Jun 6, 2012

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.

On May 23, Andrew Kleiner conducted a tour of Lehigh Parkway, there 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. On July 24, Kleiner posted Lehigh Parkway:Molovinsky gets his wish. I had no idea my modest proposal was implemented.

Park Director Greg Weitzel has indicated to me that the pond features uncovered will be maintained. Any further clearing will 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

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hats off to MOLOVINSKY KLEINER WEITZEL and the extraordinary park manager MIKE GILBERT, this project deserves more attention, ( would Trexler Thrust match funds raised? $ ) park manager John Fasollka did some cleanup there as well,when disk golf was installed.
With Weitzel now gone, it's time for the city with its new parks director to create a 10 year plan and budget to save all the WPA MASTER WORK.
Include Friends of the Parks, maybe that dead horse may still run. Let them enlist a corporate partner and then...................

Anonymous said...

We join your efforts to save any pond or stone wall within the city's park system. But for today, could you possibly find out why there's a white plastic pipe sticking out in front of the new expensive restroom in the Parkway. Any news will be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

There is another fabulous WPA stone spring in an Allentown park.
Maybe eight years ago a man with a gray pickup truck and a Dobernan Pinscer worked off and on all summer uncovering the steps and walls.
This WPA stone spring has a water course that runs maybe 100 yards, and into the fish hatchery. The whole run has stone walls, some maybe saveable, some not.
MN and WPA DEFENDERS, please document this stone spring . MM, might you have a vintage photo?

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of exploring the island but it is very swampy and wet there all year round. Little scary also. I think one of the two deer shot and killed last year in the Parkway was found there.
Note to APD, we know your busy, but please more Parkway patrols beyound just Park Drive.
Support he APD. -------- Restore Allentown's Historic Parks

Anonymous said...

WPA Master Works

I like that.

Anonymous said...

Do I detect a faint whif of a positive movement in the air?The start of a non-ponpartisan , Allkentown WPA Master Works initiative ? Collaboration, priorities on the Historic Park,
( stone / not plastic ). The city on board perhaps? TREXLER TRUST too.
Or is it a dream?

Anonymous said...

MM Mike Gilbert just retired, with his position unfilled--will it be filled Mr Mayor?

An entire generation of Allentown park foremen retired recently. Most, quietly disheartened.

" We have never had less resources, less support." Don't take it from me. Ask them. Many of you know who they are. City Council Parks & Rec Chairman, you ask them.
Do you ,Ms. Chair, know them? Ask around.

A leadership void at every level.

Note-well: I vote and I'm a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

wow! all I can say is, that despite an advantage that most cities could only envy (Trexler trust, designed to protect and upkeep), Allentown has managed to squander the gift. The "after" pictures clearly show an overgrown mess with little or no attention to the annual upkeep necessary to keep pace with nature.

Sad indeed!


VOR

Guy Williams said...

8:25 Am,Both MM and I both have interesting memories of a time when there was a park guard.His impact was legendary and would hope that maybe a post would share those recollections.He was known as the Mexican General.I for one believe his work was more effective then he could possibly imagine.

michael molovinsky said...

VOR, if you click on A Modest Proposal link in the post, you'll see a photo of the miniature bridge in the spring of 2010. At that time, you could not see the bridge from the parking lot, and I stood in waist high brush to take the photo. much of the spring pond has degraded decades of neglect. i'm grateful to mike gilbert for clearing the remaining front portion of the pond. i suppose now it's a relic. how ironic that we go to europe to see things 1000 years old, but can't preserve our own icons from the 1930's. how sad that the trexler trust would pay for plastic gadgets out of a catalog, but not care about our heritage.

Anonymous said...

Weitzel has moved on.
Mr Gilbert has retired after almost 30 years. ( All the best to you sir, and thank you.)
Institutionall memory has left with them.
Your gonna have to start at the very beginning.

Life in "The City With No Memory". I mean Limits.

Anonymous said...

MM -

The spring - and the spring pond - desperately needs attention. I don't think the city ever cleared the cinders that deposited there after last year's (August/September) hurricane-related storms.

There is certainly a large amount of cinders near the disc-golf "tee" pad next to the spring. I'm hoping that's not by design, since it would seem that those cinders would be easily moved into the spring during heavy rains.

Anonymous said...

10:33 Cinders still there, spilling into the spring.
Please don't blame the park workers, manpower has been slashed.
Trees lay in the creek since the Holoween storm. Stone planter at Hunters Cabin, abandoned. Lilly pads,koi, still missing from Mirror Ponds? Covered Bridge tatty and in need of maintainence----Friends of Allentown Parks, look at that beautiful bridge, a sad comment.
And on. And on.
And on.

Anonymous said...

EARTH TO MALCOM GROSS AND TREXLER TRUST- PLEASE TUNE IN.

TREXLER TRUST HELLO.

