State Grant Wiil Be Used to Spruce up Long Pond
Long Pond to potentially receive upgrades to drainage and pollution control
If the state approves a grant for Tewksbury, Long Pond could soon be the subject of multiple measures to curb pollution from rainwater and manage the possibility of flooding in the Pleasant Street area.
Former Town Manager David Cressman had applied for a $120,000 grant from the Community Preservation Committee's open spaces fund to protect Long Pond. The money will support the installation of 25 Best Management Practice measures around the pond and preserve the site's open space.
Best Management Practices are a variety of steps that the town can undertake to limit storm water pollution and upgrade drainage.
Nancy Reed, the chairperson of the Community Preservation Committee, has been an integral part in furthering this project.
"The award of this grant illustrates the beneficial ripple effect of the Community Preservation Act," she said.
If approved, local Community Preservation Act funds are matched by the state. The State's Section 319 can further supply up to 60 percent of the project's total, or as much as $225,000. The grant application also expects $30,000 from the Wetland Protection Fund. The total endeavor is expected to cost some $375,000.
Tewksbury's Long Pond grant application is currently one of 11 projects recommended by Gov. Deval Patrick's office to be partially funded by the state. Final approval for the funding of the project is dependent up the Environmental Protection Agency's support of the upgrades and changes.
Tewksbury's Director of Community Development Steve Sadwick said the progress of the grant and the projects can be attributed to work by the Community Preservation Committee.
"The Community Preservation Committee commissioned a study of Long Pond and the 164 potential BMPs were identified as a result of the study," he said.
The anticipated project will install 25 of the BMPs, and hopes to improve the overall water quality at Long Pond. The proposed 25 Best Management Practice measures will include rain gardens, as well as engineered and roadside swales, all of which will control Long Pond's considerable watershed and runoff. The improved water quality may include the possibility of a recreation area at the location.
The Long Pond project is important because of the poor condition of the pond. Pollutants find their way into water bodies when runoff carries oil, litter, lawn chemicals, and other contaminants into the watershed.
Sadwick believes the BMPs will be a good step towards cleaning up the pond.
"The anticipated long term impact will be a reduction in the pollutants in the pond, which has been classified as an impaired water body," he said.
Rain gardens are one of the biggest measures that Tewksbury hopes to implement for storm water prevention practices. Rain gardens are lowered areas where flower and shrub plantings cover water-permeable soils. When storm water gathers in these gardens, the soil and plants help to filter out the nutrients and pollutants. The filtered runoff then is carried away by the city's drainage systems.
The rain gardens are particularly effective because they enhance the beauty of roadsides and are simple measures ideal for collecting water. The town may have to install several of these rain gardens on private land, and it is looking to work together with home and business owners to help clean up Long Pond.
Nancy Reed hopes that the Best Management Practices will be the answer to what Long Pond needs to get back on track.
"It's exciting to think that after many years of flooding problems in the Marshall and Pleasant Street neighborhoods affecting Long Pond, these drainage remedial actions will begin a process where we are not only helping to restore the Pond to its natural state, but we are improving the quality of life for our neighborhoods in a real way," Reed said.
The planned start of the construction portion of the project is spring 2011. The CPC must first determine how much of the project is being funded through state grants, and it can then begin to accept bids for the construction.