WASHINGTON CITY – Some 200 people with rakes and gloves in hand came to a community cleanup in Washington Saturday morning to help save the Boilers, a rare pond and local “swimmin’ hole” of Dixie history. The Boiling Springs Ecoseum & Desert Preserve hosted the cleanup as a way to involve the community in preserving, experiencing and restoring of the Boilers and the surrounding area’s unique beauty, a beauty that has been obscured and littered since the city closed the area to the public in 1999.
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Videocast by Samantha Tommer, St. George News
Upon arrival, volunteers received a free “Save the Boilers” T-shirt and registered to win raffle prizes at the end of the cleanup.
For many volunteers, participating in the cleanup offered a time of remembrance of days gone by when they were taught how to swim in the Boilers or had lunch with their grandma and grandpa next to the pond.
Amanda Griffith currently lives in Bloomington but grew up in Washington City, swimming in the Boilers along with her father and grandfather. She brought her daughter Sarah to participate in the cleanup event, sharing with her that piece of her childhood history.
“I am most excited to be able to create new memories with my own children,” Amanda Griffith said, “and something that will stay alive for the coming generations, too.”
“It’s like bringing a piece of history back to life,” Sarah Griffith said of her part in the day’s effort.
The Boiling Springs Ecoseum & Desert Preserve project envisions revitalizing the historic pond while offering it and the community a promising future. Nothing could have spoken to the heart of that vision more, perhaps, than the joinder of ages participating in the cleanup – the youngest volunteer being 3 years old and the oldest 84 years young.
Many volunteers did not know until recently that the Boilers existed. Isaiah Heaton and Dallas Cooper learned about the cleanup event Friday night at the Washington City Chamber of Commerce’s July Movie in the Park where the Boiling Springs Ecoseum & Desert Preserve hosted an information booth.
In the midst of a desert, the Boilers has a thriving tropical fish population; read more: The Boilers: Saving an ecosystem that exists nowhere else on earth
Dallas Cooper is a 12-year-old resident of Washington who said he’s chosen to donate all of his allowance to help build the vision of the Boilers.
“It is small contribution and it is a big thing to build. It will take a lot of money,” Cooper said. “I want to help until I have made a big contribution to it.”
Bill Cooper, Dallas’s father has decided to match whatever money his son donates to the Boilers project every week. Bill Cooper said he is extremely proud that his son has decided to take on this project.
Now that the community is more aware of the Boilers, visionary Nicole Warner, Boiling Springs Ecoseum & Desert Preserve director, said they will continue to have cleanup days and ongoing tours allowing people to see and explore this unique piece of Southern Utah history.
The Boiling Springs Ecoseum & Desert Preserve nonprofit organization is working on its legal development agreement with Washington City, under which the organization will develop ideas, designs for future buildings, raise money and community support for a period of three to five years with a promise from the city to not sell the property on which the Boilers sits.
Many volunteers who participated in the cleanup said they are eager to get another one planned and bring even more participants.
“I literally just keep getting chills down my arms,” Warner said. “These are the kinds of people that I know live here. They are beautiful, wonderful people who want to make a difference and who want to preserve what is best for our community.”
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
- Saving the Boilers: Community cleanup planned
- The Boilers: Saving an ecosystem that exists nowhere else on earth
- Nonprofit launches crowd funding project to save Boilers, Millcreek Canyon
- Invitation to reflect, to make history; Boiling Springs crowd funding soirée
- Firefighters douse short-lived blaze at ‘Boilers’ spring
- Group has big plans for Boilers, Millcreek Canyon; city council not so sure
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