“…, perhaps the most attractive, if not the most beautiful, of all our lakes, the gem of the woods, is White Pond;”
~an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”
By Nathalie McCarthy
With a purpose “to preserve the beauty and wonder of White Pond for all…, respecting that there are natural capacity limits that any resource can endure,” a group of concerned citizens formed the Friends of White Pond in 1987. Meeting monthly, this charitable nonprofit works to raise awareness of what can be done to protect the pond.
“A magical spot, with its tranquil and beautiful sunsets,” is how Caitlin Mahoney, a member of the Friends of White Pond, describes this more than 12,000 year-old kettle pond in Concord.
Home to many year-round residents and a wealth of wildlife, it is also an asset for those who come to the town-owned beach, those who like to fish in all seasons, paddle a kayak or canoe or simply enjoy “all that is beautiful,” said Mahoney.
The Friends of White Pond meet with various other committees such as the newly formed White Pond Task Force, and other groups that focus on the trails, wildlife and natural resources to collectively work toward the best interests of protecting the pond.
(subhead) Water quality at issue
“When algae started appearing to the point where the pond was shut down one year for most of the summer, this became worrisome,” said Mahoney.
As a long-time member of White Pond, Mahoney now works on the website and newsletter to communicate updates, resources and information.
The document “White Pond as a Resource For All: A Vision for Water Quality, Usage and Sustainability,” which details the concerns and what is being done, can be found on the friendsofwhitepond.org website.
Information regarding septic systems, which Mahoney says have a “large amount to do with algae blooms,” can be found on the website. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection guidelines require the newest septic systems be built with the “best-available, nitrogen reducing technology.”
Guidelines and measures on how to reduce human and dog waste, fertilizers and chemicals can be found on the site as well.
Updates on the Town of Concord’s efforts and progress on erosion is also communicated by the Friends. The Town has been successful in stabilizing efforts of recurring erosion and in cleaning out catch basins on public roads. Harmful bacteria are now corralled using new technology.
As well as tackling large projects, there are many smaller projects that increase enjoyment at White Pond. Volunteers and new members are always welcome. For those interested, the Friends meet via Zoom, and ideas for spring clean-up, community events and community input are welcome. The Zoom link, meeting dates and other important information can be found at www.friendsofwhitepond.org.