Town of Arlington Conservation Commission
Friends of Spy Pond Park
The current round of work at Spy Pond Park started in 2020 with the Conservation Commission obtaining Community Preservation Funding to secure the Spy Pond shoreline and curb erosion. A roll of coir fascine (organic matter wrapped in twine) was placed at the shoreline. This will allow future plantings to develop extensive root systems and secure the soil there. The coir fascine will disintegrate later and the root systems of the plants will take over.
Another goal for the FSPP volunteers has been to clear out invasive plants in the park planting beds and to replace them with native plants. Invasive plants add very little to the local environment. They take over quickly and vie for nutrients that all plants need. They supply minimally nutritious seeds that wildlife depends on.
In contrast, native plants support wildlife native to the area. It has taken native plants and animals millions of years to evolve to a system of mutual support - otherwise known as an ecosystem. Since 2021, the volunteers have planted fragrant sumac, winterberry red sprite, buttonbush, yarrow, viburnum dentatum (arrowwood), red-twig dogwood, bearberry, asters and chokeberry. A bright spot occurred after removing a large area of invasive plants, milkweed, aster, ferns and a chokeberry began to grow there! Please do not disturb the plants or pick the flowers. They are essential for pollinators: birds, bees, and butterflies. Many wildflowers wilt quickly after picking and cannot be transplanted elsewhere. Picking wildflowers also prevents them from going to seed, which limits future wildflowers blooms.
2022 was a tough season for plants and volunteers. The heat waves, drought, over-growth of invasive plants and poison ivy in several beds made work more difficult. We learned that productivity depends not only on man/woman power, but nature as well, and nature is unpredictable!
– Adrienne Landry for Friends of Spy Pond Park, July 2023