City proposes gazebo, restoration at Springside Pond

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PITTSFIELD — Designs and permitting are underway for a long-awaited restoration project at Springside Pond.

Jim Scalise, of SK Design Group, last week presented preliminary plans on the city's behalf to the Conservation Commission.

The commission tabled its review to allow time for the city to apply for a water-quality certification from the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

City officials have estimated the project, which will include a gazebo and an elevated walkway over the water, will cost roughly $500,000, but a more formal price tag will come after final designs settle into place. The plan is to obtain the required permitting before setting out in search of a funding partner.

Before weeds and sediment took over the historic pond, it served as a place for people to ice skate during the winter and as a wading pool during the summer.

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Robert Van Der Kar, the city's conservation agent, said the project doubles as an ecological and recreational restoration project. Plans include the removal of concrete banks surrounding the water, replacing them with natural banks, and taking out a concrete floor below the pond's sediment-filled waters.

"Those are the big ones that the city is trying to address," he said. "To remove those man-made structures and replace them with natural restoration."

Crews would also remove some of the cattails to allow for a more diverse vegetative ecosystem.

And to prevent sediment from building up in the future, Van Der Kar said, project designs include a bay that would trap sediment flowing into the area before it reaches the water.

"There was nothing like that before," he said.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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