According to a recent U.S. Census report, swimming is the fourth-most popular sport in the United States. While all ages enjoy swimming, it is the most popular recreational activity for children and teens, ages seven to 17. In addition, a well-designed aquatic facility supports public health and helps contribute to community cohesiveness.

So what better way is there to beat this summer heat, than at your local pool? Here are just a few Foundation grants that are helping area residents cool off this summer:

Pool at the Doddridge County Park

A recent $15,000 grant through our Community Action Grants Program will support the Doddridge County Parks and Recreation Commission on "Phase Two" of their pool development project. In Phase Two, the Park will replace and upgrade the main pool.

“The Doddridge County Park system is constantly striving to improve our facilities and make the guest’s visit a positive experience,” said Greg Cottrill, Park Director. “The Park will be launching into Phase Two of its pool renovations and the grants from PACF and DCCF will help us achieve the financial goal needed to make that happen."

This grant was made possible by the following funds of the Foundation:

Our Williamstown Fund for Excellence is sponsoring Free Swim Fridays at the Williamstown Healthy Lifestyle Pool this summer. The first 250 individuals each Friday evening ages <17 are free and ages 18+ are just $3. This is the Fund's second year of sponsoring Free Swim Fridays.

“The intention behind this grant was to provide the children in our community with additional opportunities to enjoy our pool and to help area families with a small financial break," said Lynn Erb, Williamstown Fund for Excellence advisory committee member.

The Fund also purchased a new vacuum cleaner and filters for the pool this spring.

Splash park at the Parkersburg City Park

Let's not forget the splash park at the Parkersburg City Park. In the spring of 2020, the Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the City of Parkersburg to purchase and install an Aquaflex surface for the new splash park at the City Park pool. The grand opening of the splash park and upgraded pool was May 31, 2019. The splash park has been a wonderful addition to the area and is visited by individuals young and old. Funding for this community project that is accessible to all included the: Spartan Foundation, Sisters Health Foundation, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, McDonough Foundation, Ross Foundation, and Highmark WV. This grant from the PACF was made possible by the following Foundation funds:

Ravenswood City Pool

Stop by the Ravenswood City Pool to cool off this summer. Their accessible stairs make it much easier to access the pool. These stairs were purchased with a grant from the Foundation's SDR and Ritchie Family Charitable Fund in 2019.

"The request for and the purpose of awarding this grant was to purchase and install accessible swimming pool stairs at the Ravenswood City Pool," said Ravenswood Board of Parks & Recreation. "It's intended for those with disabilities, the elderly or others who may need assistance with balance and support. Some may be using the pool for physical therapy and this will most definitely help them as well!"