Blue sky, warm sunshine, the golden glow of autumn, and a calm lake make this morning a perfect day to join others for the Manchaug Pond cleanup! Meet at the state Boat Ramp on Torrey Road in Sutton. Coffee, donuts and fruit will get you off to an energetic start with all volunteer time counting towards the Foundation’s match requirement for the EPA/DEP Non-Point Source Pollution grant.
Before you head out, read below the front page article appearing in yesterday’s Telegram Towns resulting from the interview given by MPF volunteer and 1st Vice President, Marty Jo Henry, to Worcester Telegram staff reporter Christine Galeone:
Volunteers beautify Manchaug Pond
SUTTON – If you glance at Manchaug Pond, the 380-acre great pond stretching from Sutton to Douglas, you might see a serene home to its flora and fauna. You might see a breathtaking sunset mirrored in its rippling water. But what you might not see is just as important — conservation efforts. If it weren’t for the conservation efforts of the Manchaug Pond Foundation, those first two images would be tainted. From 9 a.m. until noon, Oct. 25 you have the chance to join the MPF in those efforts by participating in a fall cleanup event.
Formed in 2009, the MPF continues and expands upon the work of the former Manchaug Pond Association, which was formed in 1967. The nonprofit conservation organization dedicates its time and resources to preserving, protecting and enhancing the health of the lake and its watershed (land on which snow melt and rain carry pollutants into the water). Staffed by volunteers, its work includes advocacy, education, conservation, community outreach, fundraising, cleanups and water quality monitoring.
Those efforts resulted in the organization receiving two Non Point Source Pollution grants from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. According to the MPF website, www.manchaugpond.net, the grants allows the nonprofit to “install watershed upgrades consisting of rain gardens, sediment check dams, vegetated swales, catch basins, purge pools, and infiltration trenches which were designed to either slow down and/or capture water so pollutants will filter into the ground before it enters into Manchaug Pond.”
Marty Jo Henry, the grant coordinator, attributes much of MPF’s success to its members. Ms. Henry said “The Manchaug Pond Foundation has built a strong and diverse membership that supports our causes. Without that, we would not be able to have so many accomplishments and the support to implement our second Non Point Source Pollution Grant from the DEP.”
On Oct. 25, that membership will tackle two major threats — pollution and invasive weeds that harm the health of the lake. Ms. Henry said, “Pollution can be in the form of fertilizers or pet waste, which you don’t necessarily see, but it is detrimental as it runs into the lake.” She added, “We also battle invasive plants that have been introduced into the lake by visiting boaters, so the cleanup helps us survey the lake, as well as cleaning up trash that is left on the roadside — which gets swept into the lake after a rain event. “
Fortunately, the cleanup events make significant strides against the threats. Volunteers for Saturday’s event will meet at the state public access boat ramp on Torrey Road in Sutton. After receiving garbage bags and rubber gloves from the event organizers, they will set out on a mission to rid the lake, shoreline, boat ramp and roadside watershed of invasive plants and pollution.
If you would like to help preserve all the beautiful things you see when you look at the lake, you can volunteer by emailing Ms. Henry at WaterQuality@ManchaugPond.org. Ms. Henry said “Everyone enjoys participating in the common goal of doing something positive to help preserve the Manchaug Pond. And the fall weather is always perfect, so we all have fun doing it!”