Park News: April/May 2001

EARTH DAY: SUNDAY APRIL 22, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park (FMRP), together with the Arlington Public Schools, the Vision 2020 Environment Task Group and others will sponsor a fun-and-education-filled afternoon on Earth Day, April 22nd from 1:00- 4:00 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, April 29th). Activities to suit every interest will be found: Atmospheric (clouds; homemade weather instruments, sun prints, etc.), Biological (pond biology, earthworms), Environmental (water quality, etc.), Geological (geology tours), Historical (Park history), Food (bake sale), FUN (games, scavenger hunt). There will be welcome tables with event schedules outlining the various afternoon activities. Please plan on coming for an enjoyable afternoon – but we ask that you please leave your dogs at home for this one afternoon. There will be two morning events – a bird walk (7:30 – 9:00 a.m.) and a tree walk (9:00 – 10:30 a.m.). Our thanks to FMRP board members John Pickle and Mary Cummings for organizing this event!


The Arlington Conservation Commission recently voted to approve the joint proposal of the Arlington Parks & Recreation Commission and the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park to treat Hills Pond with an herbicide to eliminate the invasive pond weeds which have been plaguing our small pond for the past two years. Aquatic Control Technologies (ACT) will be applying Sonar (fluridone) in early May which will interfere with photosynthesis in the two major invaders, Eurasian watermilfoil and thinleaf pondweed. The cost of the treatment ($4,000-$5000) will be paid by FMRP with the hope that future treatments, which might be necessary every three years or so, will become a Town park maintenance item. Signs will be posted by ACT on the day(s) that Sonar is applied. Sonar, which is used in drinking water reservoirs, will be applied in very low-dose concentration, well below the concentration allowed by Massachusetts state law, but enough to eradicate the invasive weeds. The town DPW and the FMRP will attempt to use the pond outlet system so that the water level of the pond can be lowered prior to the treatment in May.


New Arlington Town Manager Philip Farrington and the Arlington DPW have informed us that work will begin on the pond wall repair in late summer.


Quite a few trees suffered severe damage this past winter, including quite a few near the pathways. FMRP has asked the town DPW as well as its chain-saw-owning membership to do some clearing work. Please be aware of the potential danger before this work is completed.


Spring’s good weather will draw many more people to the Park – including joggers, young families, fisherfolk and daydreamers. We ask that dogwalkers please avoid the more popular areas of the Park (the pond and field areas) unless their dogs are fully under tight control – so that no one feels threatened.