Posts tagged “aquatics

3 water safety resources to help keep your family safe

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

As we approach summer, it is vital to keep your family safe when enjoying water-related activities. Drowning is the country’s fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, and about one in five who die from drowning are 14 years old or younger.

As Water Safety Month comes to a close, the City of College Station’s Aquatics Division reminds you to be careful around swimming pools, ponds, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Here are a few resources to help keep your family safe this season:

  1. American Red Cross has developed a free, 20-minute online training program called “Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers.” The ARC’s website also offers helpful tips for emergencies and includes important swimming guidelines.
  2. Colin’s Hope is a drowning prevention non-profit organization that provides resources, information, and fundraising to help prevent drowning deaths. Its website offers prevention tips, safety resources, and even a quiz to test your knowledge.    
  3. Pool Safely is a national public education campaign launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to reduce childhood drownings, submersion injuries, and entrapments. Its website offers essential information about safety.

With families spending more time at home, the risk of drowning has increased. It’s crucial to integrate water safety rules into your family’s daily routine.

Stay safe and have a great summer!


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as the aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from A&M.


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Splash pads open Sunday at Central, Tarrow parks

By Jackie Rangel, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

When I was a little girl in Houston, we loved trying to keep our balance as cold water splashed on our heads from the filled buckets at a city splash pad. I fondly remember the laughs, giggles, and fun.

Oh, to be a kid again!

Children love splash pads, especially when their parents join them, so slip on your swimsuit and slather on the sunscreen — the City of College Station’s splash pads open Sunday!

With the chill of winter starting to move out and spring approaching, we know you’re more than ready for the fun and exhilaration of tipping buckets, weeping water, and the directional spray areas at our pads at W.A. Tarrow Park and the Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. They’re open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Be advised that no lifeguards are on duty, so you must supervise your children. Pets, food, glass objects, alcohol, smoking, vaping, and tobacco are prohibited. We don’t allow toys, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, bikes, scooters, or similar equipment, either.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or


About the Blogger

Jackie has worked for the Parks and Recreation Department for almost six years. She’s an active volleyball mom and serves as a referee in our adult volleyball league.


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Get in summer shape fast with an Aqua Fitness pass

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

Summer is almost here, and whether you like to head to the pool or beach, it’s time to suit up. What better way to get in shape and feel great in your swimsuit than to work out in it?

Take a break from the gym and dive into the City of College Station’s Aqua Fitness classes to build cardio, strength, and resistance in a cool and relaxing atmosphere. It’s easy on the joints while providing a tremendous workout, regardless of your fitness level.

The Parks & Recreation Department offers a variety of aqua fitness classes for ages 15 and up at Cindy Hallaran Pool, a 25-yard, zero-depth swimming pool with a beach entry that gently slopes to a depth of four feet. Classes begin Tuesday and run through Aug. 16.

Eager to try one of our aqua fitness classes but not sure where to begin?

It all starts with getting an Aqua Fitness pass, which is good for water fitness, aqua barre, and aqua boot camp. You can sample a drop-in pass for $3 a class and once you’re hooked, buy an unlimited pass for $100.

Passes can be purchased at the Cindy Hallaran Pool or online at

Aqua Fitness Classes

Water Fitness, Weekdays, 9-10 a.m.

These classes provide an enjoyable and effective exercise that increases cardiopulmonary capacity, strength, and flexibility. Physically fit, pre-natal, post-natal, post-operative, those with arthritis, those with muscle injuries, or sedentary individuals are invited to join.

Aqua Barre, Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

The hottest trend in group exercise goes aquatic with a moderate-intensity workout that uses the buoyancy and resistance of water to enhance exercises designed to build strength, promote cardiovascular fitness, and increase flexibility. Participants use noodles and the pool wall in place of the traditional ballet barre.

Aqua Bootcamp, Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Take your fitness to the next level with a vigorous workout that brings intensity without the impact with a combination of high-intensity interval training, steady-state cardio, and resistance exercises.

Get your Aqua Fitness pass today and get in summer shape!


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as a marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 23)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 23. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:04 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No consent items were pulled for workshop discussion.

5:54 p.m.

Thomas Park Pool

The consensus of the council was to close antiquated Thomas Pool at the end of the summer and explore new amenities in Thomas Park. Council also requested a survey of residents to determine their preferences.

The 39-year-old facility loses 200,000 gallons of water per month because of cracks in the shell, drains, and joints. It was also found to be noncompliant with state and local codes. Repairs were estimated at $685,000.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:15 p.m.

Exclusive Bike Facilities

The council discussed exclusive bike facilities such as Austin’s Veloway. The consensus was that projects identified in the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan were a higher priority.

