The Ridgewood Pool project is not a "let’s-cement-the-pool-and-pour-a-bunch-of-chlorine-in-it" organization

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2008 at 11:28 am

The total membership report hasn’t been provided, but certainly the addition of Midland Park and other towns has not come close to making up for the decline in resident membership. Even if it did, surely it wouldn’t be right for us to keep open a MUNICIPAL pool where the majority of attendance would be from other towns.

Year over year Graydon membership figures for residents are roughly as follows:

1999: 6,100
2000: 5,700
2001: 4,800
2002: 5,100
2003: 4,800
2004: (data not available)
2005: 4,500
2006: 4,100
2007: 2,800

You can see the trend began long before the Ridgewood Pool Project came along, and they were formed under the guidance and participation of Ridgewood Parks & Recreation. The team of roughly 12 volunteers — supported by hundreds of residents — is trying to help the town to discover why people are leaving and what it would take to bring them back. After professional research by volunteers was conducted last year among a broad sample of residents, the results clearly showed that a change in the structure of the pool (be it cement bottom, sand or otherwise) would be supported by residents in theory (it hasn’t gotten near to the design or cost phase yet) as long as the natural, unique aesthetic of the property was kept in tact.

(and it’s also not trying to make Graydon a year-round swim facility as someone in the chain suggested) — it simply worked very hard last year to listen to all the different resident opinions, is now interfacing with the town and the DEP to see what can be done, and in the future will try to help find a solution that pleases as many residents as possible so that Graydon can again be the popular community gathering spot that it once was.

Let’s stop calling each other names like “NYC clearwaters” and “cesspool diehards” and work together to find a way to improve the facility so all residents will want to be there … isn’t that what a strong community is all about?

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  1. If it is not just about putting in a cement pool then why do they like to refer to themselves as the “Clearwater” project. The town council rightly took them to task for this.

    They still like to refer to themselves as clearwater.

  2. I’d love to see a before and after picture of the town pool in Woodcliff Lake.

    A cemented pool is very inviting….

  3. The Council was obvious in asking the “Clearwater Pool Project” group to change its name…it drew more attention that it was not. The water is dirty and not clear. And in addition,the current member numbers listed is deceptive. The Summer day camp (baby sitting)numbers are included within the payroll for the camp leaders and is charged to Graydon. The participants “must” be Graydon members. Whether they use the pool or not. Real numbers now well below 2,000. And as it is now it cannot produce the income to be self sustaining. Lots of creative bookkeeping going on.

  4. If the real intent of the Ridgewood Pool Project is to bring people back to Graydon, why do its members insist on spreading lies and calling it a cesspool? It does not take a marketing major to understand that this campaign would not increase membership.

  5. The nostalgic pond called Graydon is very attractive but not practical in today’s age of traveling families that have second homes at the shore or in the Carolina’s.

    Perhaps a POOL or POOLS should be built at the site. A large deep ended pool for adults and good swimmers, an intermediate pool for unaccompanied children and an small child or infant pool ( with good filtration).

    The islands with the trees could remain and be incorporated into shaded picnic areas perhaps with grill sites. Swing sets and slides could also be included in the plan.

    Maintenance costs would be greatly reduced and permitting for discharge into the brook would not be needed. The fresh water springs that feed the present system could still be used to fill the system and makeup for lost water. But these springs may take water from the same aqueduct that the water company uses, by not have them run all the time would save LOTS of water, reducing the strain on the water company’s wells.

    The town has wasted money on some dumb studies before, but I think this project has merit and a study by a qualified engineering firm would answer a lot of questions on how the town should proceed with the Graydon PARK Project.
    Let’s stop guessing and let’s get some answers

  6. Yea that’s it, the future of Ridgewood; lets cement it, turf it and make it “safe.”

    While were at it we could bubble wrap our kids that way if they fall they wont get bruised.

  7. "Leave Graydon as it is & don't spend $$$ on cement & chlorine, you big dopes!"

  8. 1016 thank me !

