Pool party

Once a year, when the stars align, our animal keeping staff performs a ritual task that keepers have done since the beginning of time– we clean the bear pool!

This is a pretty big undertaking (made bigger because we didn’t do it last year due to the drought) and to get it done (plus all of our regular work for the day) it took 5 keepers, 1 director, 1 volunteer, 2 other museum staff (shout out to Grover and Courtney), 2 powerwashers, and a lot of bleach.

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Sunday early evening: lug all tools (hoses, shovels, etc) to bears, lock the bears in the house,start the moat draining and the middle pool sump pumps going, (Yeah, Kent, Katy, Marilyn!)

2. Sunday late evening: Drive back to museum in darkness of night and check on pool so that sump pumps haven’t burned out and everything is going smoothly (Yeah, Sherry!)

3. Monday- Come in at 7:00 and get regular tasks going (yeah Katy, Erin, Marilyn!), take boots out of locker that will keep your feet dry all day and promptly lose one while driving to bears (yeah Kristen!), start shoveling trash cans full of bottom- of- the- pool muck out of the now drained moat (yeah Courtney, Sherry, Kristen, Katy!), fix the pump while the pool is dry (yeah Grover!) and start powerwashing (yeah Kent, Mike, Grover, Erin!) Scoop, mow, and seed the yard while we’re in there (yea, everyone!)

4. Proceed with these activities all day (including looking for your darn boot!) until you are a) covered in muck b) cannot lift your arms to shovel any more And c) the pool looks as clear as the Caribbean Sea!

5. Refill pool and find boot in locker where you left it at 7:00 AM.

So the bears don’t really seem to care about the crystalline waters of their cleaned pool, but we do! Until next year…

5 responses to Pool party

  1. Courtney says:

    I saw Ursula louging around the edge of the pool earlier this week…I like to think she was admiring and appreciating our hard labor :)PS- My mucky clothes and shoes are still sitting on my back porch!

  2. ErinH says:

    You forgot to add to your Monday list that you had to eat lunch…far, far away from your relatively clean museum colleagues.

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