Recap of Recent Ponds & Streams Activity

The Fall Farm Work day  resulted in some important work getting done.  Thanks to those that participated, namely: Jim Hubbard, Wayne Leadbetter, Mark Gochnour, Alan Mullis, Andrew Ma and Frank Parker. The work included the cutting of trees on the south side of Walton pond, the removal of the blockage in the overflow pipe, re-installation of the 5 ft long cylinder cap on the overflow pipe and the rebuilding of the kiosk that holds the log book and pond information.

Some more work at the pond took place recently. In addition to the work that was done on the Fall Farm Work Day (October 10th), the small pond was drained, more trees were removed along the bank of Walton Pond,  and, discarded tires were pulled from the inlet of the pond and properly trashed.  Its a mystery as to how they appeared in the stream.  Participating in the work were Alan Mullis, Rob Parker, Jim Willard, and Frank Parker.

Kevin King has removed the batteries from the aerators so don't expect to see them bubbling over the winter. 

Thanks to all!  The Chapter management appaulds your work.

Recently, Ponds and Streams committee members Alan Mullis and John Novak reported a strange inflow of contamination to the large pond.  Alan described the substance as having a putrid smell, slightly oily, and a fluffy white substance on the surface. Per the Board of Governors authorization, the contamination was reported to the MD DNR.  A DNR representative came to the farm without giving any notice and of course could not enter the Farm Gate.  He didn't want to wait for someone to come out to escort him onto the property. He promised to come back sometime, but so far, he has not been heard from.  The good news is that the pollution has dissipated and no fish kill has been observed.

As many will recall, it is a priority of the Ponds and Streams Committee & the Board of Governors to solve the erosion problem above the small pond and rehabilitate the pond itself.  At the October Board of Governors meeting, there was a consensus that we are far enough along with the re-contouring of the drainage area that the pond should be drained. The plan is that Pat Tarquinio, the Farm Chairman,  will continue clearing, grading and leveling the area to the extent possible and then plant durable grasses in the drainage basin. This will allow sheeting of the runoff water and dissipation of its energy so it will not cause erosion.  In the November Board of Governors meeting, a "not to exceed" $17,000 appropriation was approved to proceed with the work.

Now that the pond has been drained and a clearing of trees and brush above the pond has progressed significantly, the dead plants, accumulated silt, and other organic material will be scooped out.  As can be seen by looking at the remanents of the water lilies in the drained pond, they had grown out of control and the organic material they generated as the tops died-off every year made it difficult if not impossible for fish to live there. After removal of the debris from the pond, the pond will be allowed to refill and be rehabilitated.

The introduction of fish in the rehabilitated pond will be a topic of discussion in future months.  Fortunately, we have a fish biologist as a member of the committee to guide us in deciding the varieties that should be considered.