Happy to announce that FOLQ’s Annual Breakfast is next Sunday, November 13th from 8:00am-11:00am. We invite you to come celebrate our 25th Birthday and meet other members interested in preserving Lake Quannapowitt. We’ll have breakfast, art and raffle prizes. Well known local watercolorist Tom Maguire will be attending the Annual Breakfast with originals and reproductions of his work on display and for sale. For the past twenty years Tom has done a number of local natural scenes, historical homes and of course Lake Quannapowitt. Details: Sunday, November 13th from 8:00am-11:00am, Bear Hill Golf Club, 2 North Street, Stoneham, MA. Please RSVP using the link below by calling Eileen Shannon at 781-799-8136. Tickets are $15 and will also be available at the door. Link to eNewsletter: http://conta.cc/2fqLKOA
Title: Lake Clean Up
Location: Bandstand – Lower Common
Start Time: 9:00:00
End Time: 12:00:00
Title: Lake Clean Up
Location: Bandstand – Lower Common
Description: You are invited to join FOLQ in cleaning up the land abutting Lake Quannapowitt in this Middle School/FOLQ initiative. If you are a group, please contact us about your interest in volunteering at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start Time: 9:00
End Time: 12:00
Wakefield citizens, by combining their efforts and resources, have had a profound impact on the environment of Lake Quannapowitt since the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt (FOLQ) was formed 20 years ago. Our operations are funded totally by volunteered time and small financial donations of members. We have no paid staff and few pieces of equipment. For your tax-deductible charitable dues and donations, we offer an almost total return toward funds spent on mission.
What’s Happened during FOLQ’s 20 years of work?
- Seasonal community lake clean-ups
- 90% reduction in goose population
- 20 years of water testing to track lake chemistry
- Education initiatives within the Wakefield public schools to enhance environmental understanding among our kids
- Provision of free doggie bags to encourage responsible dog-walking
- Replacement of aging benches around the lake with beautiful memorial benches
- Creation of Gertrude Spaulding park after blocking the establishment of a large restaurant on a lakeshore site
- Renovation of Col Connelly Park
- Establishing Bricks by the Lake as a means to raise money for lake parklands
- Rebuilding toddler playground at Col. Connelly Park
- On-going public education about lake and watershed issues
- providing a ready platform to be used for public advocacy when our lake environment is threatened…
We’ve worked hard. We are proud of our accomplishments. And we’ve had some fun along the way.
A pond of unity
A body of love
We hold great esteem
To this place of much beauty
She holds Walkers, runners, bikers and skaters
Making happier those mesmerized by her wonder
From a little girl’s first birthday
To a grand Fourth of July celebration
Creating perfect days
Building peace and tranquility
We thank her for all she gives
For all the smiles she creates each and every day
She is life as pure as each of us
Helping us to see the love in each other
For this pond of unity
Is a body of love
Poem by Al Gandolfo
When we first began the effort to renovate Col. Connelly Park, we decided that we needed a new and improved playground. Since we have no Scholars of the Recreational Arts on staff, we had to work it out ourselves. Through a mixed sampling of manufacturer catalogs, playground surveys, and a bit of nerdy excess, we came up with some ideas and brought them to the table.
Children across America somehow instantly recognize the thrill and joy of the classic Slide and Swing elements. Why is that? It turns out that playgrounds often have common themes and activities. Parks with the most appeal seem to have an especially enriching experience: one that incorporates both attractive play elements, as well as those boring non-play elements that are so easy to forget.
Fundamentally, we had to address what “service” the playground really provides to such “clients” as children and parents. Our analysis indicated that playgrounds provides a few fundamental things:
- A “safe zone” for children and families
- Experiences not available in the household
- Places and activities that stimulate playful instincts
- A neighborhood/town/regional destination
- A good signal of community investment
We selected a mix of options that we feel hits the right mix of fun stuff versus the boring stuff. The installation went in during the summer of 2010 and the playground has been thrumming since.
