Hardy Pond Association
Hardy Pond is a 43 acre pond in north Waltham. Being over 20 acres in size, Massachusetts state law declares it a "great pond". For those who live near it or have paddled a canoe on it, they know it is a great pond.
Many years of abuse from storm water runoff with no silt traps, nearby farms over fertilizing, and neglect of the effects caused Hardy Pond to eutrophy at an accelerated pace. The end result was a water depth of at most 2 feet in many places where stories of older residents said the depth was 20 feet in many areas.
The Hardy Pond Association was formed in 1992 to try to bring Hardy Pond back to life. It has accomplished much with the aid of both the City of Waltham and Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The major accomplishment is the dredging of Hardy Pond.
After nearly 20 years of working to protect Hardy Pond, the Hardy Pond Association joined with the Waltham Land Trust in 2009 to create a larger stronger organization to continue the fight to maintain and improve Hardy Pond and the surrounding environments.
Monthly Planning Meetings
The Hardy Pond Association has monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm. We are currently working on these items and welcome your help:
- Pond Management
- No dumping signs for wetlands and for storm drains
- Weeds in the pond
- Outlet dam structure and Chesterbrook drainage
- Hardy Pond clean up
- Tracking the progress of Lazazzero Playground buffer zone restoration
If you would like to get involved with planning and activities to help preserve Hardy Pond and its surrounding wetlands, please call 781.893.3355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been years since Mobile Pumping and Dredging has left the south shore of Hardy Pond abutting Lazazzero Playground. The pond was not completely dredged from edge to edge due to the permit that the state gave the project which included protecting emerging wetlands. In particular, there is a large area along the western edge of the pond where the water is still only a foot or two deep depending on the water table, as well as the north east area where the water leaves the pond into Chester Brook. Also 50% of the remaining pond edge was not dredged completely to the shore also due to permitting issues. But a large majority of the pond now has clear water down to about 10 feet. There is no more dredging in sight as of this time.
The staging area for the dredging of Hardy Pond, where the dredging equipment was located along the south shore of Hardy Pond, was severely impacted due to the large machinery that was used in the dredging. After the dredging was over the area continued to be severely impacted by the parking of cars. Most of the impacted area is in the 100 foot buffer zone which is awarded extra protection from development and abuse due to state regulations in order to protect rivers, streams and bodies of water.
The preliminary planning for a restoration project has already been done with input from the neighbors, city councillors, the Parks and Rec staff and Board, and the Mayor. The preliminary design has Lazazzero Park being reworked to make a parking lot along Princeton Ave which will prevent cars from parking in the buffer zone. The existing boat ramp that only has access to it from driving in the buffer zone will be moved to the end of Princeton Ave. Lastly, along the edge of the pond will be an open space park with picnic tables, fire pits and walks.
As of May 2010, Mayor McCarthy had put in the budget for fiscal year 2011 (which starts July 2010) to pay for a complete design of the restoration project to result in being ready to go out to bid. In the spring of 2012, the project took off and is virtually complete. It includes picnic tables, benches, a fishing pier, a boat launch, walkway through the buffer zone, with parking at the edge of the park.
The water chestnut invasive weeds have been harvested down to a maintenance level of work which will have to happen annually to keep it that way which has the side benefit of costing less. It took about 7 years to get it to this state, which includes 2 years where no water chestnuts were harvested that allowed them to come back with a vengeance. But with the absence of the water chestnut plants choking the surface which kept sunlight from penetrating the water, other weeds are taking a stand in the shallow areas of the pond and causing problems.
In summer of 2010, a chemical agent was used to be used to attack the mix of various pond weeds. We researched for a long time various methods to attack the weeds. While chemicals are not what an environmental group would generally want, the evidence says that what is being used has no side effects on the other flora nor fauna of the pond and the surrounds.
The Hardy Pond Association is working on getting a long term pond management plan in place. That is the most important item now on our agenda to ensure that all the hard work that has gone into Hardy Pond restoration is not lost nor wasted.
Keep It Hardy is a 12 page pamphlet about taking care of the watershed area around Hardy Pond, or for any other pond. You can download the PDF (Portable Document Format).