VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR A RANGE OF PROJECTS
Come join us! We are a group of people who each bring our unique skills to keep Leverett Pond healthy and accessible to the community. Consider being part of our boat loan program, train as a weed surveyor, help clear the public channel, maintain the dam—or plan a fun fundraising event. For more info contact FriendsofLeverettPond@gmail.com
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Sat, August 20, 2022, at 9AM
Volunteers wanted for a couple hours to wade in Leverett pond and help rake out the public access on Saturday, August 20th at 9 AM. Bring rakes - preferably metal garden ones but any should work - some waders if you want them, and a desire to help keep the pond accessible. You could also bring or arrive by boat and have a laundry basket or something else to put weeds into so we can spread out over the area. The whole pool area is only 2-3 feet deep. A brief training session about the weeds will be provided. We'd appreciate hearing from you if you're interested at email@example.com. Thank you!
WEED TREATMENT: JULY 6 -- PLEASE READ
To combat the vigorous growth of the invasive weeds Variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) and Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and associated algae in Leverett Pond, the Friends of Leverett Pond plan to treat approximately 8 acres (maximum 10) of the 102-acre pond with the herbicide ProcellaCOR (mixed to specifically target milfoil) and to control algae using an algaecide.
The treatment is not expected to affect other plant species. This will take place predominantly in shallow shoreline waters (approximately 1 to 4 feet in depth), as well as a few infestations in the deeper waters away from the shoreline.
The scheduled treatment date is July 6, 2022 and will be applied by an applicator licensed by the State of Massachusetts (COLIN GOSSELIN, Water & Wetland, LLC) using an airboat (to avoid fragmentation). The project will be conducted under State permits and Leverett Conservation Commission (LCC) approval and will follow the Order of Conditions of MDEP 200-0196 issued by the LCC.
Pond users are asked to not use the pond on July 6. Abutters will be notified in writing and by phone. High visibility signage will be posted along all roads, unmonitored waterfronts, and in the town’s public access, transfer station, town hall, and library. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Leverett Con Comm Presentation: Monday, May 2 at 7:00
Mitch Mulholland will be presenting to the Leverett Conservation Commission FLP's proposed weed management plan for this summer. Mitch is second on the agenda so he may not begin until 7:15-7:30. It is always helpful to have an audience from FLP at these meetings, to understand the strategy being proposed and to hear and understand the Commission's thoughts. This year we do plan to address the rapidly expanding milfoil infestation, quantified this past week by a team of 15 volunteers who braved the chilly winds to perform transect surveys across the pond. I
The Leverett Select Board has elected to pay for the removal of weeds in the pool area at the boat launch and through the channel to open water. Their decision was aided by a town resident who made the observation that last year the milfoil was so dense in the channel that it was difficult to paddle through.
This will be a virtual meeting and the sign-in information is below. You may have to cut and paste the internet address into your browser: https://meet.goto.com/535296549
Access Code: 535-296-549 Or dial in using your phone: 669-224-3412 Hope to see you Monday evening! Tom, for the Officers
ICE OUT 2022
FYI for all of the winter sports enthusiasts and walkers who enjoy Leverett Pond: "Ice-Out 2022" began on February 25. The largest opening is in the middle of the Pond just east of the "Point." The second is at the north end of the channel from the Public Access just west of the Congregational Church property. This is in the south end of the Pond. The ice in other areas is thinning and all should be aware that there are hundreds of natural springs throughout the Pond where ice will be thinner than the surrounding area.
NEXT IMPORTANT LEVERETT CONSERVATION COMMISSION MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY JANUARY 10 at 7:00 PM (to be confirmed 48 hours prior to the meeting)
Our meeting with the Leverett Conservation Commission (ConCom) on December 6 was very productive. Our environmental consultants, Mickey Marcus and Naomi Valentine [SWCA Environmental Consultants] presented results from the habitat study of Leverett Pond their company conducted this past summer, 2021. Their report largely supported the observations we have reported to ConCom on an ongoing basis. Based on their results, Mickey and Naomi prepared a set of recommendations that also largely reflected the NOI we submitted last year with a couple of key differences. One difference is replacing the hydrorake with a harvester or Ecoharvester to remove live and decomposing plant matter. Another key difference is the addition of a 3-foot water drawdown as an additional weed control measure to be used during the winter months to kill noxious weed roots along the shoreline.
