Workers from Solitude Lake Management used a cutting machine to knock out the water lilies from the pond in White Park on Thursday, December 9, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff
SOLitude Lake Management under contract with the city Parks and Recreation Department operated a cutting machine Thursday in the two-acre pond, which has been overrun by invasive water lilies in the past three years. —Courtesy
In preparation for ice skating this winter, a growing raft of water lilies was dredged out of the pond this week in Concord’s White Park.
SOLitude Lake Management under contract with the city Parks and Recreation Department operated a cutting machine Thursday in the two-acre pond, which has been overrun by the invasive weed in the past three years.
The device rips up the floating plants, hopefully including their roots in the pond bottom mud, although frequently it takes multiple attempts to rid a water body of such aquatic weeds.
“We are mechanically cutting the lotus plants to allow the pond to be open for ice skating this winter. We usually open the pond for ice skating late December or early January,” wrote David Gill, Parks and Rec Director in response to a Monitor query.
Outdoor ice skating is planning this winter at White Park, Rollins Park and the Beaver Meadow Golf Course, he said.
The lotus plant, a native of Asia that is common in home aquariums, showed up a few years back for unknown reasons and has been growing exponentially. The city tried killing it with herbicide a few years ago without success.
The pond was created in the 1880’s along with the rest of White Park, one of the oldest city parks in the state. It was an early water supply for the city.
The pond was dredged in the 1940s and 1970s, removing sediment and organic matter that had settled to the bottom over the decades, and Gill said it is overdue to be dredged again.
Small ponds naturally fill up and eventually become a bog in a process known as eutrophication. A larger pond restoration will take place next year, city officials said.
David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of the monthly Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.
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