2008 Annual Report

Martins Pond Association
c/o North Reading Town Hall
235 North St
North Reading MA 01864 Contacts:
Lida Jenney
or
Janet Nicosia

2008 Annual Report of the Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee and the Martins Pond Association

Members:

As of December 31, the town-appointed Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee (MPRSC) members were: Janet Nicosia, Lida Jenney, Paul Cameron, Kath Geoffrion Scannell, Larry Soucie, and Lori Lynes. The Martins Pond Association (MPA) has no official appointed committee, but has many active participants. In addition to those listed above, the following people are key members of the Association in planning and orchestrating events and fundraising: Bob Burg, Harvey Card, Linda Card, Paul Catania, Joyce Davis, Nicole Davis, Mary Jane Hallahan, Julie Knight, Paula Mastro, Michael Scannell, Raj Srinivasan and Al Walker. Many others work at events throughout the year. Michael Scannell continues to serve on the Wastewater Planning Advisory Committee as the Martins Pond Association representative. Our Board of Selectmen liaison is Sean Delaney.

Workshops/Conferences Attended:

Lida, Lori and Janet attended the Massachusetts Congress of Lake and Pond Associations annual meeting in January 2008. We network with the Ipswich River Watershed Association, the Headwaters Stream Team, Massachusetts Congress of Lakes and Ponds, and the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.

Grants and Other Funds:

A. Martins Pond Shoreline Restoration and Sedimentation Reduction Project. We continued to work on the Chapter s. 319 Non Point Source Pollution Grant funded through Mass DEP.
During 2008, we accomplished the folowing:

  • Installation of Hydro-Dynamic specialized sediment reduction stormwater collection unit at Batchelder Avenue near the boat ramp.
  • Restoration of eight out of the eleven targeted shoreline locations around Martin’s Pond, including coir roll erosion controls, native plantings, and seeding. Over 400 feet of shoreline was restored using natural materials, native plants and volunteer labor.
  • Outreach and Education “All About Martin’s Pond” public meeting was held on 2/29/08 that included presentations, information, and mentor awards to Town Engineer Mike Soraghan, P.E., Merrimack College Biology Professor Dr. Jon Lyon, State Representative Brad Jones Jr., and Retired Parks Director Brian Wood.

B. New England Grassroots Environmental Fund. We received a grant to hold a Bat Program at Clarke Park on August 8, 20008. The program included a presentation by Mass Audubon naturalist Scott Santino. 25 children ages 6 and older built bat houses and learned about the amazing mosquito control abilities of bats.

Other Projects to Improve the Pond/Watershed:

Invasive Species – Volunteers from the Martins Pond neighborhood and Merrimack College continued with our sixth release of the Galerucella Beetles into the wetlands around Martins Pond to control Purple Loosestrife, an invasive species. Successful colonies of beetles have now been located all around Martin’s Pond and down Martin’s Brook to near the Route 62 Bridge in Wilmington. Merrimack College assessed the aquatic vegetation in Martin’s Pond and determined that no further weed harvesting was needed in 2008.

Flooding – Volunteers continue to read USGS stream gauges weekly to track water levels in the pond and its watershed area. The results underscore the need for replacement of the aging and undersized culverts at Rt. 62 and within Benevento’s business property. Association members attended many Wilmington Conservation Committee meetings in support of Benevento’s replacement of his undersized culvert and road lowering. Due to considerable opposition, the new culvert was withdrawn for redesign, but the road lowering was approved to restore the flooding spillway in Benevento’s to conditions prior to its unauthorized alteration in 2004. As of this writing, the lowering has not begun. After we were discouraged from again trying for an All Hazards Mitigation Grant to replace the bridge at Route 62 in Wilmington, Brad Jones was able to include a line item in the Transportation Bond Bill for $600K to replace the bridge. We will continue to work with Town Engineer Mike Soraghan and Rep. Brad Jones towards seeing the project built.

Beavers – Paul Cameron reports beaver activity to Town Engineer Mike Soraghan and assists in initiating trapping and breaching permits. Beaver trapping continues under emergency permitting and in-season trapping. The Town has been very proactive and successful in controlling the impact of beavers in locations where they cannot be tolerated. We conducted an aerial flyover of Martin’s Brook and Martin’s Pond to investigate flow issues, beaver dams, encroachments. No major obstructions were located; however, the progressive sedimentation of the brook was evident from the air. Due to the obscurity of the channel in some locations, kayak investigations with GPS were conducted in Martin’s Brook to map channel depths from Benevento to Route 62 and from Burroughs Road to Fieldcrest. Flow impediments were mapped and documented at two locations where thick vegetation and sediment were observed.

Crime Watch – After a series of incidents in the community, some association members decided to start a crime watch group. Meetings started in spring 2008 gathering ideas and meeting with our selectman liaison. We then contacted the North Reading Police and, through collaboration with Lieutenant Kevin Brennan and Detective Tom Romeo, held a well attended public meeting on August 25, 2008 at the North Reading Police Station. Flyers were attached to every mailbox around Martin’s Pond advertising the new program and signs were posted. Issues discussed were robberies, victim’s rights, drug rehabilitation programs, how to report crime, neighborhood solicitors, sex offenders, and traffic. ADT gave a presentation about home security. The group now has an email list and is looking into Crime-Watch Community signs to post in the neighborhood. We continue to work closely to report suspicious activities to the police, and we met again on 11/20/08.

MPA Events/Fundraisers:

15th Annual Winter Festival (Saturday, Feb. 9)

11th Annual Fishing Derby (Saturday, July 12)

Summer Solstice Concert at Clarke Park with N. Reading Community Band (Thurs., June 19)

14th Annual Children’s Haunted Playground (Saturday, Oct. 18)

Bottle deposits to benefit MPA – drop off your returnable bottles and cans to the N.E. Beverage and Redemption Center anytime and request the money go to the Martins Pond account.

Drop-in Volleyball program for girls grades 5-8 on Tuesday evenings in the summer (joint effort by the MPA and N.R. Youth Volleyball) – free to girls, but donations received covered field usage costs.

Lida and Janet were honorary marshals of the North Reading Memorial Day Parade and many association members marched.

Acquisitions/Improvements Made:

Shoreline restoration at lot line with native plantings.

To learn more about the Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee and the Martins Pond Association, visit our web site: www.martinspond.org.

Respectfully submitted,

Lida Jenney and Janet Nicosia

Martins Pond Committee and Association