In May 1942, the swimming pool at Deer Park on 1700 Prater Way opened thanks to funds from the New Deal that former president Franklin Roosevelt pushed through. And to commemorate the fact that is still functional and serving the community, the City of Sparks held a celebration this past Saturday, June 4 where anyone can swim for just a dollar between 11:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The City is also hosting free water safety classes for kids starting at 9 a.m. on June 4th. However, keep in mind that space is limited so it’s best to register early through www. cityofsparks.us.
Legend has it (sourced from the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation) that Deer Park was originally named Highland Park after the six deer were kept there in a small zoo. It was renamed to reflect its inhabitants and even though the deer have since gone the name Deer Park stuck.
Around that time, the park served as a centerpiece of the new streetcar tract that used Prater Way to link Reno to Sparks. When lights were added to Deer Park in 1908, it made it a more popular place for people to visit. A few years later, it even served as a municipal campground which gave road warriors traveling the Lincoln Highway respite by allowing them to pitch a tent next to their cars which then had a playground, water pump, showers, and a tennis court. The campground closed in 1933 and a fence was installed.
Then, ten years later- thanks to the New Deal- a municipal pool was added. In 2007, Deer Park’s season outdoor heated pool was fully remodeled with a new liner system and zero-depth entry design. New fencing, a new deck, and upgrades to its filtration system were also integrated into the facility.
Currently, the summer swim season at Deer Park officially opens June 11 and will be available daily through August 14; after that the pool will only be open on weekends through Labor Day. Pool hours are 12:30- 4:45 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The cost to swim is $5 for adults, $3 for people ages 18 and younger, $4 seniors ages 55 and older, and $15 for families up to six people. Everyone swims for only two dollars per person on Tuesdays.
Surrounded by old growth cottonwood trees, Deer Park also provides picnic areas, a playground, and basketball courts for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Local businesses including Costco, Target, Scooper’s, Hammer’s Healthy Hounds, and Western Nevada Supply Company are some of the sponsors that helped to commemorate Deer Park’s 80th Anniversary event this past Saturday.