What would you like in a playground? Do you think we got it right? Stop by and try it for yourself, or if not you than maybe littler versions of yourself. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Peter Dion, General Manager of the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (WMGLD) presented five alternatives at the meeting last week. Surprisingly, there was one alternative that was left off the table: the option to do nothing at all.
This is welcome progress. Town leaders, the Board of Commissioners, and the General Manager himself all agree that the current arrangement of utility poles at the head of the lake has got to change. Take a look for yourself, and it is plainly obvious that these poles do not belong.
Despite horrible weather, the turnout at the utility pole meeting was better than expected. The Selectman’s Meeting room was standing room only, and a few people had to lean in to listen from the outside. Even though it was technically a regular WMGLD meeting, General Manager Peter Dion spoke at length to answer most of questions and concerns from the audience.
The public commentary was overwhelmingly in favor of getting rid of the utility poles. Most criticisms leveled at Mr. Dion and the rest of the board were of the “what were you thinking” variety. To his credit, Mr. Dion kept his cool and answered them as best as he could.
The best line of the evening was from Bob McLaughlin, who called the new utility poles, “Gumby Legs.” The similarities are striking…
But unfortunately, it looks like Gumby will be with us for a long time. Even under the best of circumstances, moving utilities like these takes 3-5 years. The good news is that the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Jack Warchol, asked Mr. Dion to form a working group to get all of the stakeholders together. It would have been far better to have formed this group months ago, but it is a better alternative than nothing at all.
So here’s to the Working Group! We will be providing updates on a regular basis until finally Gumby is banished from the head of the lake. In the mean time, keep sending us your support, and don’t be afraid to send WMGLD your suggestions and encouragement.
On January 18, 2010, the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department (WMGLD) will host a public forum in response to widespread complaints and criticism of its recent installation of oversized, rectangular utility poles at Colonel Connelly Park located at the head of Lake Quannapowitt.
Colonel Connelly Park and the neighboring Gertrude Spaulding Park encompass newly created green space that is the result of a decade’s worth of public and private support to beautify the head of the lake. The addition of the utility poles has caused considerable and understandable anxiety among important stakeholders, including those who built the parks, those who funded their development, and those who enjoy the many benefits that these parks offer.
For reasons not readily apparent, public notice was absent prior to the installation of the unsightly poles, which now loom over monuments, play areas, greenery and walkways. Even the previously high-flying flag on its brand new flagpole is dwarfed by the poles. While it is unclear why public process was not utilized to ensure the protection of such precious park space, what is clear is that the additional services necessitating the installation of larger utility poles are to benefit a single commercial tenant, a San Francisco technology firm, that will be renting space in a nearby office building.
WMGLD has offered to host a public forum to discuss the addition of the poles at the head of the lake and to provide an opportunity to hear from concerned citizens regarding their impact on such a highly regarded area. This meeting is an important first step in airing concerns, obtaining answers to lingering questions and working towards a satisfactory resolution that will remove this blight from our newly renovated parks.
FOLQ, whose mission is to preserve the beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas, is asking concerned individuals, businesses and abutters to participate in this initial public forum. Because strength is in the numbers, we strongly encourage your attendance, but you should not feel pressured to speak unless you feel like it. Your physical presence is a message in itself.
The forum is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the first floor conference room at Wakefield Town Hall (the first room to your right upon entering the building), located at 1 Lafayette Street. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the meeting venue or accommodations, we encourage you to contact WMGLD at (781) 246-6363.
If you are unable to attend in person, but would still like to contribute, you may submit your commentary to FOLQ through our contact page or by calling us at (781) 979-2400. Representatives will be on hand to present your comments at the meeting.
Welcome to the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt blog. There are a wide variety of topics that will be addressed on these pages. We hope you find the discussion here up-to-date and informative.
Lakeside issues can bring out strong feelings. We welcome spirited discussion, but we will not stand by offensive material. Please keep the tone of your comments respectful and reasonable.
We are happy you stopped by, so join the discussion and send us your comments!