Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park

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Park News: October 1998

Fall clean-up, path maintenance and prize drawing

Saturday, October 24, path crew at 10:00 AM, clean-up crew at 1:00 PM

Bring your work gloves and join one of two crews. One group will start in the morning and work with a trail maintenance expert to improve the steep, badly eroded path that rises from the wetlands area to the top of the hill. Trail workers should bring tools such as shovels, pick-axes, and heavy rakes. Experienced chain saw users would be much appreciated. The clean-up team will remove glass and other debris. Trash bags will be provided. Everyone who helps with clean up or trail maintenance is eligible for a special prize drawing.

FoMRP sponsors annual Spooky Parade

Saturday, October 24, 5:00 PM

For several years, a group of creative volunteers have organized a Halloween Spooky Parade for Arlington children. This year, FoMRP thanks them by underwriting decorations and sound effects needed to transform the park into a Halloween fun-house for children. Wear costumes and gather at 5:00 PM for a candlelit parade around Hill’s Pond, then over to Parmenter School for cider and doughnuts. All are welcome!

The Pickle Report on Hill’s Pond

Local scientist John Pickle, aided by student volunteers, is now monitoring the pond water for oxygen level, chemicals, and bacteria. Results and information about water quality will be posted on the bulletin boards. Children of all ages who are interested in helping out should call John at 646-0643, or look for him on Sundays at the pond.

Visual reminders about dogs, wetlands

On September 12 and 13, eight new signs were installed in the park. These signs remind dog owners of their legal responsibilities regarding leash and pooper-scooper laws, as well as the basic need to be considerate of other park users. Animal control officers continue to patrol regularly. Two additional signs remind anglers and nature lovers that the wetlands is off limits to people and dogs, who disturb nesting birds and roil the ecosystem by tromping around in the wetland.

What kind of tree is that?

FoMRP is planning for new descriptive labels for trees and plants in the park. If you are interested in helping with this project, please call Sybil Carey at 643-1873.

Path repair and lights for skating

Members of FoMRP have been talking with Arlington’s Department of Public Works about the repair of the washed-out road in the upper woods. We have also requested lights for winter skating. Help us by making a call to the DPW, too.

Park News: Special Back-to-School Edition September 1998

Paths and roads

Heavy rains in the late Spring caused widespread erosion and flooding. The most serious damage occurred on the road leading from the South field to the picnic area in the woods. The Department of Public Works has patched the road, and Town Engineer Richard Bento promises to carry out more substantial repairs soon. The culvert under the road needs to be replaced and the surface regraded. The Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park (FoMRP) continues to work with the town to improve poorly graded paths that allow run-off to degrade water quality.

Water testing

FoMRP has purchased equipment which will be used to monitor the water quality of Hills Pond. Initial test results will be posted on the bulletin boards. Science-minded young people who want to participate in the monitoring project should call John Pickle at 646-0643.

Crackdown on dog owners

Uncivil behavior by dog owners and their pets has caused park users to file numerous complaints with the town. As a result, Arlingtons Animal Control Officers have stepped up their patrols in the area and are reminding people of leash and pooper-scooper laws. This month eight new signs reminding dog owners of their responsibilities will be posted in prominent locations around the park.


The earthen dam that retains water in the wetland area, where particulate matter settles before the water seeps into the pond, has taken a beating from high water and from fisherman who insist on frequenting it. When humans or dogs enter the wetlands, they disturb the nesting area of songbirds, waterfowl, frogs and turtles. New signs urging people to stay out of the wetlands will be posted this month.

Fire safety

So far, the park has escaped serious fire damage this summer. The danger was reduced by the Arlington Fire Department, which arranged for removal of the wood piles left by a Spring class clean-up project. Anyone who encounters a fire in the park even a small one can protect our beautiful woods by calling it in immediately.

Special 1998 tee shirts

The 1998 Menotomy Rocks Park tee shirts are available at Divinitys Splendour-Glow at Broadway Plaza and at Bella Cosa in the Heights. They can also be obtained from Judy Weinberg at 646-0643.