Image credit: Easthampton Planning Dept.
After many months of planning, the dredging of both the White Brook and Broad Brook siltation basins will begin on October 5, 2020. The Easthampton Planning Department and Department of Public Works is administering the work. Funding for the project was secured through the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and the Nashawannuck Pond Committee's various fundraising activities. During the dredging work, some trails, including the popular Toteman Trail, may be temporarily unavailable. Attached is a helpful flyer which describes the scope of the project, along with an anticipated timeline for completion.
The Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee has been working very hard for several years on a major project that is critical to the survival of the pond. The Broad Brook and White Brook Siltation Project involves the removal of sediment collected by the Gabion Weir, located just inside Nonotuck Park and the siltation basin located at the end of the pond bordering Nonotuck Park and fed by Broad Brook.
Why is sediment getting into the pond?
Think of where the pond is located. All the sand and run-off from the Mountain Road and the Hendrick Street culverts eventually finds its way into the lowest level - Nashawannuck Pond. In fact, we have lost almost 50% of our beautiful pond. If we do not repair the containment areas, the pond will continue to shrink. We can never reclaim the lost acreage. In 2009 the pond was partially dredged which resulted in deepening it in several areas. It was a requirement that these devices were in place before dredging.
What has the pond committee done to fix the problem?
The original devices were permitted in 1992 at a cost of about $40,000 and have worked extremely well. We were able to pay for that through extensive fundraising and grants. Both devices are now full and overflowing, impairing their intended function. In order to clean them out in accordance with very strict wetland regulations and anticipated expenses, the project is estimated to cost $301,000. We have all the permits in place and have invested in the preparatory work to begin the project. Unfortunately, there are no federal/state/private grants available on a scale this large. We have turned to the Community Preservation Act (CPA) for consideration.
This last month, Paul Nowak, Chair and Gary Golas,Consultant presented a comprehensive report to the CPA committee. While some members of the committee are very familiar with the pond needs over the years and we believe are very supportive of our request, other members feel that more information would help them make an informed decision before allocating over $300.000. We understand and respect that. One question the committee had was, "How do we know there is public interest in this? While it's hard to imagine anyone not loving the pond, we need to know that this is a worthwhile investment in the health of our pond for years to come.
The committee will be meeting on July 10th at 6PM in the lower level of 50 Payson Ave. to vote on the amount of money it is able to contribute to the project. The public is welcomed to attend.
We have asked for letters of support from the Mayor and Park & Rec, and welcome additional letters of support from organizations and residents.
If you can come to the next CPA meeting and voice your support, that would be great too. It will be on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 in the Conference Room at 50 Payson Ave.
We hope to see you there.
The Easthampton Conservation Commission met on March 28, 2016. The Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee's proposed herbicide treatment was presented by former committee member, Gary Golas.