NEW CANAAN — Efforts to restore Waveny Pond are closer to becoming a reality, as town officials could approve a design for the project as early as next month.
“The pond is one of the most important and visible recreational amenities that we have,” Waveny Park Conservancy Chairman Bill Holmes said in a recent interview.
A presentation of the project may be revealed at the Parks and Recreation Commission’s next meeting in February, he said. Once it passes the commission, the conservancy will bring the plan before the Board of Finance, Town Council and Board of Selectmen.
As part of its master plan, the Waveny Park Conservancy is working with New Canaan officials to clean the pond at the bottom of the sledding hill and the surrounding area. Holmes said the pond restoration is one of the five original goals of the organization.
“This is important because not only was the pond’s condition degrading, but if we let it go beyond a certain point without dredging, it will become a wetland and we can never have a pond again,” Holmes said.
According to Parks and Recreation Department Director Stephen Benko, the town will fund $170,000 to dredge Waveny Pond.
The Board of Selectmen agreed in September to hire William Kenny Associates to design the plan, with the conservancy paying the firm $39,200 with a contigency of $2,000.
“Once they get all the approvals from the various organizations, the ideal time to do this work will be in September,” Benko said.
The conservancy plans to commit an additional $150,000 to remove overgrown vines and invasive plants from both sides of the pond on the approach to Waveny House. Additionally, a new trail would be installed around the left side of the pond.
“As part of the plan, we hope to have a better vision of the pond from up above,” Benko said.
The dredged material will be taken off site, but a location has not yet been found.
Holmes said in the past few years the town has undergone dredging similarly at Mead Pond and Mill Pond.
“This is driven by the same impetus,” Holmes said. “Streams carry soil, leaf matter and everything else and gradually the pond just fills up.”
He said the pond is an integral part of the Waveny Park, which was the inspiration behind the conservancy’s decision to identify its restoration as a priority project.
“The actual dredging will occur late summer,” Holmes said. “We want to do it obviously when the water level in the pond is at it’s lowest.”
Once the dredging is complete, the conservancy will work to preserve the pond and add amenities like a fence for the area.
“It will come under our mandate to maintain it once we have restored it,” Holmes said.