Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management (PBRM) Patrick Sullivan, Director of Public Works Chris Cignoli, and Director of Disaster Recovery Tina Quagliato-Sullivan announce a partnership with City Councilor Tim Allen, the East Forest Park Civic Association, Keep Springfield Beautiful and neighborhood residents for a Community Cleanup day of Watershops Pond/Lake Massasoit. The Community Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
All members of the public are invited to participate in the Community Cleanup. Participants are asked to meet in the parking lot of Nathan Bill’s Restaurant at 110 Island Pond Road for registration and coffee. Participants will then head to 2-3 designated sites around the perimeter of the pond for cleanup. Please note, that it is important to stay within the designated sites and not venture off into the pond as even though the water has been drawn down it still possess as a safety hazard where you can get stuck in the mud.
Keep Springfield Beautiful and the City of Springfield will provide gloves, trash bags, hand sanitizer and face masks for participants. General information about the event can be obtained by joining the Facebook event set up by neighborhood residents at https://fb.me/e/1ctwCHg49 All participants are encouraged to register in advance at: Lake Massasoit Community Cleanup Registration (google.com)
Residents that plan to participate in the Community Cleanup day are requested to wear appropriate footwear that includes socks and sturdy shoes or boots (not sandals) and to wear long pants, and long sleeves. Participants should apply sunscreen and insect repellent, as appropriate.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Councilor Tim Allen, East Forest Park Civic Association, Keep Springfield Beautiful and the residents for partnering with the City for this community cleanup initiative. This neighborhood cleanup event shows the love and care our residents have for their neighborhood and their desire and willingness to help as the City continues with the work on enhancing and improving the Watershops Pond area and the dam that controls the water flow in to the Mill River. In addition, Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi and I want to remind those who will be participating, to follow the directions and only go to the designated sites and adhere to all of the safety precautions. We do not want anyone to venture to far out into the pond as it may look safe but you could get stuck in the mud. I want to thank my dedicated city team, Parks Director Patrick Sullivan, DPW Director Chris Cignoli and Disaster Recovery Director Tina Quagliato-Sullivan for collaborating with the residents to organize this event.”
City Councilor Tim Allen stated, “I am thrilled that we will be starting a clean-up of Lake Massasoit this weekend. This is the start of a continuing effort to improve the conditions and quality of the lake and to take advantage of its beauty. Thanks to the city, the community group that has been working on this for months, and the East Campus staff of Springfield College for working on this. Together we will make this lake beautiful.”
PBRM Director Sullivan stated, “The Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management is proud to work with East Forest Park residents on cleaning up the areas around Watershops Pond and are proud of residents’ commitment to their neighborhood”
Director of Disaster Recovery Quagliato-Sullivan added, “It has been a pleasure to work with residents and my colleagues in DPW and PBRM on organizing this community cleanup. We remain committed to working with neighborhood residents on a variety of ways to improve aquatic health in the waterway and ensure a more resilient Springfield for future generations.”
The City is also encouraging abutters to clean tree debris (i.e. sticks, branches, leaves, etc.) from sandy shorelines behind their rear yards. This debris can be disposed through the normal yard waste disposal process (NOTE: The City strongly discourages residents from going into muddy areas of the drained areas of the pond for any reason, doing so can present a hazard to residents). All yard waste must meet standard DPW requirements for pickup. Yard waste disposal requirements can be found on the City’s website here: https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dpw/index.php?id=yard_waste
The City of Springfield is committed to the long-term aquatic health of Watershops Pond/Lake Massasoit and has developed recommendations for residents to make small alterations to their daily activities. Making the recommended changes would have large impacts on reducing chemical and high-nutrient storm water runoff into Springfield’s bodies of water, improving aquatic health throughout the City.
The City has drained Watershops Pond/Lake Massasoit to allow for necessary resilience upgrades to the dam. The City anticipates necessary construction work being completed and refilling of Watershops Pond/Lake Massasoit in the Spring of 2022.
The City has hired Arment Trucking, Inc., to remove large bulk items (i.e. tires, auto parts, construction materials, etc.) from the pond area, some of which was caused by the tornado. The City continues to encourage residents and abutters of the pond/lake to report locations of large bulk debris in and around Watershops Pond/Lake Massasoit to Tina Quagliato Sullivan at email@example.com.
In the event of severe weather this event may be rescheduled. If rescheduling is necessary, relevant information will be posted on the City website and social media pages.