  9. Better yet, 10:16, let’s allow Graydon to decay naturally and eventually have the federal government declare it a wetland, closed off from any form of improvement whatever. The present trend of declining attendance and membership at Graydon is a good thing, as it should project forward to a date on which no more nasty humans will be found there without prior government approval and full documentation.

    We could import some endangered species like snail darters and such to populate it, using Twinney pond as our ecological model.

    Then we’ll cross our fingers and hope nobody learns of the billions of dollars of oil reserves lurking beneath it’s pristine surface like a carbon-rich menace.

  10. The original post sounds honest and fair-minded. Who cares what the group is called? Who cares about the silly name-calling? the declining use means Graydon has a problem. All options and costs need to be meaningfully explored. I am not sold on cement, but anyone who thinks Graydon’s water is clean and inviting doesnt go there very much.

    Yes I am originally from the cesspools of NYC, but I have been using Graydon now for about a quarter of a century. It used to me crowded and refreshing. Presently, it’s neither. Time for some new ideas.

  11. 8:23 – What exactly does “but not practical in today’s age of traveling families that have second homes at the shore or in the Carolinas” mean? How does having a shore house equate to needing a chlorinated, cement bottom pool? I have a shore house and my family still enjoys swimming at Graydon during the week. Do you also realize that many Village residents do not have the luxury of a second home? How do they fit into your “analysis” or do they not matter to you because you would never dream of associating yourself with someone who could not afford a second home?

  12. It doesn’t take an expert to know you can only have a clear water pool, if it has a cement bottom. Every morning, Graydon is clear, and you can see clear to the bottom. It is the swimmers churning up the sand throughout the day that makes it not clear. As far as the cleaniness of the water. It is tested everyday, and if the water was unhealthy, the pool would be forced to close.

    I have read some blogs where people are extolling the qualities of surronding town’s “modern pools”
    Interestingly enough, I was talking to someone just yesterday, who lives in Westwood. She has 2 boys ages 7 and 8. She belonged to the pool in Hillsdale for many summers. Besides the fact that the fee for a family of 4 is $800 for the summer, she says the pool is extremely crowded. It is so crowded, that she says she loses sight of her boys the second they enter the pool (kids all look the same with wet hair, esp. boys). She would wait to go until after 4 pm, when the crowd started to thin out. She stopped going this year, because the crowded pool was just too stressful for her to keep an eye on her kids. She remembers her days at the kiddie pool as deafening from the crowd. She said she would love to join Graydon

    The beauty of Graydon is the spaciousness of it. Absolutely, making some improvements concerning safety is needed. A fence seperating the 4ft from the 12 ft and an additional lifeguard stand out in the water beyond the diving boards would help.

    As far as the cleanliness goes, I think that the Graydon staff has done a great job in this area. The geese are gone and the ducks are practically none existent. I have seen maybe 4-5 ducks around the pool this year. The airation system that was installed this past year,is also helping to reduce the algae. My family is there daily and we don’t get sick. How can this be if the water is infested with disease.

    As far as the decreased membership, it is very sad. But what those numbers tell me is simply this. It is the effect of the stories and rumors of children getting “violently ill”, contracting all sorts of diseases from the pool, which has taken on a life of its own. Even people without any direct experience of getting sick from Graydon spreading stories of illness such as “Graydonitis”. I believe that this is called an urban legend, to scare people away. People have told me that they would love to come, but feel ashamed to admit it.

    What do those figures about membership tell me….
    Graydon pool hasn’t changed, but the residents have. It is also interesting how the number decreased so dramatically after the Ridgwood Pool Project started advocating for a clearwater (a.k.a.) cement bottom pool. Their scare tactics are working, keeping people away so they can bully the town into building them the pool that they desire.

    As they say, be careful what you wish for. A loud, overly crowed pool, where children can no longer run and play in the sand. The lifeguards will have to divide their time watching the water and stopping the kids from running around the wet cement surrounding the pool. Adults…watch out, that kid is about to jump on your back. Oh that’s right, we’ll have adult swim, when kids run amock on the wet cement, for 15 minutes every hour.

