SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From the City of Salisbury: The improvements made to the Lincoln Pool during the off-season made a huge hit with the public this year and made a lasting memory for one City resident.
According to Paul Moore of Parks and Recreation, attendance jumped nearly 60 percent due in part to the colorful facelift given to the pool and an extended season that had the pool opening on Memorial Day weekend and closing September 7. When comparing numbers for the same number of days year-to-year, the pool attracted 45 percent more residents.
The $20,000 in improvements transformed a plain grey splash pad to a pinwheel of red, blue and yellow color. Park and Recreation also added yellow color to the tabletops, red umbrellas and blue and white loungers so swimmers didn't have to lie on the hard concrete. Added as a safety feature was red slip-resistant matting to the pool deck shelter. Lincoln Pool's vibrant colors can now be seen from all the surrounding roadways.
However, according to Moore, the best part of the season was a letter from Salisbury resident Denise Fowler, who says her life was changed at the Lincoln Pool this year. Here are excerpts from her letter:
"I've always wanted my son to know how to swim since I am so painfully aware of how not knowing can hold you back. The first thing I did after my son was born was to buy life jackets for my car because I knew if anything ever happened I wouldn't be able to help him because I didn't know how to swim. When my son learned to swim, I was still standing on the sidelines. This made it impossible for me to protect him as he played in the pool.
This year I decided no more. I wanted to learn. When I saw that the City of Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department was offering adult lessons I jumped at the opportunity. I was afraid, very afraid.
Lifeguards "Judge", Matt, and Sadie did everything they could to help me. They didn't laugh at me and they didn't let me drown.
The weeks went by (I swallowed gallons of water) and finally on week 5 I got it! When I was able to put my arm strokes with my kicks, I never looked back. It was amazing—I swam for hours that day…refusing to leave the pool. I went to the Lincoln Pool as often as I could this summer. I tell everyone that I can at church, home, anywhere - "I learned how to swim this summer".
I am so thankful for the lifeguards and staff of the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department that made reaching this milestone in my life possible."
Paul Moore's reaction to the letter: "That sort of letter would hit any Park and Recreation professional in the heart. When you see tangible evidence of people learning new skills and accomplishing their goals because of something we've done, that gives us real fulfillment. This is why we do what we do."