TREXLER TRUST, ANY INTELLEGENT LIFE OUT THERE.

DO YOU READ ME? COME IN PLEASE. TREXLER TRUST?

Anonymous said...

I got to the library around 7:15. They told me at the desk that there was no meeting room on the second floor and the basement room was empty???

Anonymous said...

Hi to all.Check out the latest edition of the Allentown Parks Magazine.Plastic Fantastic playground on the cover.Cover to cover sports and recreation.No Natural Parks.No Historical Parks.
This is the legacy Mr Weitzel left behind when he moved on.If you like this stuff,you will like this publication.
Mr Mayor,Mr Gross, it's time to hire a parks director with another skill set.

Anonymous said...

Yes 10:33
Those cinders were put there by parks superviser Jhon Falsolka to accommodate the Disc Golf course.Jhon did a lot of good and was dedicated to the park. He dropped the ball,er the disc,on that one.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:28 i'm disappointed that mr. gross doesn't use his influence to better protect the traditional and historical park system, however, i ask readers not to single him out in comments, thank you.

@12:01, we met in the western end of the 2nd floor, in the open library area. sorry you missed us.

ironpigpen said...

Parks Magazine?

How much does THAT cost to produce?

:-)

Anonymous said...

Attention Lehigh Parkway fans: Park Drive is now ONE WAY.
Unless you drive a parks department pickup truck,or just choose to ignore the whole ONE WAY thing.
Don't worry,lots of park visitors just ignore the ONE WAY restriction,you won't be alone.
WE ARE THE CITY THAT HAS NO LIMITS. YEAH!

Anonymous said...

I bet some people read this and just can not believe it is true.

Bill said...

Are they not planning to build a water park? Why not put that off a year and save the icons of our park system? I remember the little stone bridge from when I was a kid in the early 70's.

Anonymous said...

I bet you are busy with all your effort but I sent you some questions about runoff,farmers and the country conservation district after work yesterday.
I think they are important questions. I hope you have the time to put them up.
Keep up the good job. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

MM

Regarding your comment- 11:28. Fair enough,but.......
When your father and your grandfather were both mayor,and the ultimate gem of the park system is named after one of them,additional light will shine on you.
With light,comes heat .
" To those to whom much has been given,.........."

A friend of the park.

michael molovinsky said...

@4:42, i appreciate all my readers and their comments, however, any question that i'm asked to check out, could be checked out by the person asking. i have no special access to information. again, i appreciate the readership, but this is not the Ask Mike column.

@4:57, although I often criticize public figures myself, my name and picture comes with my words. when I bump into malcolm gross, i own my words, fair enough, but i don't want to own your words, at least not continuously.

michael molovinsky said...

@4:42, the question about runoff was asked and answered on yesterday's post, an important meeting

Anonymous said...

Re. Posts 11:28,1:05,4:57

Respectfully,

Attorney Gross,Trexler Trustee,sat on the small,select,committee that interviewed applicants for the position of Director of Parks & Recreation.He recommended Greg Weitzel be hired for that position. Very few Allentonians,at least behind closed doors, would endorse that position today.
Given Attorney Gross's role in that process,it is not unreasonable to suggest that he, as aTrexler Trustees,has additional responsibility for the current state of affairs.
I say this with all do respect for Attorney Gross and the Trexler Trust.

Anonymous said...

Ahh such fond memories Mex would sit under the shade tree just outside the jordan dressing room and the yellow envolopes filled with water. That was as much trouble as we caused swimming all day until my belly hurt from hunger the good old days of the tresures that true americans that did truely for the masses benifit. Thank you unkle Harry.

michael molovinsky said...

before i hear from mexican-american advocates, a little allentown history. back in the day, the early 1960's, the park cop was called The Mexican General by the local teenagers. although i have no idea about his true ethnicity, he looked just like the mexican general from the popular tv series, Zorro. he was very proficient in his job. sneak anywhere in the vast park system with a case of beer, or a girlfriend, and he would appear, out of nowhere- the legend was born.

Anonymous said...

MM said: "how ironic that we go to europe to see things 1000 years old, but can't preserve our own icons from the 1930's. how sad that the trexler trust would pay for plastic gadgets out of a catalog, but not care about our heritage."

How true. In my community (Bethlehem) we have numerous WPA era projects, mainly along the Monocacy creek from Illick's Mill southward toward the Lehigh River. The stone work is is fairly good repair and includes pavillions, retaining walls, dams and more. Were it not for vigilent leadership these 70 year old civic improvements would be decaying or lost. Yet, in Bethlehem, there is no special trust fund to ensure maintenence, only common-sense knowledge that maintenance attention is the only way to preserve what exists. In Allentown, even the presence of a unique, far-sighted trust cannot overcome the careless or stupid decisions made by people who may be shortsighted or politically driven.


VOR