Our History

In 1968, voters of King County supported the construction of community swimming pools.  In 2009, voters of Des Moines reconfirmed their desire to continue to maintain an indoor aquatic facility within the community.  Mount Rainier Pool provides vital services to the community by offering swimming lessons, water exercise opportunities, recreation and high school swim team events.  As the Waterland community, the concern of water safety is of great importance and the primary goal of the Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District is to ensure everyone, especially children, know how to swim.

Mount Rainier Pool originally opened on September 15, 1975 as a result of a bond issue in 1968 called Forward Thrust.  The Forward Thrust bond eventually built 16 public swimming pools throughout King County.  Budget constraints, beginning in 2000, led to the closure or transfer of many of these pools after county officials sought to turn the facilities over to local governments.  Mount Rainier Pool was operated jointly by the cities of Des Moines, Normandy Park, Sea-Tac and the Highline School District until it was slated for closure in 2009.

The Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District was created by a vote of the citizens of Des Moines in November 2009 to acquire, maintain and operate Mount Rainier Pool.  The measure was approved by 64 percent of the voters and five initial commissioners were elected.  The first official meeting of the Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District was December 3, 2009.  The City of Normandy Park and the Highline School District remain involved in the operation of Mount Rainier Pool.

Mission, Vision, Core Values and Cultural Values

Mission Statement

The Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District is the operator of Mount Rainier Pool.

  • We provide aquatic programs and services for our constituents, affiliates and the interested public.
  • We value all members of the swimming community, and the staff and volunteers who serve them.
  • We are committed to excellence and the proliferation of swimming.
  • We are committed to providing a safe and positive environment for all members of our community, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, belief or economic circumstance.

Vision Statement

To create a healthy community by embracing swimming as an essential life skill.

Core Objectives

The Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District’s mission is to grow and strengthen the activity of swimming. Specifically, we seek to:

  • Rigorously strive to eliminate implicit bias in swimming
  • Increase our reach by expanding participation in swimming throughout the community. Our goal is that every child will have the opportunity to swim.
  • Promote swimming as a healthy lifestyle and encourage participation in aquatic endeavors.
  • Restore and sustain the competitive success of local swimming affiliated teams on both local and regional levels.

Cultural Values Operational Principles

The organizational and business culture of the Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District is founded upon a strong value system. This value system is the cornerstone for the attitude and work ethic to which we are all committed. In short, we will continue to:

  1. Embrace the responsibilities of leadership and strive for excellence in everything we do.
  2. Conduct business with integrity, transparency, and a spirit of stewardship – act in the best interests of swimming and our constituents.
  3. Be service-oriented with our constituents, customers and each other.
  4. Engage in disciplined planning, but not be afraid to act intuitively to confront challenges and seize opportunities.
  5. Identify clear priorities and allocate our time and resources accordingly.
  6. Hold ourselves and each other accountable to the highest standards of professionalism and transparency; treat others fairly and with respect.
  7. Exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm for expanding access, and a positive “l can do” attitude.
  8. Encourage environments in which our patrons are safe.
  9. Eliminate implicit bias and promote the importance of diversity and inclusion.
  10. Strive to learn and improve, always be open to questions, and maintain a willingness to change.


May 19 Schedule Update (Expanded Hours). Click here for more information.