PALMETTO, Fla. –  “It’s like kind of a watchtower,” said lifeguard Cody Lee. “You can kind of overlook and see the whole thing here, see the community.”

Lee is climbing the slide tower at the new Lincoln Aquatic Center in Palmetto. It’s one of his favorite spots in the park to lifeguard.

“The kids, just the joy on their faces when they are going down. It’s just pure excitement. Especially when you’re down catching them, you can see how much fun they have,” said Lee.

It's more than just a job for Lee. He is part of something positive right where he lives.

“Something like this that’s a safe place for kids to come and have fun is really nice, especially having a son myself. It’s excellent that this was built,” said Lee. I’m glad.”

Lee’s son Noah will be a fourth-generation Palmetto native, but he’s the first generation to have the double slides, a pool and a splash pad – a splash pad with a tipping bucket.

“We have 350 gallons of water that fill up in this bucket,” explained Lee. “About every five minutes, and here it comes right where you can see all the smiles and joy that it brings.”

It also introduces young children to the water learning to get comfortable with water through fun.

“I feel privileged. I’m glad I got the opportunity to be here,” said Lee. “Exciting every day to see kids happy and to help them be safe.”

There are two swim sessions each day and they are free throughout the summer.