Guilford County Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy, who now also serves on the Guilford County Parks and Recreation Commission, made an announcement at a recent Board of Commissioners meeting that will please a lot of kids and adults in the area – the county’s pools will be open this summer.

“Last summer, our county parks were not able to open due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Murphy said, “but this year we are glad to announce that they will be open and operational.”

Anyone who’s visited a county pool in the Dog Days of summer – or, really, on any hot summer day – knows that those pools are highly popular with people trying to beat the summer heat.

“Of course, there will be some COVID-19 restrictions,” Murphy added.

Last May, Guilford County announced that the pools at the county’s parks would “remain closed until further notice.” At that time, it was hard to imagine that the pandemic would still be the nation’s number one news story a year later.

In pandemic-free years, the county’s pools and other water attractions at the county’s parks generally open on Memorial Day and stay open through Labor Day. The county’s May 2020 announcement of pool closures came six days before Memorial Day.

Murphy made the pool opening announcement after she attended her first Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

She said the commission had also discussed parks and rec goals for 2021 and said those lined up well with the goals that county commissioners adopted for the county at a commissioners retreat earlier this year – things like strategic organizational excellence, more infrastructure development and new marketing efforts.

Murphy also said the county’s parks got a visitation bump from the pandemic.

“We’ve seen an increase in park usage in the time of COVID,” she said, adding that people are using the pandemic as a time to “get outside and move around.”