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By Mike Ferrians
The Times 

Prescott Pool Celebrates 65th Birthday


August 24, 2023

PRESCOTT—On Saturday, August 26, the Prescott Pool will celebrate its 65th year with an all-day public party at the Prescott Pool. Built by the Prescott School District in 1958, the district operated the pool for 23 years until it could not continue funding. In 1981, Prescott voters approved the creation of a junior taxing district for parks and recreation.

The Prescott Joint Parks and Recreation (PJPR) operates the pool and maintains park grounds with funds from an annual Maintenance and Operation levy. Voters in the portion of Walla Walla and Columbia Counties that comprise the taxing district have regularly approved the levy by at least 60 percent.

“We also get support from area businesses and grant foundations,” said Doug Venn, Park and Recreation Commissioner. “The Sherwood Trust, Wildhorse Foundation, Blue Mountain Community Foundation, and Northwest Grain Growers are some of the organizations that have helped us out immensely over the years.”

This broad support has made Prescott’s pool an invaluable resource for healthy recreation and family fun for over six decades. According to Venn, total attendance for the Prescott Pool this year was 2,457 from June 14 to August 12. The pool and park grounds are enjoyed by folks in the Touchet River Valley and families from neighboring counties, including Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Benton-Franklin, and Umatilla Counties.

“We have the only heated swimming pool that exists in Walla Walla, Columbia, and Umatilla Counties,” says Venn.

Remarkably, the pool has only needed major upgrades twice in 65 years. The first was in 1990, and again in 2022, to repair leakage found on inspection by the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health. After repairs, the district contracted with Walla Walla YMCA for lifeguards and services during the pool season, making water aerobics, swim lessons, and open swimming possible from June through August.

Current PJPRD commissioners Jason Kaehler, President; Carol Hartwig, Vice-Chair; Doug Venn, Serena Rubio, and Matt Hamilton have put together a day of fun activities for the August 26 celebration, including a BBQ starting at 1 p.m., a bouncy house, and a DJ. A special swim fee for the day: everyone gets in for a dime.

“We’re supported by taxpayers, so the state won’t allow us to let people in (the pool) for free,” says Venn with a smile. “So, we had to charge something.”

Partygoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, especially for the outdoor showing of the movie classic, “Jumanji,” at 8:00 p.m.


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