It’s sink-or-swim time for fans of the Douglass-Degraw pool, who are hoping that their newly created Facebook group will generate a tidal wave of letters to convince the big fish in city government to rescue their beloved watering hole.
The Parks Department said last week that Gowanus’s beloved “Double D” pool would be among four such facilities citywide that will be closed for the summer in order to save $200.000, news that quickly mobilized computer-savvy pool lovers. Opponents of the city’s plan to close the pool, which is on Nevins Street between Douglass and Degraw streets, set up the “Don’t Close Double D pool” page to show the city that swimmers are not going to do the dead man’s float over this particular budget cut.
“This pool is used by the many families in the Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, North Park Slope and Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods and not only provides much needed relief from the summer heat, but also exercise and an opportunity to learn to swim,” the Facebook page reads, imploring members to write the mayor, the Parks Department, and other lawmakers so that the plan is scrapped.
“We are hoping that through the group, we can rally people to contact their local politicians and have them reverse the decision and find the cuts somewhere else,” said group co-creator Adam Cherrington.
The city said its decision was based in part on low attendance numbers at the pool. Last summer, roughly 37,800 people visited D&D pool, compared to 93,000 at the much larger Red Hook pool.
Area resident and Facebook group co-creator Sam Neely said that he loves the Douglass-Degraw pool because its cozy confines make it a “secret” oasis for the hundreds of sun-worshippers who frolic there on a given summer day.
Indeed, The Brooklyn Paper once called D&D “the hidden gem” of the outdoor pool system, praising its kiddie pool as an added attraction.
Facebook group member Grace Freedman agreed, writing, “Its wading pool and picnic area make it ideal for families with young children unlike the bigger pool in far away Red Hook.”
Particularly galling is that Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO get to play while Gowanus, it seems, gets the shaft.
“This is happening at the same time that Brooklyn Bridge Park is opening — the priciest, fanciest park,” Facebook group member Susan Weltman wrote.