9 gorgeous, chemical-free swimming pools to dive into this summer.

Did you know that some of the oldest and most popular swimming pools in the country actually don't use chemicals to keep the water clean?

Photo via iStock.


Natural pools don't use any chlorine, which can dry out your skin, cause allergic reactions, and be really dangerous to handle. Instead, many of them are built to harness water from nearby springs, rivers, and lakes that Mother Nature has already filtered.

They really are the best of both worlds: It's the same beautiful, chemical-free water you get while swimming in nature only with lifeguards, diving boards, and no yucky, muddy toes to worry about!

Here are nine fantastic natural swimming spots that are well worth a visit this summer.

1. Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, Texas

Deep Eddy is one of the oldest swimming pools in Texas (100 years old!) and is an official historic landmark. It brings in fresh water via a spring fed by the nearby Colorado River and — I mean, just look at it!

Image via mkettler/Wikimedia Commons.

2. Landa Park Aquatic Complex, New Braunfels, Texas

Yep, that's a water slide. Yep, that's a rope swing. Yep, that's fresh spring water.

Ready to dive in?

Photo by Sergio Chapa, used with permission.

3. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas

The beautiful and extremely popular Barton Springs Pool is fed by Main Barton Spring, one of the largest in Texas, and features an incredible view of downtown Austin. You might even swim alongside an endangered Barton Springs Salamander as they make their home in the pool.

Image via Downtown Austin/Wikimedia Commons.

4. Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale, Texas

Balmorhea State Park boasts their pool as "the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool." It's so big, in fact, you can snorkel and scuba dive in it. It's also in the middle of a desert!

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006.

5. Venetian Pool, Coral Gables, Florida

The Venetian Pool opened in 1924, featuring water fed through an underground aquifer for some of the clearest, cleaning swimming you've ever seen. The stunning pool has waterfalls, grottos, and a bridge as well.

Photo by Matt Kiefer/Flickr.

6. Sycamore Pool, Chico, California

In Chico, the parks department has done something really cool: They've actually diverted water from Big Chico Creek so it flows through a manmade pool that can be properly maintained. The pool is a moving body of water!

Image via Saopaulo1/Wikimedia Commons.

7. Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Truly one of a kind, in America at least, Webber pool is a living, breathing ecosystem. Unlike the others on this list, the water never leaves the facility here; rather it's filtered every couple of hours by plants, rocks, and bacteria. It's an incredible sight to behold.

Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

8. Hancock Springs Pool, Lampasas, Texas

Another pool that opened in the early 1900s, Hancock Springs is a big tourist draw, with its sparkling blue spring water and serene tree cover. When it first opened, people came to the pool to get baptized, but these days it's all about their dive-in movie nights.

Photo by Lampasas, Texas, Parks Department, used with permission.

9. The Ranch at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California

Furnace Creek actually features two spring-fed pools along with an impressive conservation system for ensuring the water doesn't go to waste. Yeah, not a bad place to go for a dip in sweltering hot Death Valley.

Photo by The Ranch at Furnace Creek, used with permission.

Don't worry, spring-fed and natural pools aren't just beautiful; they're also totally safe.

There may not be a ton of chemicals in them to kill bacteria, but the water is usually brought in fresh from a nearby cold spring. In many places, the pool is drained and refilled regularly, with the wastewater being used to water gardens or fill ponds and eventually returning to the natural watershed.

So whadya say? Can you think of anything more refreshing than a dip in some of the finest water Earth has to offer?

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

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