  13. 11:41-What exactly do you by, MANY.
    Are these MANY the 2600 that show up at Graydon.
    Maybe if the place was a little more attactive MANY MORE people would sign on.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a public pool, and by law it is treated with chlorine already. That’s why they needed a discharge permit a few years ago. The overflow went into the brook by the parking lot.
    I also think that under the sand is cemented already.
    Anyone know for sure?

    PS we’re all glad that you have a shore home that you only use on weekends and spend the rest of your time here at Graydon.

  14. 11:41-
    How come the people that don’t have a second home, don’t use Graydon?
    I think what 8:23 is saying is that the people that may hve used Graydon DON’T, because they can afford to be away someplace else.

    I also think that MANY people in the last 5-10 years, have put in backyard pools that they share with the their friends that live around them including the kids that normaly would go to Graydon.

  15. No cement at the deep end.. only the block frame to hold the pump when it’s time to drain the pond fully into the Brook. You see all the muck and mire better for nine months.

  16. You say that the Ridgwood Pool Project committee is trying to find solutions so “Graydon can again be the popular community gathering spot is once was”

    Find solutions, your the one who created the problem of decreased membership in the first place.

    .Thanks to your committee, condemning Graydon as a filthy cesspool to any poor soul who would listen, holding your meeetings on the beach at Graydon. One minute, people are sitting on the sand, enjoying the pool, next minute there listening to your committee telling them the place is outdated and filthy.
    Then to really get your point across, you march in the 4th of July parade in 07, making sure everyone heard your propaganda.

    There is a definite correlation between decreased membership at Graydon and your organization.

  17. your the one who created the problem of decreased membership in the first place

    The original post in this thread said that the downward trend in Graydon membership “began long before the Ridgewood Pool Project came along.”

  18. The false stories about Graydon being a cesspool have gotten out of hand. Maybe the reason that membership is down is because some people are constantly writing letters to the editor stating this as fact. I guess that you have learned from all the negative political campaigning. If you repeat something often enough people will think that it is true.

    If the water were unsafe the pool would be closed. It is tested daily. I question the integrity of the cement pool proponents who are spreading lies to achieve their goals.

    I think that residents should be able to vote on the project after someone puts a price tag on it.

  19. is there somewhere that residents can see the survey question and answers as well as the counts? Is this public information, should be.

  20. Please cite your data sources.

    Where are you getting your data from?

  21. Give the cementers the Habernickel property or the newly found 4 acres off of West Saddle River Road. They can build their exclusive cement bottomed pool and limit membership by the latest “swimmers per cubic foot of water method” or by pedigree or income bracket or by what ever measure they choose. Graydon is fine. You won’t find anything like it in North Jersey. Once destroyed, you won’t be able to bring it back.

  22. I totally agree with 12:48.

    You created the problem.

  23. To: 12:15 PM

    It would be MANY if you didn’t scare them away.

  24. i have lived here since 1969 and never set foot there. just never felt the urge to. Years ago I remember when I was in RHS the blond haired girls who swam their got a tinge of green in their hair supposedly…not sure if it was fact or fiction

  25. how much does it cost to join graydon

  26. I would be careful in taking these enrollment numbers at face value. From personal experience I know that I have not had my badges checked in at least five years. One cannot tell if the new badges are current unless they are scanned by security. How many people actually have had their badges scanned with any regularity or at all? I would not be surprised if people are just not bothering to renew their badges.

  27. We have not had our badges checked either.

  28. 7:37 For renewal of an adult badge $72.00 a child’s badge is $62.00 and Seniors are free.

  29. I would love to know more about your organization. Does the Ridgewood Pool Project have a website with info/mission statement? Thanks

  30. 8:10 The real intent of the Ridgewood Pool Project is not to bring the membership back to Graydon. Their real mission is to turn Graydon into a clearwater i.e. cement bottom pool, because that is the type of pool that this group desires. That is why their original name was the Ridewood Clearwater Pool Project. The town made them change their name, omitting the word clearwater.

