NEWBURGH/BEACON – The River Pool is securely installed for summer 2019 off the north shore of Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, in Beacon, NY. Pool hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 12-6 pm, July-Labor Day, weather permitting. Lifeguards are always present when the pool is open. The late Pete Seeger, a founding member of the organization, believed that river stewardship begins with being on, near, and in the river. In offering a safe place to swim, the floating River Pool presents just such opportunities. Its mission is to provide safe access to the Hudson River; to educate the general public about the importance of continuing to preserve and clean the Hudson River; to promote swimming as a fun, healthful fitness activity in a natural environment; and to demonstrate to other communities the viability of floating pools by building a successful prototype. The twofold joy of the pool-allowing its users to enjoy a cool river swim on a hot summer day while carrying forward Pete’s legacy-has been experienced by its wide community of supporters and users: about 12,000 people have swum in the floating pool during the past 13 years. Volunteers install the pool each June, and take it out of the river in September.
Operation and maintenance of the River Pool is made possible in large part by swimmers, kayak escorts, and volunteers who participate in The Annual Great Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim. 2019 marks the 16th anniversary of the cross river swim, scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 20 (rain date July 21), with splash-in at approximately 11:10 am. Contributions raised by swimmers are used to maintain and operate the pool free to all visitors. Seasonal costs average approximately$40,000.Each participating swimmer raises a minimum $100 in addition to a $75 registration fee that covers the cost of the fundraising swim. Volunteer kayakers escort the 100+swimmers across the Hudson River to provide guidance, safety, and rest for registered participants. The US Coast Guard approves river use for the event while Dutchess and Orange County Sheriffs’ vessels halt river traffic to help provide safe passage for the swimmers and kayakers. A support vessel and jet skiers coordinate with the kayakers on the water to provide safety and rescue if needed. Mobile Life Support Services and Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be available on Newburgh and Beacon shores. Advance registration for the swim is required and is currently open at www.riverpool.org.