Clean up or close up - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Clean up or close up

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Saxtons River, V.t. -

Residents in village of Saxtons River, and surrounding areas, are rallying around the rec field. A gathering spot that has fallen on tough times in the past. But, the community is taking it back.

The pond just off the Pleasant Valley Road, on the outskirts of Saxtons River, is rich in history for members of this community.

"My children both learned to swim here. They are in their forties now. I think all of the children in Saxtons River in the last 40 years probably learned how to swim in this pond," said Jill Newton of Rockingham.

But upkeep to swimming hole and recreation grounds, in recent years, was one person's responsibility, and, it showed.

"Usually people they come here and they just litter, and it's not good," said 10-year-old Kendra Atkin of Bellows Falls.

"Graffiti, we got vandalized," said Rec Committee volunteer Samatha Fletcher. "They stripped all of the copper out of the guard house a couple years ago and stuff like that. So we really took a hit."

Last year village officials threaten to shut it down if volunteers didn't step up. On saturday, they did just that. Even Rockingham's Interim Town Manager got into the act.

"The sand is donated, everything is donated. Local contractors have come. We dredged the pond for the first time in eight of ten years." said Rec Committee Chair Chris Moore.

Saxtons River Rec is now run by these same volunteers. They've raised about 5 thousand dollars to keep it going.

"I think it is fundamental to the community. It really brings us all together. Especially forth of July," Fletcher said.

Just ask any of the girls scout and boys scouts who showed up to lend a helping hand, like Austin Mallan of Saxtons River.

"Because it is really fun and the water is just right," Mallan said.

A community coming together, around a cause everyone can benefit from.

"A lot of hands make a big chore go a lot quicker," Fletcher said.

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