Although they have long been a treasured part of every Vermontersâ€™ summer, as Vermont becomes less rural and more suburban, swimming holes are closed. More riverbanks get posted, more land gets developed, and more old swimming holes become newly private property â€” and inaccessible.
The Vermont River Conservancy (VRC), a small organization that specializes in conserving rivers and the land alongside them, has taken note of those losses.
â€œWeâ€™ve noticed that many of these really spectacular places that were used by local people were being purchased or posted,â€ says Stephan Syz, founding board member and guiding light of the River Conservancy.
Assistant Director Lydia Menendez adds: â€œWe receive calls frequently stating that a swimming hole that people used to visit has been closed.â€
Fortunately, the conservancy has not only noticed the trend but it has a plan, and a bold one, to solve the problem: to conserve for public use a swimming hole in every town in Vermont.
â€œIt could take us 10 years,â€ says Executive Director Steven Libby, â€œbut every town should have its own swimming hole â€“ it should just be part of that townâ€™s public amenities.â€