2006 Annual Report

Annual Report 2006 Martins Pond Association
c/o North Reading Town Hall
235 North St
North Reading MA 01864 Contacts:
Lida Jenney
or
Janet Nicosia

2006 Annual Report of the Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee and the Martins Pond Association

Members:

Members: The town-appointed Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee (MPRSC) members are: Janet Nicosia, Lida Jenney, Paul Cameron, Scott Ronco and Larry Soucie. There is room for two associate members. 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: Cathy Bakinowski, Bob Burg, Harvey Card, Mike Daniels, Joyce Davis, Nicole Davis, Kath Geoffrion-Scannell, Mary Jane Hallahan, Julie Knight, Lori Lynes and Michael Scannell. 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 Phil Dardeno.

Workshops/Conferences Attended:

Lida, Janet and Lori Lynes attended the Massachusetts Congress of Lake and Pond Associations annual meeting in January 2006. 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:

  1. In early September 2004, the state legislature passed a Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY’05. The bill committed $300,000 in state funds for the Martins Pond Remediation Project. We formed a team consisting of the Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee, Dr. Jon Lyon (Merrimack College), Mike Soraghan (Town Engineer), and Malcolm Pirnie Engineers. We submitted and received approval for a large scope of work to be accomplished under the Project. The funds were transferred to the Town of North Reading in January 2005. The project is now complete, with final reporting to be published in spring 2007.
  2. In June 2006 we applied for a 319 Non-point Source Competitive Grant administered through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. We were notified in the fall that our project, “Implementing Solutions: The Martins Pond Shoreline Restoration and Sedimentation Reduction Project” was chosen for funding. This is another Town of North Reading DPW/ MPRSC/ Merrimack College collaboration. The three year project consists of:
    • Structural stormwater improvements for catch basins and outfalls at Martins Pond including those on Traveled Way and Poplar Terrace so they contain less pollutants and sediment
    • Rain garden at Clarke Park to stop sand erosion, capture runoff and educate the public about the use of landscaping as a pollutant reduction tool.
    • No wake zones/harvesting. Program is aimed to keep boats from sensitive areas and protect area around the boat ramp, establishing a clear boat access channel and protecting areas where shoreline repairs are being performed.
    • Outreach and Education Campaign including presentations, shoreline resident guide, ecological landscape workshop for residents, training in low impact development and Best Management Practices for decision makers.
    • Shoreline Home Owner Restoration Effort, (S.H.O.R.E.). Streamline permitting for fixing shoreline property, erosion controls, and native plantings on chosen shoreline parcels needing rehabilitation. Project will seek shoreline residents in most need and fund 60% of restoration costs.
  3. Applied for New England Grassroots Environmental Fund for native insect control workshop. Grant application was not chosen for funding. Program may be funded with event proceeds.

Other Projects to Improve the Pond/Watershed:

Merrimack College continued its ongoing studies of Martins Pond including doing bi-weekly sampling and water testing at no cost to the town.

Volunteers from the Martins Pond neighborhood and Merrimack College raised and released Galerucella beetles into the wetlands south of Martins Pond for the fourth time this spring. One of the three locations is showing impact so far, and we will continue this program going forward.

Beaver trapping and dam breaching continues under emergency permitting and in-season trapping and the Town has been very proactive and successful in controlling the impact of beavers in locations where they cannot be tolerated. We continue to monitor known locations and update the Town of new beaver activity.

Pond area resident volunteers continue to read USGS gauges weekly to track water levels in the pond and its watershed area. The nine gauges record the water levels in feet above sea level so we can monitor for potential flooding problems. On Mother’s Day in May, the Martins Pond neighborhood experienced its worst flood in known history. Water levels were 8” higher than previous records. The MPA distributed flyers and used our website and distribution list to get out information about FEMA, mold, and information from the North Reading Fire Department and their public assistance agencies. This devastating flood left two homes uninhabitable and evacuated a dozen more. It underscored again the need for replacement of the aging and undersized culverts at Rt. 62 and within Benevento’s business property. The Town of North Reading has applied for FEMA funding to replace the Rt. 62 culvert. We continue to receive support on this issue from our legislators and Town Hall, and will continue to work towards final resolution.

Community Septic Program: With the help of AB Septic, we offered a discounted rate for septic pumping for Martins Pond neighborhood residents who agreed to pump in April 2006. The discounted fee of $100 per 1,000 gallon tank and $150 per 1,500 gallon tank was a great bargain and we had over 35 residents participate. We hope to encourage more frequent pumping and, indeed, the contractor verified that many of the systems cleared were overdue. We aim to offer this program every few years. This program was part of the Martins Pond Remediation Project.

MPA Events/Fundraisers:

13th Annual Winter Festival (Saturday, Feb. 4)

9th Annual Fishing Derby (Sat. July 8)

12th Annual Children’s Haunted Playground (Saturday, Oct. 21)

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.

Donations made to MPA in memory of Fran Mitchell (unofficial “Mayor of Martins Pond”) who passed away on April 1, 2006.

Acquisitions/Improvements Made:

The MPA purchased a new grill for Clarke Park that replaces an old one that Parks and Recreation removed when new paved pathways were added to the park at our request for more handicapped accessibility. New Lexan (fiberglass) was installed in the signboard at the park as well. Neighborhood volunteer Eleni Flannigan greatly improved the display in this signboard of environmental, boating, and MPA information by adding creative wooden lettering and seasonal shapes to update it seasonally. A new banner was purchased to advertise our annual summer fishing derby. A new public address system was purchased for use at MPA events.

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