Studies have shown that 70
percent of Detroit children have little to no swimming ability,
which demonstrates a dire need to reduce water-related injuries
and drowning deaths.
“For the city of Detroit to be able to offer free swim lessons
to kids citywide is very important, said Brad Dick, Group
Executive, Services & Infrastructure. “I learned to swim as a
child and if kids learn the basics it will prevent unnecessary
drowning deaths. Access to swim education is paramount and we
are excited to start and grow this program in the coming years.”
The Swim in the D program will include:
Free swimming lessons in Brennan Pool at Rouge Park for Detroit
residents age 6 to 17 (two 5-week sessions offered)
Session 1: June 21, 2021 through July 24, 2021
Session 2: July 26, 2021 through August 28, 2021
Classes will be one-hour long, twice a week and offered on
Mondays/Wednesdays, Tuesdays/Thursdays and Fridays/Saturdays;
pre-registration is required
Participants will be grouped by age and ability with no lesson
having more than 28 students per class.
COVID-19 safety protocol will be followed with guidance from
federal, state, and local health officials.
Swim lessons and water safety education to be taught by
certified swim coaches.
Every child will receive a free swim bag complete with swimsuit,
t-shirt and swim cap.
The program will also include pre- and post-program skills
assessments and parent satisfaction surveys to help ensure the
effectiveness of the program.
“Metroparks is thrilled to collaborate in a program that helps
meet a real community need, teaches an important lifelong skill,
increases access to a healthy, fun recreation activity, and
helps us more equitably serve the city,” said Huron-Clinton
Metroparks Director Amy McMillan. “This is a great example
of what we can accomplish working together.”
The Metroparks and Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will each
provide $25,000 to support the cost of supplies and equipment
while the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will run the
registration process and provide the lesson instruction.
“We are excited that this program will help many Detroit
children gain the skills they need to be able to enjoy spending
time in the water safely,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO
of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “We are proud to partner
with the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department and
Huron-Clinton Metroparks on this important life-saving and
life-changing initiative, which will allow more children from
Detroit to enjoy Michigan’s wonderful lakes and rivers.”
Registration for Swim in the D will begin Tuesday, May 18. To
sign up or learn more about the program, visit https://detroitmi.gov/departments/parks-recreation.
About the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Division
The City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Division is one of
Michigan’s largest parks divisions managing 11 recreation
centers and nearly 300 parks within the City of Detroit, golf
courses, and offering year-round opportunities for kids of all
ages to play and enjoy Detroit.
One of America’s premier metropolitan park systems, the
Huron-Clinton Metroparks have served the people of Southeast
Michigan since 1940. Managed by the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan
Authority, the Metroparks are made up of 13 properties in
Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.
Available activities include fishing, swimming, boating, hiking,
nature study, biking, golf, winter sports and more. The
Metroparks also provide educational resources on science,
nature, history and the environment. Learn more at
About the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is a non-profit organization
founded in 2003 with the mission to develop public access to
Detroit’s riverfront and serve as an anchor for economic
development. As the permanent stewards of the Riverwalk and the
Dequindre Cut, the Conservancy is responsible for raising the
funds needed for construction, operation, maintenance, security
and programming of the public spaces located along the
riverfront. The Conservancy’s ultimate vision is to develop
five-and-a-half miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge
on the west to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur
Bridge to Belle Isle. Visit www.detroitriverfront.org for more