Over the last two decades significant efforts have been focused on the conservation of the ponds, primarily to control invasive plant species, controlling and eliminating the excess growth of vegetation in the pond itself, and maintaining or improving that overall water quality.

Examples of past projects

In 2001, with a goal of decreasing the spread of the invasive purple loosestrife plant, the Friends worked with Cornell University to release 10,000 beetles. These beetles (Gallerucella pusilla and Galercella calmariensis) are natural predators that feed on purple loosestrife and have been very effective in controlling the spread of this invasive plant along the shores.

In 2003, working with the Winchester Department of Works, The Friends help fund and coordinate the hydro raking of both ponds. The process took 3 days for Little Winter and 3 weeks for Big Winter. Over 280 truckloads of debris (muck, roots, and plants) were removed! Members of the Friends donated over 250 hours for this project.

In 2009 the Friends donated $11,600 to the Town of Winchester for the purchase and installation of a state-of-the-art drain on Woodside Road. In addition drain markers were installed at every storm drain in the watershed. Each blue, green, and white marker states “No Dumping, Drains Lead to the Pond”.

Current projects in focus

Over the last five years the Friends have raised funds to conduct herbicidal treatments to control excessive vegetation both under water and on the surface. The company Aquatic Control Technology conducts the treatments. Controlling excessive vegetation will continue to be a priority.

Other current projects included exploring a sustainable approach to control the growth of invasive plants along the shoreline and addressing the inadequacy of the storm drain system leading into the ponds.

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