Some citizens have expressed interest in a safe place to ride recreational bikes away from vehicles, pedestrians, and pets.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:17 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:31 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:45 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Four people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • James Benham recognized Army Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 18-year-old El Paso native died March 23, 2003, when his convoy was ambushed in Iraq.
  • Jonathan Coopersmith spoke about local bicycle issues.
  • Janice Sahm and Joel Cantrell spoke against the closing of Thomas Pool.

6:46 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to apply and accept a U.S. Department of Justice 2018 Justice Assistance Grant.
  • A revised agreement to sell reclaimed water to Pebble Creek Country Club.
  • An annual purchase contract not to exceed $120,000 with Bound Tree Medical for EMS supplies.

6:56 p.m.

Corrections to Unified Development Ordinance

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve minor corrections to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance such as text omissions, references, and other clerical errors.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:03 p.m.

Butler Tract Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Suburban to General Commercial for about 17 acres along Old Wellborn Road southeast of the General Parkway-Holleman Drive South intersection.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:27 p.m.

Loveless Tract Land Use

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to Urban for about 11 acres on the west side of Turkey Creek Road about 500 feet south of HSC Parkway.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:13 p.m.

Loveless Tract Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0-1 to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural to Multi-Family for about 11 acres on the west side of Turkey Creek Road about 500 feet south of HSC Parkway. Councilman Barry Moore abstained.

8:15 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:15 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 13.


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Podcast: Bridget Russell, College Station’s Pool Shark

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

May is Water Safety Month, which obviously highlights the importance of knowing how to swim and how to watch family and friends when at the lake or at the pool.

In this podcast, College Station Pools Supervisor Bridget Russell talks about the challenges she and her staff face, how they’re not to be considered babysitters, and how you can stay safe this summer.

Total run time: 26:01

  • 00:00 — Show open
  • 01:52 — About Adamson Lagoon
  • 02:53 — About Bridget
  • 04:26 — A pool supervisor does…everything.
  • 05:53 — How tough is it to get teens to be lifeguards?
  • 07:30 — Why is Water Safety Month so important?
  • 08:49 — Bridget does lakes and pools WAY different than the rest of us.
  • 09:48 — How people enjoy water has changed: “Flat water” is out.
  • 11:05 — About CS’s two OTHER pools (Hallaran, Thomas)
  • 13:20 — Habits of parents are different now
  • 14:54 — We are NOT babysitters!
  • 16:33 — Teaching adults to swim, too.
  • 18:22 — CS Baby Boomers still love the water
  • 19:40 — Resources for keeping your family safe in and around the water
  • 20:50 — Weird things at the pool (Spoiler alert: POOP)
  • 22:52 — Final thoughts + upcoming events and essential tips.



About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Promoting safety with the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

By Bridget Russell, Interim Aquatics Supervisor

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of setting a world record, here’s your chance.

On Thursday, June 22, you are invited to join College Station Aquatics at Adamson Lagoon for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. The free 50-minute lesson begins at 8 a.m. and will cover safe-swim topics for all ages and experience levels. Preregistration is not required.

Since the World Waterpark Association introduced the event in 2010, the City of College Station has helped the organization set world records while promoting water safety and raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson brings together tens of thousands of individuals around the world to participate in the same lesson in a 24-hour period.

Last year, more than 40,000 kids and adults participated in WLSL events in 24 countries, including 50 at Adamson Lagoon. Aquatic facilities from Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston to schools in India taught the lesson with one message in mind — swimming lessons save lives.

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is among the top five causes of death for people from 1-14 years of age. Research shows the risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1-4.

That means drowning is preventable, and swimming is a vital life-saving skill.

In addition to lessons, we offer these tips to keep your kids safe at the pool this summer:

  • Never leave children unattended. Parents are the first line of defense in keeping kids safe in the water. If your child is in the water, you should be, too.
  • Follow posted safety rules and warnings. Teach kids that being safe in and around the water is a personal responsibility — yours and theirs.
  • Teach your children to always swim with a buddy and never alone or in unsupervised places.
  • If you or a family member is a weak or non-swimmer, wear a life vest. College Station pools provide them at no cost.
  • Keep toddlers in shallow play areas.
  • Don’t use air-filled swimming aids such as water wings in place of life jackets. These items provide a sense of false security and may increase the risk of drowning. Swimming aids and other inflatables aren’t allowed in College Station pools.

For information about swim lessons, visit


About the Blogger

Interim Aquatics Supervisor Bridget Russell has served as pool manager for the City of College Station every summer since 2012 and is a certified lifeguard instructor. She also teaches in the Bryan Independent School District. A native of Torrance, Calif., Bridget earned master’s (2012) and bachelor’s (2011) degrees in sport management from Texas A&M.


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