By Linda Scott
Thoughts on Walker Pond
“So ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
— Leonard Cohen
I was reminded of this Leonard Cohen song while watching the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meeting on January 18th.
One of the projects being discussed was Walker Pond, a property that Watertown purchased for over $11 million as a sort of “Jewel in the Crown” for Watertown, a rare place where families could sit, experience nature, picnic, fly kites, play informal soccer games, and get to know more about each other and the nature that surrounds them.
Lots of my life experiences came to mind…
“Look, Linda, a rabbit. It must have escaped from the Nature Lodge,” said a little girl while we, me a camp counselor and she a child from a very rich NYC family, stood on the porch of our cottage on a dewey early morning at a camp in Connecticut.
There’s more to a child’s life experience than sports, although that can be important. When I was a teacher, there were kids that had their lunch in my room, rather than brave the vagaries of sports at recess. They needed that break from competition. Their school day offered enough of that.
In this CPC meeting, they gathered together to stress to the DCDP (Department of Community Planning and Development) that the reason that Walker Pond was purchased was to give Watertown and its children a very different experience. A place to be still. A place to look at the natural world and see what it had to offer.
CPC member, Jamie O’Connell, started it off with a comment (I’m paraphrasing here) that the nature seemed secondary in this DCDP plan. That rather than studying the pond, it looked like there was a plan to build something around the pond, with little regard for the nature.
Other members followed suit with questions about the choice of a company that’s known for building sports facilities. They suggested that perhaps building decisions have already been made before a serious study had been done.
The CPC sent the DCDP back to the drawing board. I sure do hope that they got
Next on the CPC Agenda:
February 1, 7 p.m., attend by Zoom. Topics: Funding for the Browne House and Mt. Auburn Cemetery
February 15: 7 p.m., attend by Zoom. Topics: DCDP returns with the Walker Pond project. A discussion (and perhaps a vote on?) all of the projects up for funding by the CPC.
(Letters to the editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)