North Pond Watershed Protection plan phase one a success

photo: Google satellite view

by Linda Rice,
Secretary of North Pond Association

The North Pond Association, in partnership with the Seven Lakes Alliance, received a 319 Grant awarded in the fall of 2018 for $80,000. This grant money along with matching funds was to be used in 2018 and 2019 to implement projects initially recommended in the North Pond Watershed-Based Protection Plan. The NPA is proud to say that it has successfully completed the Phase I projects. Charlie Baeder from Seven Lakes Alliance was, and is, the project manager and without him, the following accomplishments would not have been possible.

In 2018, the Maine Department of Transportation matched funds to add riprap and pre-seeded erosion control blankets along Rte. 137, specifically on the shoreline property belonging to 170 Lake View Drive. The DOT was also tasked in repairing or replacing some culverts along Lake View Drive. Continuing the 2018 projects, the town of Smithfield matched $15,000 to stabilize a 300-foot-long embankment on North Shore Drive with riprap, seeding and hay. Approximately 225 feet was completed. Finally, in 2018, a thorough survey was conducted by Seven Lakes Alliance Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) and NPA at Pine Tree Camp to confirm erosion sites that could be mitigated with Best Management Practices (BMPs) beginning in 2019.

In 2019, second year of the Phase I Protection Plan, at least 19 erosion sites at Pine Tree Camp were repaired by the YCC including adding erosion control paths, crushed rock drip lines, armoring drainage ditches and a rain garden. The NPA’s financial support of the YCC as well as Pine Tree Camp’s monetary contribution for materials for those projects were the grant match needed to set Pine Tree Camp on the right course to slowing down erosion and runoff and protecting the water quality of North Pond. Also, the NPA contracted Lynch Landscaping to finish the 170 Lake View Drive project by planting 57 plants along the open guard-railed embankment and stabilizing the new plantings with erosion control mulch (ECM). Affectionately referred to as the “guard rail garden,” by the end of the summer of 2019, a once eroding bank was covered with common juniper, service and snowberry shrubs, sweet fern, fragrant sumac along with wildflowers including morning glories and ornamental grasses. Meadow Lane on the Serpentine Stream in Smithfield was perhaps the largest project in 2019. Significant areas of this private road were repaired. Rick Labbe donated heavy equipment and was the contractor on this project. The road itself was crowned and resurfaced and multiple ditches and culverts were repaired or added. The property owners on that road along with the East Pond Association and the NPA contributed thousands of dollars in matching grant funds to mitigate some of the erosion and run-off issues on Meadow Lane. Last but not least, the town of Smithfield was able to riprap the last 75 feet of the embankment on North Shore Drive.

The last two years yielded remarkable results thanks to the participation of the Maine DOT, town of Smithfield, and the Seven Lakes Alliance YCC. Above and beyond those accomplishments, dozens of property owners on the shores of North and Little ponds also played an important part in helping to control erosion. Over four dozen BMPs were installed on private properties either by YCC, landscaping contractors or by the owners themselves including rain gardens, buffer plants, ECM, riprap, dripline edges, infiltration steps and much more. With a little help from the NPA through their Watershed Financial Award program, thousands of dollars were contributed by these lakeside landowners to help protect the water quality of our pond.

Great news! The NPA has been awarded a second DEP Grant of $118,758 as part of our Phase II North Pond Watershed Protection Project to be implemented in 2020 and 2021. The NPA Watershed Steering Committee along with our Project Manager, Charlie Baeder will be meeting this winter and spring to plan erosion control projects throughout the North Pond Watershed. This second grant (as well as the first) was made possible in part because the NPA hired Jennifer Jespersen from Ecological Instincts to write the grant proposal to the DEP.

Funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with the EPA.

Maine’s only leap year town set for celebration: Smithfield to observe incorporation as town

Come help Maine’s only Leap Year town celebrate its anniversary! All the fun begins on Wednesday, February 26, with Saturday, February 29, being a day filled with family friendly fun! The schedule of events looks like this:

Wednesday, February 26 – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: 6 – 8 p.m., at the Fairview Grange #342, in the village. Hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and snacks available.

Thursday, February 27, Join us at the Fairview Grange #342, for a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER – $25 per person and space is limited, 6 p.m. Get your tickets at the Town Office ASAP! This event is BYOB.

Friday, February 28 — THE LEAP YEAR TONIGHT SHOW, featuring local entertainment – musicians, dancers, comedians surprise guests! Fairview Grange #342, 7 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, February 29 – VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE SHOW & SWAP at TRI-POND VARIETY, Corner of Rtes. 137 & 8. 9 a.m., registration. Raffles, evening trail ride and so much more. FMI go to their Facebook page.

MUNICIPAL COMPLEX EVENTS – Sat. Feb 29:

  • GRAB A HOT LUNCH at the Firehouse! SVFD firefighters will be serving it up! (Donations accepted!) noon – 2 p.m.
  • FREE HOT CHOCOLATE BAR OPEN ALL DAY in the fire House. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Smithfield Maine Historical Society Powerpoint Presentation with Postcards & Photos from 1860 – today! 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Red Cross and SCART Team 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • AFFORDABLE PET CLINIC – Jordan Farm Livestock Rescue 9 a.m. – noon. FREE PHOTOS OF YOUR PETS!
  • SNOW SCULPTURE CONTEST – make it a family event or grab your friends! Pre-register at town office. Supplies provided, 9 a.m., Prizes awarded at 2 p.m.
  • TOBOGGAN RACES! Get your team ready! 1 – 3 p.m., pre-register in the town office. PRIZES AWARDED 3:15 p.m.!

Banners and fliers will be posted in and around Smithfield – so be on the look out!

Thanks to the many local businesses for sponsoring all of the planned events — unless otherwise stated, everything is FREE! (Donations happily accepted and go toward Summer Leap Year Celebration Events in August!)

Please call 207-362-4772 for more information, and how you can be part of the fun as a volunteer!