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Families kick off unofficial start to summer as community pools open

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — On this Memorial Day, many Hoosier families marked the unofficial start of summer.

This is the first time since last year that 12-year-old Braedon Smith, of Whiteland, has gotten into the pool.

“It feels good, because I really missed this place. I used to come here all the time with my grandma,” Smith said with his mother by his side.

He and his mom came to Freedom Springs Aquatics Park in Greenwood.

“It feels amazing! They’re just smiling and having fun for the summertime,” said Elizabeth Sanford, Braedon’s mother.

The park officially opened Monday.

“We are officially open for fun!” said Brooke Gilles, aquatic manager at Freedom Springs Aquatics Park, on Monday.

Sean Stahlhut and his family decided to celebrate their daughter’s 5th birthday at the pool.

“I really hadn’t thought of it on Memorial Day until you came up and we started talking about it, but it’s a beautiful day. I’m remembering why it’s a holiday,” Stahlhut, of Greenwood, said.

This time last year, they were at 50% capacity. They were only open to season passholders in case they needed to do virus contact tracing, according to Gilles. And during that time, masks were required whenever visitors weren’t in the water.

This year, there are no capacity restrictions and all across the pool, you’ll find ample hand sanitizer. If you’re fully vaccinated, masks are not required. If not, masks are recommended.

“This year, as far as opening, we are sticking to, like, cleaning practices, which is something that we’ve always done even prior to COVID. We have hand sanitizer and we also have life jackets and stuff like that. But we clean those and we clean the chairs quite often. Every morning, every night we’ll go in and clean them out. So, that kind of stayed with some of the protocols we had last year,” Gilles explained.

“You know, it feels more and more like normal. I’m excited to get out and live our life,” Stahlhut said.

Stahlhut’s 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, was most excited to “go on the water slide!”

Back at the slides, Smith had some advice for people who want to come to the pool: “Bring sunscreen! Lots and lots of sunscreen!”

The aquatics park is located at 850 W. Stop 18 Rd, and the phone number is 317-884-2078.

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