Welcome. A moment-to-moment story...


In light of the Occupy Together movement, our actions here in fighting off corporations from destroying Spring Pond Woods has had its own battle for a year and a half now.  The battle was encouraged by the voices of hundreds.  Thank you for signing the petitions, and sending letters to local and state officials.  The battle to protect this pristine forest, wetlands and campground is not over.

Here is a brilliant video, posted once again, made by a few Salemites on Driscoll's Corporate Priorities for Salem, in building over dedicated green Open Space.  Lowe's has withdrawn from building here since this video was made, but the threat of development still continues.

SaveCamps.org suggests Camp Lion place a Conservation Easement on Property

'Save Camps, The Blog to Save Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Outdoor Camps for Kids:  From LandChoices.org', writes an article on Camp Lion with an interview of Leslie Courtemanche.  Save Camps offers suggestions to the board members of Camp Lion on how to save the camp by placing a conservation easement on the property.

Camp Lion in Salem, MA saved by Volunteers... and the Economy

In SaveCamps.org own words:
"SaveCamps.org has written before about the possibility of protecting this camp through a conservation easement. I hope the dropped plans for the Lowe’s store will make the board members of Camp Lion more agreeable to exploring this option. For now Camp Lion is saved and it would seem we have the economy and a lot of dedicated volunteers to thank. Thanks and good luck with your continued efforts in Salem."

Some Signs of love

Children's hand imprints are found on the ledge in these woods.  Is it imaginable, a beloved wilderness-playground serving nearly 1,000 children at camp, could have been blasted away for corporate priorities?  Hope these signs last forever, as the children thought when cementing their prints into stone.

More Spring Pond discoveries...
A frog splashes off to the side of a stream running down a trail.

Another bat house is constructed.

Fresh dear marks are near a stream.

A beautiful hilltop, with....

a depression on the cliffside, filled with stones.

pretty little purple flowers

News: Lowe's scraps Salem Development Project

Daily Item
Lowe's scraps Salem Development Project

October 22, 2011, by Cris Stevens

Boston Business Journal
Lowe's woes a black eye for Salem

October 21, 2011

CBS Boston
Lowe's Scraps Store, Ends Lynn vs Salem battle

October 21, 2011, Carl Stevens reports

News update: Lynn awaits confirmation from Lowe's

Daily Item
Lowe's may kill Salem project near Lynn line.
Lynn awaits news before proceeding with lawsuit.  
October 21, 2011, by Chris Stevens

News: Lowe's project dead

In the recent news of Lowe's cutting back stores, Lowe's has stepped away from building in Spring Pond Woods!  The Lowe's war may be over, but the fight to protect the area is not.

Conservation efforts will continue in protecting these woods, wetlands, watershed, Surface Water Protection zones, wildlife habitat, Native American sites, historical and cultural resources, and campground for children.  There was much to learn from the site in the past year and a half.  Not only is Spring Pond Woods beautiful, but it is rich in history and environmental importance.

Thank you to everyone who supported the cause in protecting Spring Pond Woods, one of the '1000 Great Places in Massachusetts.'

Salem News
Lowe's development dead
October 21, 2011, by Tom Dalton

News event: Salem Mayor & Planning Dept: solutions to 'Transportation, Congestion, Access & Sustainability'...

Thank you to a friend for sharing the news of this event sponsored by The Mayor of Salem and Planning Department.  The event is offering solutions to transportation congestion and sustainability.  In case anyone is unaware of the problems with the Lowe's/ expanding Wal-mart project, blessed by the Mayor of Salem and Planning Department... this project is proposing to create traffic congestion, lack of accessibility for surrounding towns, while tearing away pristine woods... being not so sustainable.  Where is the solution here?


