics and Facility Status page or each facility’s page.

Scott Carpenter Pool

Scott Carpenter Pool, a highly utilized facility in the summer, is one of our highest priorities to operate fully due to the size and scale of the multi-generational amenities available. 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. Visit the pool’s web pages for the schedule.

Spruce Pool

Spruce Pool, our other outdoor pool, will remain closed for the summer. We anticipate having approximately 90 of the 140 lifeguards needed for the ‘ideal’ scenario of operating both Scott Carpenter and Spruce Pool.

Indoor pools at recreation centers

We will aim to maintain current service hours for daily lap swim and leisure pool time at the indoor pools at the East Boulder Community Center (EBCC) and North Boulder Recreation Center (NBRC) with only one facility’s’ aquatics area open on Saturdays and Sundays.

The South Boulder Recreation Center (SBRC) pool will remain closed for the summer outdoor pool season to complete repairs that started on Monday, May 16.

Additional, new staff

Any additional 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. Since there is usually turnover in our seasonal staff, we hope to maintain our staffing levels and aquatics operations.

Given staffing numbers we anticipate throughout the summer, Spruce Pool will not open this year due to the ongoing lifeguard shortage.

Recreation Centers

Recreation centers are anticipated to maintain current service levels, providing daily access to open swim, gymnasiums, drop-in fitness and yoga classes, weight rooms, racquetball/handball and platform tennis, and sauna or steam rooms.

Visit the recreation centers’ web pages for updated operational information.

The gymnasium at SBRC will remain closed with the flooring replacement beginning in mid-June, after the floor was damaged by a boiler failure. The gymnasium will reopen for public use upon completion of the flooring replacement. The new flooring system will support all previously scheduled drop-in sports and fitness classes.

Boulder Reservoir

The Boulder Reservoir entry gate will be open daily for a wide range of services including boating, swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, fishing, picnicking, walking, running, cycling and wildlife viewing.

The swim beach is anticipated to be open between May 27 – Sept. 5. Please visit the Reservoir web page for swim beach and lake operations information and hours.

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.

Flatirons Golf Course

Services for the Flatirons Golf Course will be at “ideal” levels and the construction schedule for the clubhouse renovation later this year remain unchanged. As the grill is demolished in advance of the future clubhouse restaurant, a limited food menu will be available in the golf shop and alcohol sales will be temporarily unavailable.

Visit the course’s website the most up-to-date information on the golf course, including a new mobile app and bookable online tee times.

Recreation Programs and Camps

Recreation programming, including summer camps and the EXPAND program for people with disabilities, continues to see consistent restoration. We plan to operate these programs slightly below the ideal scenario with the ability to deliver all advertised programs and camps, though often at more limited enrollment.

As recruitment continues, staff will work to add additional opportunities for participation.

Registration is open now for summer programs! Check out our summer recreation guide for course descriptions and to sign up.

Park Operations and Maintenance

In a “reduced” service level, we are prioritizing the safety of parks, including mowing, playground maintenance, hazardous tree removal, waste management, and graffiti removal when we have capacity. 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.

Park shelter rentals are available for this summer with reservations available for one group per day at Foothills Community Park, Harlow Platts Park, Martin Park and North Boulder Park.

Be a Lifeguard Superhero

If you know someone looking for a summer job, we’re still hiring! We’re hiring community members starting at age 14.

NEW! We will hire you and pay you to get your lifeguard certification. Details + apply

You can see all our open positions and apply at BPRjobs.org.