View from the North Beach – September 22, 2018


Friends of Coburn Pond welcomes you to participate and enjoy!


Fishing on the Frozen Pond – January 10, 2022


As the temperatures are about to plunge once again into another few subzero degree days, reflecting on a year of observations and activities at Coburn Pond is a pleasurable task. Every year is a bit similar in how one season follows the next, and how both the naturalizing ecosystems and human activities shift and change in response. This past year—another pandemic year that amplified the importance of our easily accessible, outdoor community recreation area—again highlighted the unique creativity of community members to find enjoyable and safe recreational activities. Just last week, we captured an image of a lone ice fishing hut. We’ve not yet seen the assortment of ice skaters on the pond, or the sledding trails and snow shoe tracks so prevalent last year—but it’s early in the season, and we’ve not yet had much snow. Even the snowmobile trails await the Gully Jumpers’ grooming. It seems that the deer, wild turkeys, coyotes, and smaller four-legged mammals have been out and about, leaving plenty of tracks to join those of humans and their canine pets. Three to six inches is being predicted for Martin Luther King Day Monday, possibly an invitation for some to commence with sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing activities.


The Joys of Pond Skating – January 2021


Last March, we photographed a local resident braving icy waters for a wintry plunge after her partner chopped through the surface thickness, and then chatted with them as he wrapped her into the wooly blanket for the walk back down the path. By April, the ice was gone, although only the hardiest dared dive in—and a few did. Once the warmer weather arrived, and then throughout the summer months, people came in droves to enjoy the waters and shoreline, with groups, pairs, or singles, with or without dogs and children, picnics, barbecues, coolers, boats, fishing gear, inflatables, and some—mostly on weekends—with tents and enough supplies to overnight. Our Facebook page helped us to communicate with members who use the pond, and to solve the few problems as they arose (there are always a few): alcohol use, rowdiness of a few dominating the nearest shoreline (people go to further beaches); camping policy in relation to homeless populations, especially when those who camp make big messes (they cleaned up before they left); people cutting tree limbs for firewood instead of bringing their own; and, in one case, when concerned swimmers contacted the local EMTs who were challenged to safely remove a belligerent person with clear mental health issues. It was an unfortunate situation, that worked out well for all in the end. Over the course of a full season, for the most part, people showed up to have fun, to swim, to enjoy pandemically-made-rare social contact in a safe outdoor environment. Several groups set off displays of fireworks for the Fourth of July. And many arrive in the early morning, or later in the evening for quieter immersion with wildlife and the solace of solitude.


The Glories of Summer at the Pond – June 2021


Organizationally, Friends of Coburn Pond has been experiencing a lull: We’ve managed to continue with GreenUp Day clean-up for the past few years, and hope to continue. We maintain at least some public (digital) and private communication with members via FB and email, and at the site when others are there at the same time. Of course, we continue to enjoy the experience of being there—the pleasant space, the landscape, wildlife, and clean clear water. As Friends of Coburn Pond, we are often an almost invisible presence, but we attempt to be accessible and ready to respond when necessary.

Our stalwart funder started shifting priorities a few years ago. The pandemic accelerated their shift toward mutual aid and sustainable agriculture. And the pandemic had us lying low for a second year in a row. 2022 will see us moving back on track, seeking enough funds to upgrade our presence in the digital sphere, and expanding our organizational capacity to re-begin the process towards long-term and sustainable safe management of the swimming hole property. This will require broader participation from community members who use the pond and are willing to “meet” (via Zoom for the foreseeable future). Enjoyment of the pond property and willingness to volunteer on occasion are the only requirements and will make a huge difference in our ability to succeed.

For now, Friends of Coburn Pond wants to express appreciation for the care taken throughout the year—of the property and for each other. If you enjoy any of the seasonal activities—walking, swimming, fishing, observing wildlife, dog walking, skiing, snow shoeing. ice-skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, or just visiting—and want to help decide how the property will be managed, please contact:
FoCP coordinator, Renée Carpenter: 802-454-7303

If you are able to make a donation, checks can be mailed to: Friends of Coburn Pond, 1085 Coburn Rd, Apt. #1, Plainfield, VT 05667

To share your ideas and get involved, please contact:

Email to:

You can find us online at:

Friends of Coburn Pond Facebook Page
Friends of Coburn Pond

Thank you for the encouragement and support of so many of you throughout the year!

For the Friends of Coburn Pond:
Renée Carpenter
Ross Hazel
Thomas Weiss