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I hereby claim part of Jamaica Pond for Brookline …


Yes, I know this eNewspaper is called Inside Brookline and is about Brookline. But let’s face it, Jamaica Pond is close enough, and heck, we use it to park next to overnight and other times for the occasional (albiet illegal) nighttime skinny-dip.

At least as of 1858 it was a stones-throw away, literally, as it still is. What I really want to talk about are the renovations going on along the pond … they are worth checking out.

I have been walking around the pond daily—1.79 miles according to my MapMyWalk app from the parking lot on Pond Ave and back—as part of my healthcare recovery. I must say it is a beautiful walk, a great treasure thanks to Frederick Law Olmsted. In case you are not aware, the renovations have been going on for about a year. There are new benches, new walkways, new running path, and yes, some removal of trees and brush. The workers are definitely working hard and I make it a point to say hello or compliment them on some of the work they are doing. And I have learned a lot.

In case you are wondering, that is me on the right. This is part of the plan and you can see the running path berm they are adding. That’s technical terminology for running path thingy. They are working on that the last few days … it is actually a mound of rockdust that is packed down. The surface is softer than the asphalt that makes up the path. In case you are wondering, the other use for rockdust is preventing coal mine explosions. Of course it is.

Not only is my body getting well needed exercise, so is my brain. For instance, let me ask you this … do you really know what a bioswale is? A grass or cobble swale? How about a riprap?  And of course there is always the necessary vegetated buffer with infiltration trench

And benches! You think you know benches and at sixty years of age I was pretty sure I knew how to use one. It’s kind of point-your-butt, bend-at-your-waist, roll-back-while-bending-at-the-knees and whamo! you are sitting on a bench. Or not …

Don’t ask, I have no clue. But it has been there and still is. I must say I like it, food for thought as they say, but I am afraid I would be arrested if I tried sitting in it.

Check out the fantastic resource (the entire pond area, not just the bench), marvel how you are on the edge of Brookline and Boston surrounded by all types of urban-suburban elements, yet feel like you are in a mini paradise, a jewel you might say, at least an emerald in a necklace.

Here is a very informative presentation on the work being done.
Images in this post are either mine or from that presentation.


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Faith Michaels
September 18, 2019 7:00 pm

NIce piece!

Michael McGraw-Herdeg
September 18, 2019 10:32 pm

I think there’s a great bioswale at San Antonio’s Witte Museum, along with a nice explanatory sign that spells out what a bioswale is and why you might want to have one. Hopefully they’ll add some signage explaining what they’ve done to the landscape and why — it’s pretty cool.

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