, Newburyport, MA


September 6, 2013

Cheering on work to restore Frog Pond

Given the complexities of the times and the extent to which each of us may be engaged in our own quests, awareness of those of others can be lacking.

As readers of this column may be aware, I share interest with those trying to resolve issues relating to the condition of Newburyport’s Bartlet Mall.

It has environmental and usage problems, and committee meetings are of particular interest. It is comforting to find them to be wisely led and constructively focused on what needs be done.

Problems are being addressed by a number of dedicated citizens led by Walt Thompson. I have come to know and appreciate his devotion as a constructive leader of those who are equally sprightly and committed.

That has become increasingly essential because the environmental complexities involved in this restoration are more complex than those of 25 years ago.

On the bright side, the fountain won’t have to be removed as was the case at that time.

All we had to do back then was raise the restoration money, drain the pond, build a bridge to get to the fountain, remove it, rebuild the original base in its absence and, upon the fountain’s return, set it back in place where it gleamed especially in floodlights that made for a spectacular setting on warm summer evenings.

There has been progress on restoring some of that, but more is to follow.

As for the pond itself? It’s a money-raising challenge because pond chemistry has to be changed if ever it is to truly be Frog Pond once more.

Why bother?

Environmentally speaking, this is the largest pond of its kind in Newburyport.

As for historic importance, it is major evidence of the character of those who took what nature had roughly provided and made it a work of great beauty that serves as testimony to the city’s pride.

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