HILLS POND WEEDS
Eurasian milfoil and two other weeds infested Hill’s Pond again this year. Last year, the FMRP board offered a grant to the Town to cover the cost of treating the weeds. The board has renewed the $4,000-$5000 offer again this year. The Parks & Recreation Commission, which has jurisdiction over the Park, has informed us that they will be asking the Conservation Commission to start a review process in January. The Conservation Commission must approve any steps taken to mediate weed growth after evaluating the safety, effectiveness and environmental impact of various weed eradication measures. We hope that this process will be completed by early May when weeds are most easily destroyed.
HILLS POND WALL REPAIR
The Arlington Department of Public Works modified last spring’s public bid for the pond wall repair and received eight bids in December. The FMRP board has voted to donate $12,000 toward the cost of repairing the wall. FMRP board member Ed Heck spearheaded proposal-writing efforts that landed a $10,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Lakes and Ponds program in 2000. The board is working with the Town to try to extend the grant for another year. The Friends will be asking for volunteers to help with removing vegetation along the wall before the masonry work begins.
MEMORIAL BENCHES etc.
Three additional memorial benches were installed in the Park in the latter half of 2000 — two much-needed benches in the playground area and one in the vicinity of the Spring Street entrance to the Park. Our thanks to the generous donors, and to Joe Connolly, head of the Recreation Department and FMRP directors Denise Long and MaryAnna Foskett who collaborated on the installations. Only a few more approved sites remain, and once they are filled, the memorial bench program will draw to a close. In 2001, FMRP will work with the Parks & Recreation Commission to initiate a memorial tree program. The Friends will identify native tree species that can handle the hardships of life in a public park, and will help map planting sites. Plans are also in the works to install some new identification tags on older trees.
The Friends are planning some Earth Day activities in the Park on April 22nd. Included will be workshops on birds, geology, plants and water. Put the date on your calendar!