Guest Commentary, by yours truly in The Daily Item, Fri. Oct. 29
( Thank You Item! )
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Essential reasons to preserve Spring Pond Woods
of Lynn, Peabody and Salem MA
Protecting natural and historic resources on the hills around Spring Pond, are overhanging with the threat of Lowe’s, Wal-mart and a Meineke expansion, a new Camp Lion ‘pad’, and water tower, including residential construction heading in from urban sprawl. Protecting the environment there is left, is important for these simple principles:
Help the charter of the Lions remain genuine. In 1972, The Lions Clubs International adopted a policy to protect the environment. The ‘Lions Policy Statement on the Human Environment’, was adopted as part of a commitment recognizing the “critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man”. Camp Lion, a related organization, with parallel members to the Lynn Lions Club, District 33-N of the Lions Clubs International, by which Camp Lion is operated exclusively for the benefit of, or carry out the purposes of the Lynn Lions, is selling a portion of their parcel, lending acres of pristine forest and wetland for destruction, contrary to the environmental policy set by the international charter. Environmental concerns addressed by the Lions Clubs International, reflect: “Destruction of natural habitats; Land, air, and water pollution also endangers earth's flora and fauna. Trees are an important component of life on earth. Trees recycle moisture through their leaves. They absorb the heat of the sun and soak up carbon dioxide. Deforestation is responsible for adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; Wetland ecosystems often disappear due to economic desperation; Polluted land run-off; and Global temperatures have been increasing for the past 50 years.”
Protect important waterways to drinking supply. DEP Water Surface Protection Areas and the down sloping topography to Spring Pond, is seen from Mass GIS maps, and indicates how the sloping hills down to this drinking supply should bring concern. Furthermore, there is concern of the proposed project being “within the Proctor Brook catchment of the North River, which may be tributary to Spring Pond, which is tributary to the public water supply of the City of Peabody.”, as cited by New England Civil Engineering Corp, dated July 1, 2010, to the Salem Planning Board.
Sustain a regional wildlife habitat. Mass DEP Wetlands, Certified and Potential Vernal Pools are reported within these areas, as seen from Mass GIS data. 7 potential vernal pools are near the area of threat. The wooded southern borders of Peabody, including the neighboring woods of Lynn and Salem, is “an important wildlife corridor; a significant regional resource that supports many species and serves as a route for over 144 species of migrating birds”, as cited by the City of Peabody Open Space Plan of 2006. A portion of this natural habitat is at threat for destruction, and the remaining woods could be exposed to night-light and other pollution, hurting the wildlife.
Preserve cultural and recreational open space - Spring Pond Woods was voted by the public, as one of the ‘1000 Great Places in Massachusetts’. This list was created by an Act of the Legislature and signed into law by the governor. The mission is to “recognize the most truly special places in the Commonwealth, in order to celebrate pride in our history and culture, and increase knowledge of our natural surroundings”. In the “City of Salem Open Space and Recreation Plan: 2007-2012”, Camp Lion is inventoried as open space to protect. Camp Fire is an active camp on Camp Lion, providing programs for 400 children. The trails connecting to Spring Pond, are enjoyed by many in passive recreation.
Preserve historic resources - 500 acres around Spring Pond in Lynn, Peabody and Salem, including Camp Lion, was the estate of Richard Sullivan Fay. He planted a vast variety of native and exotic trees from all parts of the world, sprouting one of the first man-made natural and exotic arboretums. Many of the flora was seen here first in the country. His creation predates Olmstead’s. The trees were once mapped for people to view, and a revival map of the arboretum is underway. There are a number of glacial erratics. Some stones appear to have man-made features, believed to be Native American. There are not many ancient sites around, to see anymore. Further investigation is necessary, before these resources are lost.
Maintain social harmony for healthy living - Saving trees will help avoid: drainage and flooding problems, acoustical, lighting, air and traffic pollution, blasting concerns, regressing views, property depreciation, and loss of open space.
For a site that could have a maximum impact on life, please consider maintaining the balance of harmony Spring Pond Woods offers between nature and humanity. I hope Lynn, Peabody and Salem can come together, to preserve these beautiful resources in creating ‘Spring Pond Reservation’.
Historical Commissioner of Lynn
Lions Policy to Protect the Environment, and concerns:
Video of Lions Clubs International: Protect the planet
Public tax records Camp Lion relation to Lynn Lions
City of Peabody Open Space Plan
City of Salem Open Space and Recreation Plan: 2007-2012
Letter from State Archeologist
Peer Review showing concerns for Proctor’s Brook
Mass GIS data - OLIVER
Maps created from Mass GIS, including historical maps of the area
Map of Arboretum