WESTFIELD, NJ — The long-awaited dredging project at Mindowaskin Pond began Thursday, though visitors may not have noticed anything different. Town Administrator Jim Gildea explained at Tuesday night’s town council meetings that the first step is to gradually lower the level of the pond.
“That going to take a handful of days to do,” he said. “As the water gets lowered to a certain point, they have a company coming in to do what they call a fish salvage, which is where they remove the wildlife there and they will transport the wildlife to another pond.”
Early next week, he said, fish and turtles will be removed and relocated to nearby Lake Surprise. (Once the dredging is finished, he said, the pond will be re-stocked with fish from another pond undergoing a similar process, or possibly from Lake Surprise.)
The dredging project will take about three months, according to Gildea, and the process will include removing sediment and restoring the pond’s banks. Sediment will be dried out on site before it is taken away, he said.
“It’s going to be smelly for a few weeks,” he warned.
The park will remain open throughout the project, he said.
More improvements are planned for Mindowaskin Park this year in anticipation of the park’s 100th anniversary in June of 2018, including updating the park’s lighting, repairing and replacing its pathways and adding more plantings.