Furthermore, Mickey prepared a DRAFT Order of Conditions (OOC) for ConCom consideration. In the coming month, ConCom will review the draft OOC and on January 10, 2022 will discuss what parts, or all, of the draft they might use in their final OOC, approving the FLP NOI.
The Commission accepted the results of the study and will take the recommendations and draft OOC under consideration. There were questions relating to the interpretation of dissolved oxygen data, a challenge to the estimate of the severity of milfoil infestation in the pond, and concern about the impact of water drawdown on landowners around the pond with shallow wells. We believe these questions either were addressed, or will be addressed to ConCom's satisfaction by the January 10 meeting.
Again and always, thank you to everyone for your sustained support (and from great distances in some cases!) We will do our best to keep you all informed and up to date. I might add that, during these past few months we have seen a rather dramatic uptick in visitors to our FLP website and our Facebook page. We will try to keep up with more photos of your favorite pond! Please consider sending your own too (email@example.com)
A copy of the habitat report can be found here.
To link to the December 6 evening meeting: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/353837909
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (408) 650-3123
Access Code: 353-837-909
MORE INFO ON THIS IMPORTANT MEETING:
NEW HABITAT SURVEY
Click here to read the final draft of the report from our habitat consultants concerning the survey they conducted of Leverett Pond this past summer. Contained in their report not only are the results from the survey but also their recommendations to the Leverett Conservation Commission on how to move forward with the Friends of of Leverett Pond Notice of Intent (NOI) to continue with the Lake Management Plan that has been developed over the past 20 years. The report is rich in content, both quantitative and qualitative, and provides considerable context to the work that has been underway for the past 20 years.
REQUEST FOR SUPPORT (Letters of support are still very much appreciated!)
Background: We are concerned the Commission may not consider aggressive milfoil infestation of Leverett Pond a serious ecological issue. One Commission member even considers invasive plants to be benign or beneficial. Of the options considered, our best action at this time is to urge FLP members and community members at large to send letters supporting our NOI to the Commission. Attached please find a letter template prepared by a fellow FLP member. It does an excellent job arguing in favor of weed management using effective practices. We urge every FLP member to read this letter, edit for their own purposes and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc to: email@example.com sometime before ConCom’s next meeting on October 4 at 7:00. pm. We also strongly urge everyone to attend this virtual meeting and speak in favor of the FLP Notice of Intent.
P.S. Please pass this along to your friends and neighbors and anyone else you know who values Leverett Pond.
To the Leverett Conservation Commission:
I am an enthusiastic supporter of Leverett Pond and care deeply about this wonderful natural treasure in the heart of our town. I want to see it persist as a resilient, healthy ecosystem.
The current process around granting permits to control aquatic weeds on the pond is of great concern for me. I understand and appreciate that public comment is an essential part of any regulatory process in a democracy, and that you are exercising your due diligence in hearing comments that oppose FLP’s application. But a permit process also needs to make determinations based on science, not on pseudo-science and bias. Opponents should not be able to hold up the process while the problem on the pond increases. “No action” on the weeds in the pond could spell the end of Leverett Pond as we know it.
This commission supported construction of a new dam at the pond, which FLP undertook in part at the suggestion of the commission several years ago. They understood then that other methods besides, or in addition to, herbicides were needed to control milfoil and other invasive species. This year’s permit requests are intended to take a multi-pronged, science-based approach to the problem — including possible winter drawdowns, raking by hand and machine, and targeted and low-dose herbicide applications when needed. I support this integrated pest management approach and hope that the commission will see its way clear to approval of FLP’s applications as soon as possible.