Manager’s Message

“You will never know how many kids you have saved from drowning because you taught them to swim!”

Ken Wilkinson, Parks & Recreation Manager, City of Yakima

I am sure someone else said this before me, but I couldn’t find anyone that made that statement publicly.  This is a phrase I have said to lifeguards over the years and even to myself.  All of us that have taught kids how to swim will never know how many we saved from drowning.  Learning to swim is so important for everyone, but especially for kids and providing places for swim lessons is so important. 

We are working diligently to design a new swimming pool at MLK Jr. Park to provide another place to teach swim lessons and also provide a place for fun and recreation.  The City of Yakima has hired NAC Architecture and Water Technology to help us design a pool.  We have had a few committee meetings and we are getting close to being able to share the design with the community and get more input. 

We are receiving $3 million from Yakima County and the City of Yakima is funding another $3 million for the pool.  We have requested $2 million dollars of funding from the State of Washington through the State Legislative Capital Budget too.  We are also going to be starting a fund-raising campaign in the future to close the gap on the cost to build the pool.  We will need to raise additional funds to be able to construct the pool.  I know we live in a very generous community and I am confident that the funds will be raised for this much needed project.  The planned pool is a great combination of fun recreation for all ages, exercise opportunities and also an area for swim lessons.  The Aquatic Center at MLK Jr. Park Committee has made it clear that we need something for everyone to use and enjoy.  While we work on the design for the pool at MLK Jr. Park, we do have swim lessons available for the community at Lions and Franklin pools.  I am excited to see a new aquatic facility built in our community that will provide even more opportunities for kids to learn to swim

Ken Wilkinson, Parks & Recreation Manager

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