  31. 2:22 Put a price tag on it. The committe has already spent $30,000 (of which the Village contributed $12,900) just to hire a consultant to do a feasabiltiy assessement of Graydon. That’s $30,000 dollars just to get someones idea of what could be built there. Think how much the actual implementation of this “idea” will cost. Millions

  32. “Years ago I remember when I was in RHS the blond haired girls who swam their got a tinge of green in their hair”

    That is the chlorine. It happens to swimmers in “clearwater” pools also.

  33. I have lived here since the 1969 and my children enjoyed Graydon Pool as I myself also did and we always had a summer home.
    When we were home we used Graydon as my children had many friends who met there daily to enjoy the hot summer.
    I remember that there were talk of ear infections in August but my kids never had any problem. We spent half the summer in various weeks but when home we went to Graydon..
    When my grandchildren come to my house many times we go to Graydon to enjoy the day. All of my children have swimming pools at home but they still enjoy going to the Graydon for its lake like atmosphere..
    Lets keep it like it is, a fence going into the deep end may be a good idea so that no one will slip into the deep water area from the shallower end.

  34. yeah, the ridgewood pool project even made sure they dissemenated their propaganda to the New Comers Club open house last September. People didn’t even have a chance to unpack their boxes before they put ideas in their head that Graydon is no good and needs to change.

  35. Why can't we just get rid of the sandy bottom & the muck that is collecting there by August?

    Lord knows what is brewing in this muck and sand.

    Covering the bottom with cement is better then starting from scratch and will still leave the LOOK.

  36. Lots of potential pool designers here…?
    Recommendations will be made soon and hopefully will include some of yours. Be patient, this is the last year for “Graydon” as it is now. Let the arguments on design begin… when we get that recommendation and an estimate to achieve it… we will see who will assist… or just obstruct some more.

  37. 9:21 –

    Re: “yeah, the ridgewood pool project even made sure they dissemenated their propaganda to the New Comers Club open house last September. People didn’t even have a chance to unpack their boxes before they put ideas in their head that Graydon is no good and needs to change.

    THIS is an effective campaign tactic. Some creative, effective tactics like these might have turned the tide of the last BOE election.

    So what are YOU doing (as a “pro-Park-Lake-Graydon” proponent) to counter these tactics?
    Complaining on this blog?
    While effective, it’s not effective enough for your position to prevail.
    You need to do more if you want to have your vision prevail.

  38. 7:44 – There is no way that this is the last year for Graydon as it currently exists. Do you have any idea how long it would take to approve a new design, fund it, and then build it? Where do you propose the kids go swimming in the meantime? Why do you put quotes around the name Graydon? Are you trying to disparage a great family who has done much for the Village? Do you realize that but for the generosity of the Graydon family the site probably would be developed with townhomes?

  39. 11:27
    Maybe the same thing can happen for Bolger?

    Maybe he’ll buy the horse farm and put BIG homes on it.
    Then we can name one of the ponds after him.

  40. Check with the North Bergen Municipality… they did it from concept to opening in 12 months. You better get started now. You are wasting time .. again.

  41. 3:06 PM…

    You keep forgetting that this is Ridgewood… a town where we can’t revise a math curriculum BY OURSELVES let alone do it in a reasonable amount of time (like over the summer) as is done in other districts.

    From concept to opening in 12 months… HA.. maybe in the Ridgewood of days gone by, but not in the Ridgewood of today.

    Sad state of affairs, but true.

  42. 3;06 “Check the North Bergen Municipality….. they did it from concept to opening in 12 months.” Did they have to get rid of an existing lake 1st, was the pool constructed in a flood plane. Let’s compare apples to apples please.

