Today’s Boston Globe reports that the State Dept of Environmental Protection has approved a scaled back plan to build a floating boardwalk on Hammond Pond.
In 2010, a local family originally pledge a $1,000,000 donation to build the 1372 foot long boardwalk as a memorial to their son Mikhail Rudyak. Mikhail loved the pond and often walked in the adjoining woods. Since the original proposal, there has been quite a bit of push back from neighbors who objected to the plan. The scaled back plan that was just approved is roughly half the length at 537 feet.
The rocky road this project has taken has almost accidentally ended up with a project that should do a lot of good for Hammond Pond. Previous to the Rudyak’s proposal, Hammond Pond received very little attention. The condition of the pond had been slowly deteriorating in recent years and a major construction project was being built next door (i.e. “The Street”). Once the Rudyak proposal was put on the table, opponents began raising issues about the quality of the water and other environmental issues. All of this had the effect of waking people up to conditions at the pond.
In the end, it’s all good. Public access to this public park land will be improved with a scaled back boardwalk and improved path. $150,000 has been authorized in the state budget for to deal with the explosion of aquatic plant growth due to nearby storm water runoff. Various details in the development of the adjacent development of “”The Street”have been tweaked to lessen the impact on the pond.
I’m grateful to the Rudyak family for their generous donation and imaginative idea. While some citizens were clearly not happy with the Rudyak plan from the start. It did start the ball rolling on a number of related issues that even the opponents should be happy about. As Aldermen Ruth Ann Fuller says in the article “the Rudyak’s plan became an unintended catalyst for efforts to clean the murky waterway.”.