New Hope for Mill Pond and Dam
NEW HOPE FOR SAVING HISTORIC MILL POND AND DAM IN HADLEY
A citizens group in Hadley, known as The Friends of Lake Warner & The Mill River, and the Kestrel Land Trust, a regional non-profit land conservation trust serving 19-towns in the Connecticut River Valley, announced today that they are launching a joint fundraising effort to raise public and private funds to restore and maintain the dam at the millpond in North Hadley known as Lake Warner. After the dam restoration process is complete, Friends of Lake Warner is willing to take responsibility for long-term ownership and maintenance of the dam.
In 2013, the dam’s fate became uncertain when the Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety officially ordered Kestrel Land Trust, the present owner of the dam, to remove or repair it by December 2014. Over the last 12 months, Kestrel has explored the costs and benefits of both repair and removal options.
“Many people in town have been very worried that the dam might be removed, which would in effect drain a lake that has been in existence for 350 years,” said Marjie Pratt Townsend, lifelong resident of North Hadley and member of the Friends of Lake Warner. “We are really happy that Kestrel is willing to lead efforts to repair the dam as long as the town and people who love the lake will contribute to help save this public resource.”
“After more than a year of discussions with town residents it has become clear that the community’s preferred solution is to restore the historic dam in order to maintain this cherished millpond,” said Kristin DeBoer, Executive Director of Kestrel Land Trust. “We understand why so many residents value the pond just as it is for fishing, paddling, and scenic beauty. We are pleased that Friends of Lake Warner is supporting the restoration of the dam.”
Friends of Lake Warner and Kestrel are now focusing on raising the funding needed for dam repair as well as raising an endowment for maintenance of the structure over the long term. The overall goal is $350,000, including: $100,000 in Hadley’s Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, which will be voted on at Town Meeting on May 1, and $125,000 is being sought in state funds for historic restoration. Kestrel Land Trust has already spent and committed $75,000. The remaining $50,000 is being solicited from local residents and recreational users of the lake. Pledges and donations can be made at www.friendsoflakewarner.org.
An informational meeting to explain the proposal to save the dam in order to maintain Lake Warner (North Hadley Pond) will be held on April 22 at the Hadley Community Senior Center, 7-8 pm. Members of Friends of Lake Warner and Kestrel Land Trust will be on hand to discuss the project and encourage support for its CPA funding at the Town Meeting on May 1.
David Moskin, Chair, Friends of Lake Warner 413-627-6672
Andrew Morris-Friedman, Vice-Chair, Friends of Lake Warner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marjie Townsend, member, Friends of Lake Warner, 404-202-9111
Kristin DeBoer, Executive Director, Kestrel Land Trust, 413-549-1097