Do you live within a 10 minute bike ride
from Spy Pond? If so, you probably live within the Spy Pond watershed boundary.
This means that whatever you or your neighbors spray on your lawns or dump
in the storm drains makes its way to the pond. Thatís right, even if you
live a few miles away your actions make a difference!
||Click on the Watershed Map to Enlarge
You see, Spy Pond has a weed and algae
problem that is pretty serious. Rain and snowmelt within the Spy Pond watershed
carry fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and other pollutants from
lawns and streets into the pond. Once there, these foreign chemicals
cause something called Eutrophication. Eutrophication is the sign of a
pond ecosystem in collapse due to excessive algal bloom, accumulation of
nutrient in sediments, and low levels of dissolved oxygen.
While currently controlled by expensive
chemicals (and thus the reason the pond looks weed free today), there is
a simple cost free solution. The one thing that could noticeably reduce
weeds and improve the pondís water quality in a couple of years at no cost
would be the reduction of phosphorus runoff into the pond by more careful
use of fertilizer. Most lawn fertilizers aim for quick results by
providing more than enough quickly available nutrients. The lawn absorbs
what it can handle and the rest goes into runoff and then Spy Pond.
To help the Pond and SAVE Money:
1. Test the acidity (pH) of your soil
and add lime if needed
Garden centers have simple do-it-yourself
kits. Soil that is too acid prevents the lawn from absorbing nitrogen
properly; your lawn ďstarves amid plentyĒ while the nutrients you paid
for go to the pond.
2. Fertilize sparingly, using slow-release,
If you donít see it at your garden center,
ask for it. Phosphorus is the middle number in the formula, e.g. 20-4-8.
3. Water carefully to prevent runoff
as much as possible.
This is especially important when using
starter fertilizer, which is higher in phosphorus because new grass needs
more of it than established grass. The same is true of fertilizer intended
for flower and vegetable gardens!
4. Use caution and restraint if you
feel you must use an insecticide, weed killer or fertilizer.
Please read labels. Most people over spray!
5. Never spray or use chemicals near
roads, driveways, or sidewalks.
The excess travels quickly to storm drains
and then the Pond.
7. Talk to your lawn care service.
If you use a lawn-care service, ask about
the fertilizer formula and any insecticides or weed killers they use, and
express your concern about the effect of runoff on waterways. Companies
listen to what their customers want!
The following lawn care companies offer
Spy Pond friendly, low phophorus, organic lawn services:
Green-Lawn at 781-729-7711
Steve's Lawn Care Company at 781-648-5116
(If you represent a lawn company servicing
Arlington and Belmont and offer such a service please contact us so we
can add your company's name to the list)