"Solutions to Transportation, Congestion, Access, & Sustainability, The North Shore TMA Forum: Solutions to Traffic, Congestion, Access, & Sustainability is an opportunity to learn more about how some North Shore businesses, communities, and organizations are working together to develop cost-effective, environmentally sustainable solutions that increase access and reduce the stress of commuting to their facility for employees and customers."
Opening remarks: Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, City of Salem
Where: City of Salem Planning & Community Development

The facts of the problem:  Traffic
  • "In addition, the project will generate an additional 5,960 average daily vehicle trips (adt) for a total of 13,292 adt and a total of 17,716 vehicle trips on an average Saturday." 
  • “’Big box’ stores such as the proposed Lowe’s and Wal-Mart are large energy users and generate considerable traffic, both of which result in significant emissions of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global climate change.” 
Reference The Secretary of State's letter:  www.env.state.ma.us/mepa/mepacerts/2010/sc/enf/14532eenf.pdf

Brookline Bird Club (silent alarm)

Spring Pond Woods is an important regional wildlife corridor, according to the City of Peabody Open Space Plan.  A great variety of birds are supported through this diverse forest environment surrounding Spring Pond, and infiltrated with many wetlands.  Several species nest, forage and or migrate through the area.  The following message is shared from a friend (of a friend)....

"K, this-from a friend (if you want to post this):

According to BirdLife International, more than twelve percent of the world's
bird species are threatened or endangered. Conservationists are trying
almost every avenue to call attention to the global decline in birds.
Birds need habitat in which to feed, rest, find shelter, mate and raise
young. I ask then, how can we be so short-sighted as to allow a well-known
bird habitat haven and migratory bird corridor be obliterated for big-box
retail stores. Camp Lion--save Spring Pond Woods.

(Please see The Brookline Bird Club for more info) 

AP News: Lowe's closing 20 stores and cutting jobs

Associated Press News
October 17, 2011
"Home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. says it will close 20 underperforming stores in 15 states (including Massachusetts) and cut 1,950 jobs in order to focus on more profitable locations (in pristine woods?... in Spring Pond Woods?)."
Read more here... www.masslive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/glance-lowes-closing-20-stores/4f6f94f552b845b09021dbae20ee33d4

More news:
Lowe's to close 20 stores.
Retailer to close underperforming stores in 15 states, cut 1,950 jobs
Read more here:  www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44928593/#.TpxPnmBVO18

Thank you to a friend for sharing.

News: residents worry about future flooding from loss of woodland

The Daily Item
Lynn residents: Big Box plans will worsen flooding

by Chris Stevens, October 15, 2011
link: www.itemlive.com/articles/2011/10/15/news/news04.prt

News: Lynn-Salem Lawsuit & Roxbury rejects Walmart

The Daily Item
Judge deals blow to Lynn's big box suit
by Chris Stevens, October 4, 2011
Judge leaves one count in lawsuit standing.

Salem News Editorial, October 5, 2011

Boston Globe
City Won't back a Walmart in Roxbury
by Casie Ross, October 4, 2011

October 4, Flooding on Highland

Flooding on Highland Avenue seems to be an annual event.  This photo, in front of Wal-mart is circulating on Facebook from this mornings floods.  Commentators on facebook.com/salemmass are saying such things as:  "Good bye highland ave.!",  "highland ave always floods there.that's the worst so far i've seen it !!!"

On August 25, 2010, a friend shared images of the flooding which occurred here a year ago.  See former photos:  www.springpondwoods.com/2010/08/nature-strikes-back-flood-on-highland.html

An historical map, c1900, found on Mass GIS, shows the site of Wal-mart used to be a marsh, and the stream through the valleys connects from Spring Pond to the rear of Wal-mart's site.  It is quite possible flooding happens here for a reason.  Perhaps the water table rises, or the streams (draining the hills) overflows.  If the top of the hill is blasted for a new Lowe's then excessive drainage will increase at a faster rate and fill the streams and former flood areas.  The site around the existing Wal-mart could be blasted too, reaching further north-west into the wetlands and Surface Water Protection Areas.

An overlay of the map with current (2010) wetlands and parcel data, shows where this marsh was located.  

In recent 2011 data collected from Mass GIS, The National Wetlands Inventory includes a survey of the streams from Spring Pond to the rear of Wal-mart's site.  Search for layer 'NWI Wetlands Solid' in OLIVER.
Map data was extracted using the state program OLIVER 
maps.massgis.state.ma.us/map_ol/oliver.php ).  Information can viewed directly online or imported into a drawing program.  I use Vectorworks Designer: Architect/ Landmark/ Renderworks, after viewing the data in OLIVER, for measuring and modeling purposes.

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