  43. Graydon Pool is beautiful. It is a very unique community resource. I’m amazed that more people don’t take advantage of it. I don’t think you can compare a chlorinated pool to it — maybe it’s just a matter of personal taste. I think something this important should be voted on by all residents. Graydon is part of Ridgewood’s history and heritage and I enjoy it just the way it is. If I want chlorine and serious lap swimming, I go to the Y…but Graydon is for cooling down, relaxing outdoors on a summer days and being part of a community.

  44. History is filled with changes..and improvements. Graydon in its present condition cannot survive or be tolerated any longer. Its unsanitary and unsafe. Period! It’s a “dead horse”..stop kicking it you can’t revive it. Participate in its re-design to have the good elements of all worlds. If you want to live in crap..so be it.. The Village has a legal obligation to maintain a safe and sanitary facility ecoomically sound. Go bask in the sun in your own backyard.

  45. 4:12
    “Go bask in your own backyard”

    This is why no one shows up at Graydon anymore.
    People like you with your negitive comments do your best to discurage others form using the facility.

    You want a clearwater pool? Build it in your own backyard.

  46. 4:12 Graydon is not unsanitary. The water is tested weekly by an outstide agency. If the water was unsafe, the Health Dept would shut it down. We would not be allowed to “swim in crap”. Unsafe. Considering the years its been in business and the number of drownings that have occured, Graydon has a remarkable safety record. Get the facts, the Village is maintaining a safe and sanitary facility. Why don’t you put your risk free pool in your own backyard and bask in the sun. Also, 4:12 am, get some sleep. It might do you some good, sounds like you have anger management issues.

  47. Some changes have already started at Graydon, They have been scanning the badges and they have WRIST BANDS for deep water swimmers. However they are still lacking the ability to communicate to the patrons of Graydon.
    If you are changing the rules (and I am really happy about it) please publish it. Let the people know when they enter the pool at the same time they are having their badges scanned; put a big sign that explains your new procedures and please make sure ALL lifeguards and employees are knowledgeable on the new rules.
    Knowledge and manners will go a long ways

  48. I have never had my badge scanned at Graydon since they put in the new system. Regardless, Graydon is a wonderful, scenic place. I am amazed that a town full of educated, informed people can be so easily swayed by hearsay.

  49. I think that if no one in the village is joining graydon pool and it is operating at a loss it should be shut down. The money could be better used elsewhere. Or save the money to build a better facility.

    I moved here in 2002 and I joined for 2 seasons and both times we only went 1 or 2 times because it was so disgusting. By the way I am not in anyway connected with the pool project, I made this observation all by myself. Imagine that.

  50. 8:59

    Alot of improvements have been made to Graydon, especially in the past year. You should stop by and give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  51. Maybe we could get a corporate sponsor to pay for the pool and put their name on it

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….

  52. The “Badge Fees” will never begin to cover the cost of a new pool.

    Dream on. There is no funding for your aquatic center.

    The newcomers should not be promoting the clearwater project. Stick to socializing. Maybe there is an overlap between the newcomers organizers and clearwater people. Are you trying to merge the two?

  53. Graydon has improved, but people going to look for negatives (anywhere in life) will always find them. They will also never be happy.

  54. Graydon has been a refuge for my family for 40 years. Not one of my friends or family has contracted “Graydonitis” or whatever bogus illness people claim. We don’t all have Spring Lake or a backyard pool to use as an alternative. I wish the creative and energetic minds would direct their energy to some other cause such as curtailing “Global Warming” or better yet, more parking downtown. There must be a better way to spend a few million dollars at this time . . .
    Cannonballs Forever

  55. I learned to swim in Graydon over 40 years ago. My children have cherished going off the high dive as a right of passage. Not one of my friends or family have ever complained of the mysterious malady “Graydonitis”. Please let those who have access to Spring Lake or a backyard cement pond continue to enjoy that. Leave Graydon Pool as it was intended to be- a natural oasis in a hectic world. There is nothing pleasant to be had swimming in a bucket of bleach. I believe millions of Ridgewood’s dollars could be used for something more productive – like a parking garage or more school programs.

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