Park News: Summer 2007

Menotomy Rocks Park Capital Improvements

The Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park have advocated for many years for capital improvements to our treasured park, so we are looking forward with great pleasure to the beginning of construction in June. Most of the work will be concentrated on Hills Pond and the paths and fields around it. By September, we’ll have new pathways, irrigation for the renovated back field, a new aeration system for the pond, ramp access to the waterside, and repairs to masonry and fencing. It will be the same, but better!

Project details

Pathways: The new Pond Loop pathways will be pitched away from the pond. A row of rocks will be laid pondside in shallow trenches. The main pathway will be 10’ wide to accommodate emergency vehicles and will run all the way along the back field up to the entrance to the woods. Secondary paths will be 6’ wide or less. French drains will be installed in areas where there are no tree roots.

The farmer’s walls near the water fountain will be kept as is, and the rebuilt path leading to the playground will be 5’ wide.

The 10′-wide path at the Jason Street entrance will be pitched toward the swale with a couple of dry wells installed for drainage. Large stones arranged in a pattern called rip rap will be installed along the pond pathway near the Churchill Avenue entrance to improve drainage.

Hills Pond: Four new aerators should help keep down the algae and reduce the need for chemical treatments.

Trees: Two damaged trees near the water fountain might have to be removed. If that happens, new trees will be planted. The Friends of Menotomy Rocks will also be planting shrubs in the fall.

Beach Areas: The four beach areas will feature large boulders and stone steps down to the water. The existing granite blocks will be used & repositioned, and the Town has some blocks at the Res which could be used. The beach nearest Jason Street will be graded for wheelchair access with an S-shaped approach. Grading of the beach near Centennial Rock will be raised.

Fields & Irrigation: The Back Field will be renovated—soil stripped, fresh top soil installed, and reseeded. We’ll also add an irrigation system to the back field.

Jason Street fence: The DPW will remove the paint from the wrought iron fence running along Jason street, and Arlington High School students have volunteered to repaint it black.

Woods: Work in the wooded area of the park will be limited to installing water bars to keep storm water from washing out the slope down from the woods.

Walls: About half of the wall running along the path by the Front Field will be rebuilt.

Stilling Basin: A 30’ semicircle near the pond wall will be dredged to maintain the stilling basin.

Staging Area, Work Areas & Closings: The Front Field will be used for staging equipment, and silt fencing will be used around the pond while work is under way. Otherwise, we expect the Park to stay open all summer.

What’s a Water Bar?

[photo source: Washington Trails Association]

A water bar diverts serious volumes of runoff from a trail, and all of you who use the Park know we have some serious volumes. A water bar is created by digging a trench across the trail at an angle, reinforcing the downhill side with a log or rocks, and lining the new runoff path with stones to slow erosion.