BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A petition to keep Brooklyn Bridge Park's pop-up pool open past its final season has amassed more than 800 signatures, according to parents and elected officials who rallied for a permanent solution to the temporary pool Thursday afternoon.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron called on the city to maintain the pop-up pool "until we have concrete plans and a timeline moving forward for a permanent pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park," he said.
The pop-up pool located near Pier 2 first opened in 2012 as a free and public amenity with swimming classes for kids during the summer months.
But the temporary pool was only meant to last five seasons. It was created as part of a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding with the city — signed by Squadron and former Assemblywoman Joan Millman — which stated the pool would close after Labor Day in 2016.
Brooklyn Bridge Park plans to turn the pool site into 3.4 acres of additional parkland, which the corporation said is much needed in the popular park.
"We love the Pop-Up Pool too, and we're eager to work with our local elected officials to secure funding for a larger, permanent pool for Brooklyn Bridge Park," said Belinda Cape, a vice president at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. "We're excited to move forward with more than three acres of new parkland on the Pier 2 uplands."
Squadron also announced the results of a report that surveyed 189 people and found that 72 percent visited the pool at least once a month and 82 percent came from outside the pool's Brooklyn Heights zip code.
Along with Councilman Stephen Levin and Borough President Eric Adams, Squadron is urging the city to secure funding to build a permanent pool while keeping the pop-up pool open until plans are made.
At Thursday's rally, parents described the pool as an "urban oasis" and said its closure would be a huge loss for Brooklyn. The petition from community group Love Our Pool has garnered 879 signatures, both online and on paper, they said.
"It's our little vacation spot," said Nicole McCarthy, who lives in Brownsville and has spent hours at the pool with her three youngest children.
Families are drawn to the pop-up pool because of its shallow depth as well as the adjoining beach-like area. The poolside food and beverage stand is an added convenience, they said.
Lee Levine, who regularly brings his 6-year-old son, Izzy, to the pool from Kensington, said his son has learned to swim in the pool over the last few summers.
"There's no other public pool like this one," he said.