WESTMORLAND — With summer coming to a close, many Imperial Valley children were trying to squeeze in that last soak in the pool before school starts. However, since Westmorland does not have a city pool, this could be difficult and even dangerous. On Friday, city officials sponsored an alternate option for its youngest residents with water slides, misters and a bouncy house at the city’s final day of “Water Days.”
The event is sponsored by the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), and the district provides the funding to help pay for the large inflatable water slides.
The city’s “Water Days” event began three years ago as a way to help kids in Westmorland stay cool even though the pool is not usable. Since then, the sponsored event has become a popular summer activity held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the beginning of July to August 19, ending just in time for school to start.
According to Westmorland Parks and Recreation Commissioner Xavier Mendez, attendance ranges between 20 to 25 children, with parents dropping them off or the kids walk over to the park for the day. All activities are under the careful watch of local volunteers, and there are on-site lifeguards who are trained in first aid and ready if something should ever happen to the children.
“This gives the kids a chance to enjoy the weather even though there is no pool,” said Mendez.
“My dad always wants us to get wet, so he sent us here,” said young Nathan Ginnis.
“My mom thought we should come,” said Anastacia Solis, who lives ten minutes outside of Westmorland. “It’s my first time, and I’m liking it.”
In the interest of safety, the “Water Days” program also helps keep children, in particular the older ones, from going out to the canals that are within biking distances of Westmorland.