Plan to build natural swimming hole in Houston gains steam

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Plan to build natural swimming hole in Houston gains steam
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Imagine a place where you could go to cool off -- right in the center of town! Three men have raised enough cash to look into the idea

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three men are $30,000 closer to achieving their goal of building a natural swimming hole in the center of the city.

The Houston Needs a Swimming Hole! Kickstarter page has surpassed its $30,000 goal with three days left to donate. Jeff Kaplan and his partners are on their way to create a natural escape in an urban environment.

"It is so hot here, and there aren't a lot of outs," Kaplan said. "Unless you live in a fancy new apartment building or have a pool at your house, you don't have a lot of options to jump in a body of water unless you drive to Galveston."

Kaplan and his two partners sell all-natural furniture and home goods at New Living in Rice Village. They say they want the swimming hole to reflect their environmental philosophy.

Visitors to Austin enjoy a natural swimming hole of their own, Barton Springs.

"And even though we don't have the same spring system that they do," Kaplan said, "it's absolutely possible to design a swimming hole that uses less chemicals and is in a natural environment."

Kaplan said they could use a combination of native plants and chlorine to filter the water, but they don't know for sure yet. Houstonians seem to be interested in figuring this out.

"I think it's lovely not to have to travel so far to be able to relax," Antoinette Williams said.

Indira Morrow agrees.

"People want to do more outdoors, with children, with friends," Morrow said.

The money raised on Kickstarter will go toward a feasibility study. An architectural firm will examine site conditions and gather information on regulations and permitting.

The fundraiser ends Friday. Supporters can still make donations.

"The question is not if it can be done," Kaplan said, "It's exactly how it happens."