Aug 12, 2013

Saving The Spring Pond


As a small boy growing up in the twin homes above Lehigh Parkway, I would go down the steep wooded ravine and cross the Robin Hood Bridge. The stone lined spring pond and miniature bridge was just the first in a series of wonderful WPA constructions to explore. Last year, when I organized the reclamation of the Boat Landing, my memory turned to the pond. Although overgrown with several inches of sod, I knew the treasure was still savable.





In the spring of 2010 I met Mike Gilbert of the Park Department, and pitched the idea of a partial restoration. On May 26th, I posted A Modest Proposal, which outlined my hopes for the pond. By July, Gilbert had the Park Department clear off the remaining stones, and clean up around the miniature bridge.


Park Director Greg Weitzel  indicated to me that the pond features uncovered will be maintained. Any further clearing would be at the discretion of Mike Gilbert. In our conversation he also stated that there are virtually no funds available for the preservation of the WPA icons.







I will attempt to organize a group and contributions for this most worthy cause. Between the Spring Pond and The Boat Landing there was once a bridge to the island. Wouldn't it be nice if a small boy could go exploring.
reprinted from previous posts
UPDATE:Mike Gilbert has retired, and the Park Department has a new director. Although grass and sod are starting to again cover the remaining stones that surround the pond, the miniature bridge is still visible. I will make it my mission to again pitch the new personnel.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Is it possible for a team of residents to help maintain the icons? We can maintain the ones where what is needed is removing the overgrowth and dirt buildup. There's the Friends of the Park group, what about a WPA Works group?

-Steven Ramos

Anonymous said...

No one who has jumped through the hoops, for little or no gain, is surprised that promises made by the last Park Director were not worth much. Six seven years ago good people were eager to be involved in the parks. Some of these people had great energy and real expertise. One by one they were sent packing or burned out banging their heads against the wall. You could see it happen. How very sad.

michael molovinsky said...

steven @8:29, i started a WPA group, but we stood down because Friends of the Parks has taken up our cause. The Friends, as a 501C, was able to obtain a 25K matching grant from the trexler trust. i hope that the city will make the match,and leverage that resource toward needed masonry work on several structures. i don't personally advocate residents working on the park features. it requires too much coordination and promotion, which must be done over and over again. these items were traditionally cared for by the park department, and they should be again. i have an current agenda concerning the robin hood dam and creek view/ access. after that, i will advocate for an ordinance protecting the traditional park features. each of the wpa structures that i have worked on was purposefully abandoned by a former park director. i believe such a decision should require public input and council approval.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of project the EAC does down in my neck of the woods (Bucks Co). Sounds like something your group can take on. Why not check it out with them?

michael molovinsky said...

@10:05, actually, the environmentalists recommended that this area be allowed to grow in, as in riparian, because it's near the stream. they have shown little, to no regard for the WPA structures, or the historical/traditional park system in allentown. i advocate that the park department care for features of the allentown park system, and not be encouraged to practice neglect, masquerading as conservation

the question by 10:05 is either unfamiliar with my mission and view of the current park situation, or is attempting to be subversive. i do not particularly like having to counter a comment, and may instead not print the comment.

John Patton said...

Mike, 10:05 was trying to be a help. He was referring to the EAC's around PA that help preserve local lands & water areas. What you are trying to do for the parks is basically the same thing the EAC's work to do. 10:05 was suggesting that you look in to the EAC as a way to help your cause. http://www.greenworks.tv/eac/spotlight.html

michael molovinsky said...

john @2:45, allentown has it's own official branch of EAC. they support the little lehigh dam removals and the riparian buffer, two things that are meaningless tokenism in allentown, because;
1. LCA sewer line runs parallel to creek and overflows in heavy rain
2. Allentown has it's own fish hatchery to stock creeks
3. Allentown storm sewers empty directly into streams, bypassing the riparian buffers which just breeding grounds for invasive species.

john, your comment is exactly the type that i may not always print. it requires a repetitious reply on my part.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure some fine people support buffer zones and WPA structures. You must know some of them.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:15, the problem with apologists for the buffer zones is that they concede it's not correctly done, and that we don't have the manpower to do it correctly. they should clear cut it, and start over in small area's that they can manage the invasive species and other shortcomings . in the meantime the status quo is a crime against the citizens.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point MM, but that would be very destructive to birds, butterflies and other wonderful creatures that make the park so fantasticl to visit. There must surely be room to do what you want and not kill of all of Gods other creation? ( Please do not label me an "environmentalist",or tell me about the Game Preserve, I'm a regular visiter there and we are not talking about big game.) On the whole I am very supportive of your advocacy? Why drive people who share so much of your agenda away.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:19, now you have me wanting to kill G-d's creatures? no, my friend, i just want to see the park the way it was designed. as i said before, in the parkway that area between the former metal bridge (now pedestrian bridge) and bogerts covered bridge, can be for you and your creatures, but on the main side, allow the children to see and experience the creek. i assure you that there l will still be birds and butterflies without 10ft. high weeds blocking the view and access.