The Jones Beach swimming pool will be popular this summer.

The Jones Beach swimming pool will be popular this summer. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday that the state will waive pool entry fees at state parks for the rest of the summer.

The governor also launched a $1.5 million program to help kids get transportation to swimming lessons, among other initiatives geared toward encouraging kids to “put down their phones and computers and stay active all across our state,” Hochul said in a statement.

There are 14 state park pools that will be free this summer, with two locations on Long Island, two in New York City and others elsewhere in the state. The locations on Long Island are the Jones Beach State Park West Bathhouse and Montauk Downs State Park pools. 

The transportation program reimburses costs, including parking and vehicle-use fees, to state-run facilities that offer swimming lessons. The swimming lesson provider must have a nationally recognized learn-to-swim curriculum, such as the American Red Cross, YMCA or Starfish Aquatics.

The program allows grant recipients to be reimbursed up to $45,000 per fiscal year for eligible transportation expenses. Applications are available on the state website.

Parks officials say they are ready to welcome children and adults to state pools.

“We are fully staffed so that we can handle all the crowds,” said George Gorman, regional director of New York State parks.

Almost 50,000 people visit the Jones Beach West Bathhouse every year, he said. The Jones Beach’s East Bathhouse is undergoing a renovation and is expected to open in 2026.

“Earlier this year, the governor announced that we are refurbishing the East Bathhouse here at Jones Beach,” Gorman said. “A $100 million commitment to rebuild the pool [and] to add splash pad areas so the kids can enjoy not only the pool but running around underneath all the sprinkling water.”

With Nayden Villorente

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