WESTFIELD, NJ — Mindowaskin Pond is once again filled with water as the town’s pond-dredging and restoration project, begun in fall of 2016, comes to a close, Town Administrator Jim Gildea told the town council during its conference meeting last week.
“Our pond-dredging project at Mindowaskin Pond is coming to an end — the pond part of it, at least. There’s a lot more work to be done in the park,” Gildea said. “Really, if you haven’t been out there to look at it in the daytime it’s something to look at. The vendor we hired [T.R. Weniger], we were very fortunate not only to get price that came in under budget but they did a phenomenal job on the dredging project — in particular restoration of the banks.”
The center fountain’s walls have been rebuilt, he explained, and additional decorative fountains, which could not be used in recent years because the pond had grown shallow, will be used again. Some unhealthy trees were removed from the pond’s islands and new ones planted.
Debby Burslem, president of the Friends of Mindowaskin Park, said the organization’s board was incredibly pleased with the project and Gildea’s communication with them during the process.
“I can’t stop smiling about it,” Burslem said. “It’s such a great thing.”
The town has entered into a “Partner for Fish and Wildlife Program” agreement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Audubon, according to its website, which means that USFWS will provide native woody vegetation for planting and NJA will provide technical assistance and some labor for vegetation installation. Westfield also received a $10,000 grant from New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.
T.R. Weniger will probably finish restoring to the property around the pond in the next month to month and a half, according to Gildea, then the next phase of improvements to the park will involve lighting and pathways.
“This is all going to take place later this year and, again, this is all in anticipation of June 2018 100th anniversary of the park,” Gildea said.