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Need for year-round swimming and community center

By Pamela Noel

Special to Plumas News

The health of a community encompasses many aspects—physical, intellectual, emotional, social/cultural, spiritual and economic.  Living in this mountain environment we have some wonderful attributes that attract people to live here, as well as visit.  Music and art events are consistently available—from the weekly “Brush” performers to the yearly influx of those enjoying the High Sierra Music Festival.  Monthly gallery showings, and the newer on the scene “ Lost Sierra Plein Air Art Festival attract many local and visiting guests.

In addition we offer some great breweries, which boast their own menu of events.  Incredible scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities attract mountain bikers, as well as those who fish and enjoy boating and hiking.  We are hosts to a treasury of outdoor activities, including Longboards ski races in the winter, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

And…we are fortunate to have in our midst, Feather River College, giving us educational opportunities, as well as a myriad of sports teams that thrill spectators with their contests. This reciprocal community relationship encompasses give and take between the college and the community—the community’s role has been to  support the programs of the college, as well as its scholarships and fundraisers.  The college has an opportunity to reach out to assess what area needs it can help support.  (Such an assessment occurred in the late 1980s, with many enriching ideas for both college and surrounding area.)

At this point in time, there is a sizable segment of the population that is missing a reliable year-round source of physical activity that would contribute to health, longevity, as well as the pleasure of remaining and living in our mountains.

And…this community consists of those who like to swim. Yes, certain of us are able to brave the mountain lakes in the summer, or take advantage of some swim times at Pioneer Pool.  Others of us have engaged in the unsustainable drive to Reno or Truckee, in order to swim. But, there is much more that could be accomplished locally for our swim teams, children who need a way to safely work off steam in the winter, and older folks who would benefit from a year-round venue, with which to engage in water aerobics that lessen the stress on joints, keeping them mobile.  And last, but not least, are those of us who benefit from lap swimming—working our cardiovascular fitness, when the streets are too icy for walking, and the weather is challenging.

There are those of us who have committed to raising families here—who have volunteered and given much to this community– who are now planning on leaving in retirement, because there is no consistent year-round facility where they may swim.  Other small communities have managed to build community centers around a concept of water exercise, for their population.  These centers also are often accompanied by classes of different descriptions—yoga, martial arts, needlecrafts, carving, gymnastics, cooking—the possibilities are endless.

We have long needed a functioning facility where the community can gather to recreate and exercise, learn, and enjoy the company of others…a place where we can start to erase any categories that separate us; a place to enjoy one another, whether in a water aerobics class or watching our children together while they take their first strokes in learning to swim.

Thirty eight years ago, we had the start of such a facility.  The health club, that is now Feather River Fitness, offered a covered pool, where winter swimming was a well-used common resource.  Swimming and fitness classes were part of the normal activities there.  I found it a great place to enjoy water movement, especially during my latter stages of pregnancy.  Having a bubble-like cover, it fit the bill for a time.

Presently, we have two existing pools in Quincy, which could become the start of a hub for future year-round water activities. The question is, does the will exist to make it happen?  Once this becomes clear, the way to make it happen can evolve.

5 thoughts on “Need for year-round swimming and community center

  • The idea of year-round swimming here in Quincy would be great but the pool at Feather River Fitness (FRC) is no longer being used and why? The college spends a lot of money putting in solar panels, repairing the pool deck and the pool edging tiles and why is the pool not being used? Would like to hear a response from FRC. I too remember swimming in the winter under the bubble.

  • I have been interested in having extended days for swimming, water aerobics, swim lessons in Portola for years. The biggest problem preventing more pool access is the funding. I have interviewed pool managers from Truckee, Reno and Carson City. They all agree that pools do not make a profit- they cost far more than they bring in, no matter how many programs and snacks are offered. Pools are an amenity offered by a municipality, supported by tax dollars. Many pools in Reno are located at schools so a partnership is formed. There are grants available to build facilities; not as many grants for supporting programs, staffing and maintenance.
    One way to start might be to work with CPRD to extend the days open into September and October, and open earlier , in May. They could ascertain the extra costs involved- chemicals, staff, HEAT! insurance, etc. they might also have a grant writer on staff to find grants to pay for all these necessities. Or, Plumas Rural Services might be interested in that part. It is possible to create more pool time in our communities if enough of us pull together to make it happen.

    • Ahhh the joy of swimming on so many levels…ditto to all the facets referenced in the article.
      I would be happy to lend support in any way I can to see our pool open again. And wow..’year round’ is icing on the cake!
      Let’s make this happen!!!

  • What can I do to help make a year round swimming pool? Scott Lusk

    • Scott. It will take an organized effort of folks coming together to brainstorm and create an action plan with community and official buy in.

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