By Anessa V. Cohen

When I am in Israel, I often travel to the many swimming clubs that are located in just about every city around the country. It is really an eye-opener to see how sophisticated these establishments are. Many of these are Olympic-size swimming pools, indoor as well as outdoor, all prepped in different segments for the many categories of swimmers utilizing the swimming pool.

There are several lap lanes–some for the faster and more experienced swimmers, as well as slower lap lanes for the slower swimmers, or “treaders.” Everyone has a place of his own without inconveniencing anyone else’s exercise routine.

Even the free-swim areas in the indoor pools have areas cordoned off for the swim lessons given by each establishment to children and adults of various levels of experience.

Although all of these amenities are wonderful, the one interesting element that struck me no matter which swimming establishment I visited was the way the outdoor swimming pool and adjacent areas were set up to afford the most convenience and enjoyment by the swimming public–whether families, adults, or even children on their own taking advantage of a day off from school to enjoy a nice day swimming.

Instead of one big fence around the entire pool area and the seating areas surrounding the pool, these establishments created extra walking space around the swimming pools, installed fencing around that perimeter with entrance gates to go in and out, and then behind the fencing they laid out lounging areas on the open outer perimeter so that families could not only set themselves up with chaises, chairs, and snacks, but also come into these areas with carriages or wheelchairs, without worrying about the carriages or wheelchairs accidently rolling and ending up in the pool.

Contrast that to our own North Woodmere Park, where the official policy is to not allow any baby carriages in the swimming pool seating areas. Here, when a mother comes with her children, she has to physically carry any babies or toddlers that cannot walk on their own two feet.

I understand that the park officials might be afraid of accidents, with the possibility of carriages or wheelchairs accidently rolling into the swimming pool. But it occurred to me after seeing the pools in Israel, with the fence perimeter around the pool and the sitting area on the other side of the fence surrounding the swimming pool, that they have achieved a terrific balance.

As opposed to struggling, as is the case here in North Woodmere Park, families can set themselves up in a comfortable fashion on the outside of the fence, while at the same time remain close enough to see those children swimming (who are being watched by lifeguards as well) on the other side of the fence. At the same time, younger children or toddlers can toddle around without the worry of falling in the pool since they are on the other side of the fence, and the parents can relax and watch everyone.

I really think that this layout would be more user-friendly for all the patrons using the North Woodmere Park swimming pool and certainly would make it a much less stressful atmosphere for those with very young children. Just something to think about in case anyone has an “in” with people on the committee to upgrade our parks. If there are any of you out there, please take the time to bring this up with the powers-that-be–this could make the summer swimming season more enjoyable for all those young families out there! v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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