The Littleton Board of Selectmen formed the Clean Lakes Committee (CLC) in 1999 to assess conditions and coordinate improvements to Littleton’s lakes and ponds. The forum brings together representatives from neighborhood associations on Long Lake, Mill Pond, Spectacle Pond and Lake Matawanakee to share ideas and implement necessary actions to help restore and preserve our town’s water bodies, streams and wetlands. Additional members include interested town committee representatives and concerned citizens.
2007 The Clean Lakes Committee oversaw the completion of a three-year contract to treat invasive species such as fanwort and milfoil near the town beach on Long Lake and along the shoreline of Spectacle Pond, including treatment of water chestnut in Newtown Pond on the Newtown Hill Conservation grounds. Control of such in-water plants continues to be a key to the sustainability of Littleton’s lakes and ponds. It is anticipated that the contract will be renewed in 2008. The water level in Lake Matawanakee was drawn down this fall to manage its shoreline invasive plants. It is anticipated that the winter freeze will kill off much of the exposed growth. The continuous flow of water through the lake made herbicide treatments too costly. If the draw down is successful, the same approach could prove effective for Spectacle Pond.
At Long Lake, Town Road and the parking lot at the Town Beach were repaved and the Filterra stormwater attenuation system cleaned. This substantially reduces run off of debris into the lake. Storm drainage from Town Rd. was redirected to the wooded bank between the playground and Beach Drive, providing a natural filter and slowing its run to the shore. Disappointment with the Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACE) assessment (from the end of 2006) that the proposed Mill Pond Restoration would not be viable led to a questioning of our plans and a reexamination of data. Advisor Savas Danos suspected that the 10 year old design data were no longer accurate, and that phosphorus inflows are now lower based on watershed point and non-point source reductions. A team of volunteers from the Mill Pond Association collected samples for the new nutrient modeling that will be completed and resubmitted in 2008. It is hoped that the updated model will lead to a successful review.
Meanwhile, the US Congress re-established future funding for the Mill Pond Restoration Project by overriding the veto of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, a bill that allows ACE to undertake hundreds of projects that pertain to navigation, flood control and environmental protections. Continuing the project in anticipation of ACE involvement, the CLC is formulating plans to develop new points of public access to the pond. A boat launch and picnic area are being considered.
The Rain Barrel Program that was established as part of the Long Lake Restoration has been extended town wide. The CLC is offering rain barrels at a $10 discount to all Littleton residents as a means of capturing the 1st flush of precipitation and reusing this water rather than letting it enter the stormwater system directly. Over 50 rain barrels have been purchased and installed and the Committee is currently taking orders for a large 2008 spring purchase. Contact our advisor at the Littleton Water Department or check LWD’s web site for more details: www.lelwd.com. The Rain Garden Program is being continued and extended beyond the Long Lake neighborhood. Funding will be provided by the CLC. To promote the benefits of rain gardens and other low impact stormwater management practices, the CLC will be joining in the effort to create the Butterfly Garden and Outdoor Classroom at the new Middle School.